Do we have a new hero in the making? One look at the publicity stills of Vallavanakku Pullum Ayutham (VPA), and you will come to the conclusion that comedian Santhanam is heading for hero status. From his initial television foray with Sagala Vs Rakala to VPA, it has been one rip-roaring ride for Santhanam. Well, if his effort in VPA pays off, Kollywood will be losing a good comedian. “I am not aiming for anything like that. This script came my way and it suited my image. I thought, if actors like Jerry Lewis and Jim Carey can do lead roles as comedians, why not give it a shot? VPA is very much on those lines. It also doesn’t mean that I will not do the usual comedy roles alongside other heroes. I am open to doing any kind of role, including those that don’t call for comedy,” says Santhanam. In VPA, he is paired with Aashna Javeri under the direction of Sreenath who feels that Santhanam’s versatility will go a long way in his transition from comedian to hero.

Hriday grows up

Do you remember the twin kids of Arvind Swamy in the 1995 blockbuster Bombay? Well, the kids have grown up and while one of the brothers, Harsha, works abroad as a financial consultant, his twin, Hriday, completed his Engineering and followed his heart, which was set on the silver screen. “I suppose it must have been there in my subconscious mind ever since Bombay happened. So, after my graduation I joined Barry John’s Acting Studio. This led to my first lead role in the just released Panivizhum Nilavu directed by Koushik in which I am paired with Eden (earlier Tamil film: Andava Perumal) from Kerala,” says Hriday. The film traces the life of a college student played by Hriday and how he goes on to tackle the pressures of his personal and professional life. “It has been a great experience doing Panivizhum Nilavu and I am currently reading a few scripts; I don’t want to take up whatever comes my way, because the second film should be an even better one to take my career forward,” states a confident Hriday.

Grey is good too

Gone are the days when a new actress preferred to do only glamorous lead roles. Rethika Srinivas likes to play powerful roles that would not just stand apart but also give her creative satisfaction. “Hence, when the role of a leader of a gang of corrupt officials came up in Nimirndhu Nil, I grabbed it. In the film, I am not just the most corrupt but also the most organised and cleverest of the 147 officers and lead them on a confrontation course against the upright ones. In fact, when the corrupt are caught, I engineer a near-escape route for them,” says Rethika who is so passionate about her new-found acting career that she has taken a short sabbatical from her brand consultancy business. “Next on the anvil is a village character pitted against two heroes (both played by Vinay) in director Saran’s Ayirathil Iruvar.”