You've given super hit comedies such as Kaadhalikka Neeramillai, Galatta Kalyanam and Kasethan Kadavulada. But why have you not handled sentimental subjects?
Of course, I've scripted sentimental stories such as Moondru Deivangal and Shanthi Nilayam. Even Athaiya Maamiya, a movie directed by me, was laced with sentiment. When I went to the then Paragon Theatre to get the feedback, I heard a voice from the crowd saying, “Why is Gopu trying to make us cry when we have come to laugh?” That was when I decided to stick to comedy. Moreover, those days there was a huge demand for comedy writers and I was branded one.
You walked out of ‘Chitralaya' when director Sridhar teamed up with MGR for Urimai Kural. Why did you script movies only for ‘Sivaji' Ganesan and not MGR?
I got offers to direct when Sridhar teamed up with MGR. Hence, I could not work with him. It was sheer coincidence.
Humour is intertwined with vulgarity today. How different was humour in those days?
I dreaded writing dialogues with double meaning those days. I've written 60 films and directed 27 of them. All my subjects were based on sequential comedy and that is one of the reasons why my movies are evergreen in the minds of the people. Today, if there is no vulgarity in what you speak or write, then people say you lack a sense of humour.
Why did you not focus on writing scripts after Sridhar's retirement from the film industry?
I have done a variety of films, including Paatti Sollai Thattathe and Vasanthi. I have also written for serials and continue to do so when producers approach me. I am still dying to write comic subjects, but on my own terms. I feel too many cooks spoil the broth. In my days, I enjoyed utmost freedom as a script-writer, which is not there now. I was fortunate to direct most of my own scripts and director Sridhar too did not interfere with my comic dialogues.