Thota Tharrani is playing Swami Chinmayananda in a documentary

He did a blink-and-miss appearance in the Rajinikanth-starrer Sivaji, in the actor’s introduction song. And now, Thota Tharrani, Chennai’s most famous art director, will essay his first major role in a film. The movie, titled The Quest, is an English documentary that will portray the life and times of Swami Chinmayananda, who was instrumental in the formation of the Chinmaya Mission. He is also well known for having taught ancient scriptures and the Upanishads in a scientific manner.

Talking about the film, Thota says, “This project came to me a few months ago. As everyone knows, I’m more comfortable behind the scenes and not in front of the camera and so, I didn’t know what to do. But the makers convinced me.” The Quest will be directed by RS Prasanna, who shot to fame in Kollywood due to his film, Kalyana Samayal Saadham.

Thota’s role in the film will not be a full-fledged one; he will appear closer to the climax when the Swamiji gets old. “It is a small role but a very important one,” he reveals.

So, what made him take on this particular script, when other filmmakers might have also approached him with offers? “It was a spiritual subject and I was immediately attracted to it. Also, a lot of people felt that I closely resemble Swami Chinmayananda and it was an honour for me to play him on screen,” he says, “It was a challenge to act in front of a team because I’m more comfortable with my art work, which happens mostly behind the camera.”