Actor Prithviraj is on a roll both in Mollywood and Bollywood.
Like him or hate him, but you can't ignore Prithviraj Sukumaran. There is a certain devil-may-care attitude that has earned him admirers and detractors as well. But he never ceases to surprise all, which easily makes him a cut above the rest. Like, in the recently released Mumbai Police, wherein Prithviraj plays a character that most of his peers would have been hesitant to portray. Again, in last week's Bollywood release, Aurangzeb, he played a tough talking Haryanvi cop. Currently, he is shooting for Jeethu Joseph's Memories. Anil C. Menon's London Bridge and Tamil director Vasanthabalan's next are in the pipeline. In an exclusive interview , Prithviraj talks about his films and his Bollywood dreams. Excerpts:
Did you have any doubt about playing such a character in Mumbai Police?
Not at all, though I had my own doubts on how the film would be received. It had a crackling script. It is heartening to know that the film has been accepted in a big way.
But then, wasn't it a risky role for a hero of your stature?
The role demanded a mainstream hero so that there would be that shock element that was crucial for the film. I had no doubts at any point of time and I believe that the success or failure of a single film can’t change your career as such.
How careful were you in shaping the character in Mumbai Police, without hurting the sentiments of anyone?
When we sat together to discuss the idea, the first thing that we decided was not to take any particular stand on the issue. I was sure that this should not be a propaganda saying what is right or wrong. It is just the choice of a character. Usually in films, such characters are shown as being effeminate but we decided to give an antithesis to cinematic clichés. That was the surprise, after showing him as an alpha male.
After a rather disappointing debut with Aiyyaa in Bollywood, do you feel more confident after the favourable opening for Aurangzeb?
There are various opinions about Aiyyaa and of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Regarding Aurangzeb, the response is good and I am pleased that my command over the language has been appreciated.
What do you think about this notion that it is tough for a South Indian actor to find acceptance in Bollywood?
I haven't felt it that way. But at the end of the day, you need to be able fit in well. You need to speak the language like they do especially since dubbing has become redundant and sync sound is in vogue. I believe that Aurangzeb is a significant film since for the first time, a South Indian actor is being featured in a Yash Raj production and that too in a role that doesn't require a South Indian. It means a lot and even the reviews are not talking about me being a South Indian. Aditya Chopra told me that if we didn't know who you were, it would have taken a bit of convincing to know that you are not from the North.
On Farah Khan's Happy New Year ?
It has not yet been confirmed. I recently met Abhishek Bachchan and even he is not sure about the exact dates.
What about your forthcoming Tamil film with Vasanthabalan?
All I can reveal is that it is a period drama set in the 1920s and that it is about theatre.
You are playing a cop once again, in Jeethu Joseph’s Memories?
I am a cop who lives with certain memories that continue to haunt him. He is incapable of suicide or otherwise he would have done it. He has lost his interest in life and the character is very real.
Anil C.Menon's London Bridge?
It is a mature love story, where an ambitious young man, for whom falling in love was never in his scheme of things, learns certain lessons about life.