His debut in Kollywood was through a hit film — Ajith Kumar’s Mankatha. Ashwin Kakumanu quickly followed it up with Nadunisi Naigal and 7aum Arivu. Then came a lull, the calm before the storm. The storm is happening this year for Ashwin. Director Karthik Rishi’s Megha is just complete. “I play a middle-class boy and am paired with newcomer Shrushti. We have loads of romantic and emotional scenes; the story has an investigative touch too. Another highlight is the tuneful songs by Ilaiyaraja. I have already started shooting for my next, Idarkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara, directed by Gokul (Rowthram). In this, I have Vijay Sethupathy and Pasupathy for company with Swathi paired with me. It is a comedy of sorts,” says Ashwin.

Jodi in real life

They met on the reality show, Jodi No 1 — he as a dancer/choreographer and she as a celebrity. Five years later, Kumaran Thangarajan and Suhasinni Raju have become a ‘jodi’ in real life. In the interim period, Kumaran was one of the five finalists in Ungalil Yaar Prabhu Deva, and later, in Maanada Mayilada, both Kumaran and Suhasinni paired up. “Besides dance and choreography, my dream was to become a director. My dad always wanted me to be an actor and I hope to fulfil his dream soon,” says Kumaran who has already taken one major step towards that goal. “I have made a short film, Vetti Bandha in which a few of my friends, Suhasinni and her father (as the narrator), acted for free. I have been screening this to prospective producers in the hope of making it into a full-length feature film. Meanwhile, Suhasinni and I have opened a dance school, Laya. I specialise in cinematic choreography.”

Suhasinni, on her part, has already appeared in Aascar Films’ Leelai and is checking out scripts for her next role. Meanwhile, the ‘jodi’ is expected to tie the knot soon.

Anjena in I-Na

Turning to direction has been a natural progression for producer Ravindar Chandrasekaran. Following productions such as Nalanum Nandhiniyum, Sutta Kadhai, Kolai Nokku Paarvai and 1+1=3, Ravindar is wielding the megaphone for I-Na. Model-turned-actor Anjena plays one of the leads in this film. Anjena made her debut in Kaanagam which is into post production. Directed by Maamani, she is paired with Krishna Dev in this romantic thriller. “A film in Telugu is under way — Vaasthavam 3D, a fantasy film in which I am paired with Bhushan. Meanwhile, the most interesting news is that I have been signed up as one of the leads in producer-director Ravindar Chandrasekaran’s I-Na. My character is very stylish and I play an international reporter. I understand from the script that the movie will be shot in six different countries,” says Anjena who comes from a film background — her mother is Malayalam character actor Swapna Ravi while her father Ravi is a film editor.

Director Ezhil’s next

All his films have been commercially successful and creative as well involving big names in the industry such as Vijay, Ajith, Prabhu Deva, Sarath Kumar and Jayam Ravi. This year, director Ezhil is making Desingu Raja, with a theme quite different from his earlier films. “I am attempting humour in a serious situation. During visits to my native village, I had seen people committing crimes on the spur of the moment and immediately regretting them. Even then, they would make light of it by joking and laughing about it. In Desingu Raja, I have utilised this trait to bring out the humour in serious situations which would actually help diffuse a lot of tension. Vemal has fit into this serious-comic role set in a rural backdrop so well. Interestingly, his character is named Idayakani as he is an MGR fan and takes offence at anyone who slights the star,” says Ezhil.