In a freewheeling chat Suriya talks about his fans, new generation films and his upcoming movie Singam 2

Anyone who has watched Suriya’s action movies would describe his on screen persona as brash, loud and powerful, albeit with a big heart. So it comes as a refreshing change when you realise that he is a lot less intimidating when you meet him in person. The perpetually livid expression seen in movies like Singam is replaced with a smile that seems equally consistent, and he answers questions in a soft and even tone, once again in stark contrast to his larger- than-life characters.

Adapting to the role

“It’s because every movie is different, each director has an idea about how the character should speak and behave and as an actor it is my job to get into that frame of mind and perform accordingly. The way you respond to Gautham Menon will be different to the response to Ram Gopal Varma, its all about the vision,” says the actor, who was in the city to promote his upcoming cop film, Singam 2.

Dressed in a light-hued, striped shirt and jeans, Suriya paints a relaxed picture as he describes his shooting experiences in Kerala and the fan reaction here. “It is extremely intense. I’ve noticed that people in some of the other Southern states tend to hang back and watch during shootings but fans here are quite interactive. They come up and chat and create a lively atmosphere. Even the fan clubs are incredibly active, they have even made music CDs and remixes complete with title graphics and sent them to my house!” he laughs.

It is obvious that his fans are quite important to him, as reflected by his recollections of his early days in cinema. “When I was starting out, we were shooting in Kerala and I was awed by the response that the fans gave established actors then. The kind of love and support on display was a humbling experience, and I made up my mind at that point that I would give it my all to someday deserve the same kind of love from my fans,” he reminisces.

Singam 2 will feature new cast members alongside Suriya, and Rahman, one of the mainstays of Malayalam cinema through its golden years, is one of them. Suriya is all praise for the actor, lauding the way he has kept himself fit and active throughout all his years in the industry. “We were put up in the same hotel for a section of the shoot and we chatted quite a bit. He was kind enough to praise my work and coming from someone like him, that meant a lot to me,” he says with sincerity.

This is Suriya’s fourth movie with director Hari. “And my third time playing a cop,” the actor adds jovially. He believes that despite all the intensity and action movie staple that involves bad guys flying left, right and centre, Singam 2 still stands for family values and friendship. “Duraisingam is a small town cop initially, and that is part of his wiring. But he also strives to be a good son to his parents and a good friend. These are also important parts of the storyline that I believe audiences will appreciate,” he says.

About the widespread speculation that he may soon be seen in Malayalam, Suriya prefers not to give people false hope. “Well, there are a lot of things to consider before taking up a movie, and while there have been talks, unfortunately circumstances have been such that the plans could not materialise into anything solid,” he explains.

Ready for new challenges

With an established fan base and now regarded as one of the most popular actors among the youth, Suriya must be feeling pretty comfortable where his career is concerned, but the actor prefers not to rest on his laurels. “There is still a lot to do and plenty to try. I’m quite kicked about this wave of new generation filmmakers who are entering the South industry and I hope I get to do such movies once I’m done with all my current commitments,” he says.

Does Suriya have a dream role? “No, I don’t really have one role that I can describe. Trends keep changing; perceptions keep changing. So there is no one role that can always work for you. The important thing for me is that the audience and the people who worked on the film get their money’s worth, and that I feel satisfied as an actor,” he signs off, the smile still in place.