Hrishikesh will play Dhanush’s brother in his upcoming Velai Illa Pattathari

A phone call can change your life, they say. Sometimes, just an SMS can. Ask Hrishikesh, who makes his debut in the upcoming Tamil film Velai Illa Pattathari (VIP), and he’ll tell you how.

It was a few years ago when the youngster, fresh from college, joined director Jayendra to assist him on a few ad films. After a year-and-a-half, he received the message that would, eventually, get his life on track to where he wanted to go.

“Come tomorrow for a look test,” said the message. It was from Dhanush’s office.

“At that time, I didn’t know what it was for. I’d mentioned to Dhanush long ago that I wanted to become an actor. He remembered that when the VIP team was scouting for a young actor to play his brother,” he says.

Hrishikesh was selected, and asked to report to the set the very next day. “It was great to act with two national award winners (Dhanush and Saranya Ponvannan maam) and Samuthirakani sir. All of them are one-take artists. I had to ensure that I do not goof-up lest they have to repeat the shot again.”

So, what is his role in the film like? “I’m not allowed to say much about it at this point but it has an important part in the script,” is all he’s willing to say.

Cinema is in Hrishikesh’s genes, for his great-grandfather is K. Subramanyam, considered a pioneer in Tamil cinema. “His work has been a big inspiration. His son, my grandfather (S.V. Ramanan) made a lot of films as well,” he recalls, “I used to always be in his studio and watch films.”

An average student in school (“I’ll get 70 per cent somehow”), he was always sure he wanted to be an actor. “Everything connected with cinema excited me,” says Hrishikesh, who is ‘Kolaveri’ composer Anirudh’s cousin, adding, “I’ve always been a FDFS (first-day first-show) person. I watch all genres of films.”

In college, Hrishikesh pursued visual communication and, thanks to that, was able to devote a lot of time to films. “We did quite a few short films, something that I still do. I directed and starred in a psycho-thriller subject titled Shadows. It was about a person with multiple split personality disorder. I also did another movie titled Post Hangover.”

Currently, with VIP set to release soon, all eyes are on him. “I’m grateful to Dhanush and Velraj sir for having given me such a big opportunity,” says Hrishikesh, who is a die-hard fan of Rajinikanth and Mohanlal.