After 33 productive years on the silver screen, actor Sathyaraj finally makes the transition to the small screen with Vijay TV's “Home Sweet Home”.

The game show will see two teams comprising three family members each competing every week for the grand prize — a house worth Rs. 20 lakh.

“For six months now, I've been getting feelers for hosting game shows. This one was the most interesting. Shelter is the most primitive instinct and psychological need of man. Everyone dreams of owning a home, and I'm thrilled to be helping people realise that dream,” says the actor, known for his instant connect with audiences.

That connect was what he missed, of late. “Films are great, but with increasing popularity, you lead an insulated life. You don't go shopping for vegetables, even your travel tickets are booked by someone else… This show has reintroduced me to regular people,” he says.

It helps, the veteran actor says, that there's an enthusiastic team behind the show. “It's been more than two decades since ‘thagadu thagadu' {one of his popular on-screen phrases}, but during the show, the team reminds me of what I once was. It's enjoyable.”

Ask him how the transition to telly has been, and Sathyaraj says: “Very interesting. And, in a way, this is more challenging than films. There, I do what others script. Here, I react and respond to the emotions and moods of the participants. They are exhilarated one minute, crushed the next. Emotions that can never be translated onto screen flit across their faces.”

And, during shooting, he's had pretty interesting experiences — for one, talking to people who bear no malice or are not artificial in their approach. “A 65-year-old lady even wrote a poem in my honour. I was touched,” he says.

Coming up

The actor has a clutch of interesting projects in hand — S.A. Chandrasekhar's “Sattapadi Kutram”, “Ayiram Vilakku” with Shanthanoo Bhagyaraj, Selvaa's “Muriyadi”, G. Siva's “Kulasekaranum Koolipadayum”, and, of course, Shankar's “Nanban”, where he reprises the role of ‘Virus', essayed by Boman Irani in the original “3 Idiots”.

“‘Sattapadi' sees me in a revolutionary role… somewhat like Che Guevara. It offers a solution too. As for ‘Nanban', the get-up and performance are very different from the original. Shankar told me that the performance should not have any shades of Sathyaraj or Boman Irani,” laughs the actor who's happy with the roles of substance coming his way.

So, will any of them have his trademark nakkal? “Sadly, no. For that, you'll have to catch me on television,” he smiles.

(Home Sweet Home, which launches on March 4, will air every Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.)