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Enter the warrior

sudhish kamath
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chatline Pasupathy hopes to break the mould of playing the bad guy with Aravaan, set to hit the screens soon. sudhish kamath catches up with the actor

In a land where people love to show their appreciation when they meet an actor by asking him to say something he's made popular, Pasupathy often finds himself with strange requests. They want him to talk like Pattassu Balu (his character from Tirupaachi ). He was once made to call up a child as Pattassu Balu because the kid wouldn't do his homework. The legend goes that ever since that call, the child promptly finished everything he was asked to.

But that's also the easiest way to annoy this actor who does not want to be associated with just one role or character in an industry that tends to stereotype the bad guys. Especially, when he has essayed far more complex roles in films such as Virumaandi and Veyil . In fact, sometimes directors don't even have a name for the character, he says. They decide the bad guy is Pasupathy or Prakash Raj because the names instantly make up for the character detail.

“I kept getting the same kind of roles, you know. Which is why I have no regrets taking two years off to do Aravaan for Vasantha Balan,” says Pasupathy. He hopes to break the mould again and do a character he is remembered for.

Action drama

Aravaan is a period-based action drama with Adi, Pasupathy and Bharath in a cameo. Vasantha Balan had earlier cast Pasupathy as the lead in Veyil . “This time, he told me it wasn't the lead role, but an important one. I play Komodi, the warrior head of a village in the 18th Century, and since most of us had to be topless for most part of the film, we worked out really hard.”

Pasupathy and the rest of the cast trained at the gym for six months to get into shape. “You will be able to see six-pack in some of the shots,” he laughs. “But given the hectic schedules, we didn't get time to work out once the shoot started.”

“The other reason I couldn't do other films over the last two years was I wanted to sport a unique look for this film. I grew a full beard, had a different hairstyle… I feel happy doing good work. We've all done something different and now the audience has to respond to it positively.”

Recently, he also did an independent English film called The Last Vision . “It was an interesting indie project by twenty-something youngsters from Kerala. It's a film made for festivals and they hope to release by November.”

Tired of carrying aruvaal s and sporting lungi s as the stereotype villain here, the talented actor found a range of interesting roles in the Malayalam film industry. “I have a lead role in this film called Madurai Bus . I play a prisoner out on parole with a job to finish. It's a road film that will be completed by November.”

“The other project I am excited about is SMS Nagar by director Lakshmikanthan who earlier directed me in AL 4777 . We are starting shoot in December. A proper North Madras film, it will probably be the most authentic slum film since En Uyir Thozhan. I play one of the two leads in this film about thugs.”

A trained theatre actor, Pasupathy misses the stage but continues to help out Magic Lantern when he finds the time. “Theatre is time-consuming, at least the way I like to do it. I want six months for rehearsals and workshops. Unfortunately, I don't get that kind of time. I came to the film industry to direct films. I want to do something that creates awareness on the environment. Someday.”

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