I have directed five films and all the producers were happy with me
Your first film Thirupachi was a super duper hit. But why couldn’t you repeat the success in your subsequent films?
So far I have done five films. While Thirupachi ran for 200 days, Sivakasi ran for 175 days. My other films were also hits, but nowadays the box-office collection is given more importance than the run a film enjoys. Hence, I should say, with each film I’m climbing up the ladder, and not descending.
What is the friction between you and actor Vijay?
There is nothing like that between us. He is one of my good friends. One cannot expect a popular hero to work with one director alone.
How do you manage to get all the top stars to work for you?
It is only success that matters in the film industry. If I am directing a film with a hero, I become his fan first. So I put together a formula to make the film a box-office hit. This leads to the hero’s success and in turn producers and distributors get their money back and the fans are immensely pleased.
Your lyrics are not great, but you continue to write them…
In Tiruppachi and Sivakasi, all the songs (‘Kumbida Pona Deivam’, ‘Vadumanga’, ‘Vada Vada’,) were hits. Not only these, the songs in my other films did well too. Besides, those I have written for others such as ‘Ammadi Athadi’ in Vallavan became a hit with the masses.
You are doing formula films. Don’t you think of winning awards?
I entered the industry with a different intention. But to survive I had to switch to mainstream cinema. Once I gain a firm foothold in the industry, I may come up with a non-commercial film.
Can you say you are a safe bet for producers?
I have done five films and all the producers were happy with me. I am now doing a film with Kavithalaya. We have just started the first schedule. The producers have asked me to do another film with them. This is what all of them do after they work with me.
S. R. ASHOK KUMAR