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Sundar C. is on a roll

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Can I have THAT ROLE: Actor and director Sundar C.
Can I have THAT ROLE: Actor and director Sundar C.

G. Prasad

Thalainagaram and Veerappu earned him accolades

TIRUCHI: Sundar C. is getting things right. With roles as ‘Right’ in his debut film Thalainagaram and Pulipandi in his very next Veerappu, earning him accolades, Sundar is on a roll.

His assistants, Suraaj (Thalainagaram) and Badri (Veerappu), wielded the megaphone for these films and Sundar admits that it was a conscious decision.

Safe approach

“I knew that donning the mantle of a hero was a big move and wanted to make an instant impact. And with my assistants as directors, I could suggest some minor alterations in the script unhesitatingly. A safe approach it was,” he says.

Though ‘Thalai…’ did well beyond expectations, Sundar admits that he decided to settle for lead roles only after Veerappu turned out to be a hit with the masses.

“‘Thalai…’ was action-packed and a racy entertainer. Though my performance won rave reviews, I still was not sure of whether I reached the people. But in ‘Veerappu,’ I got a strong role and there was more scope for performance, be it action or sentiment. Once the film clicked, I considered it was proof enough of my hero image taking off.”

As a director, Sundar gave lot of importance to humour in his movies. Films like Ullathai Alliatha, Unakaga Ellam Unakaga and Winner were laugh riots. But as a hero, he has donned only serious roles.

“However, comedy tracks in ‘Thalai…’ and Veerappu went down very well with the audience though my characters were heavy leaving little chance for humour. There is no point getting involved in the track just for the sake of it,” he says.

Action hero image

Does he like to build an action-hero image?

“To some extent, yes. Action heroes have won the heart of the fans faster than others. Humour was my forte in directorial ventures. But as a hero I don’t think it will work out. Now that people have accepted me doing action roles, I am keen on continuing it.”

Comic roles

Nevertheless, both as a director and an actor, Sundar has enjoyed working with comedy satraps Vivek and Vadivelu. “Making people laugh is not an easy job. The two have mastered the art with indigenous styles.”

Sundar is also a sought after hero at the moment what with offers flooding in. He plays a cop in ‘Thee’ and an angry young man in Magamagam (earlier Porikki). “After working with my assistants for my earlier films, now I have got a strong footing to work with other directors. Sakthi Chidambaram is directing Magamagam, while Kicha is wielding the baton for Thee. It’s a different experience working with seasoned directors like Sakthi. They make my job simple.”

Sundar, who has directed more than 25 films, including the Rajinikanth-starrer Arunachalam and Kamal-starrer Anbe Sivam, candidly says that he savours more being an actor.

Risky

“All through my career, success or failure never affected me. But yet, a director’s career is very risky. The fate hinges on the earlier film’s performance and if it had fared badly at the box-office, redeeming the status becomes a Herculean task,” he says.

“But life as an actor is comparatively easier. You can work in more than one film at a time and if a movie fails, there is always a chance of the other turning out to be a hit,” he adds.

How is it competing with the younger heroes?

“To be frank there is no question of competition in the present day scenario. Everyone has got their own set of fans and they do movies to please them. Also the industry needs more talented heroes at the moment.”

Does Sundar plan to direct films again? “As an actor I am in a holiday mood. So, please don’t disturb the momentum,” he says with a chuckle.

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