‘Offbeat’ actor decides to produce ‘Orange Mittai’to be directed by Biju Vishwanath

Buoyant with the success of ‘Pannaiyarum Padminiyum,’ Vijay Sethupathi is all set to try his hand at production with ‘Orange Mittai’. Shooting is scheduled to start in March, the actor told The Hindu in a telephone interview. This is not really his first tryst with production. He had earlier attempted to produce a different script and had even shot for ten days. But unhappy with the rushes, he decided to scrap his maiden venture. Now he is trying his luck second time over. “I have had the ‘Orange Mittai’ script with me for some time now but no producer was willing to back it. So now I have decided to produce it myself,” the actor, once an outsider and now a firm box office draw, said. The film is set to be directed by award-winning international director Biju Vishwanath. Vijay Sethupathi is happy with the offbeat formula he has discovered. “I see most films are invariably recycling and telling the same stories over and over again. I am just choosing stories that come across as new to me. I am still learning cinema.” The actor, currently, is also part of UTV’s ‘Poramboke’ directed by S.P. Janarthanan, in which he will be sharing the screen with actors Arya and Shaam.

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Box-office clash coming up

Two formidable tie-ups have been announced by the Tamil box office’s top-draw stars. How is this for a box-office clash: on one side, actor Vijay, director A.R. Murugadoss and music director Anirudh; and on the other side actor Ajith, director Gautham Menon and music director A.R. Rahman? Samantha will pair Vijay in the A.R. Murugadoss project, which has set expectations soaring, especially after the same combination worked wonders with ‘Thuppakki’. The unit was seen shooting at the airport recently. Gautham Vasudev Menon is expected to start shooting his Ajith Kumar-starrer in March.

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TV stars shine

Tamil television talk-show and reality-show hosts are basking in the glory that hitherto only film stars enjoyed. From Sivakarthikeyan, Gopinath, MaKaPa Anand to Jagan, Deepak, Sanjeev, Nirmala Periyasamy and Bhavana, the list of TV stars who are now household names is growing constantly. Divyadharshini Neelakandan (nicknamed ‘DD’) of Vijay TV says she keeps hearing about youngsters aspiring to become TV anchors. “I am glad when mothers say they want their daughters to become anchors after watching my shows. But, I don’t agree when people put me on a par with heroines as their profession is completely different, and demanding,” she said. New TV host and actor-director Lakshmy Ramakrishnan feels the small screen connects her better with her audience. “I didn’t have an idea about the extent of television popularity. When I go out in public now, people treat me like a part of their family. My talk show ( Solvadhellam Unmai on Zee Tamil) is team work. Yet, many see me as the face of the show and share their views and problems with me. Of course, much responsibility comes with hosting television shows. You cannot demand retakes in talk shows packed with emotions as in films,” she said.

(Reporting by

Karthik Subramanian, T.A. Narasimhan

and K. Lakshmi)

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