Actor Siddharth on ‘Takkar’ and how he ‘sticks to his guns’

Siddharth speaks about his upcoming Tamil release ‘Takkar’, being aware of the evolving film consumer and the one rule he always follows in film production

Updated - June 09, 2023 03:17 pm IST

Published - June 06, 2023 05:02 pm IST

Siddharth

Siddharth | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

You notice a certain elation when actor-producer Siddharth discusses his next 18 months of work. The actor has six films in the line-up — Takkar and another untitled project with director Karthik G Krish, Shankar’s Indian 2, co-starring Kamal Haasan, his own production Chiththa, directed by SU Arun Kumar, and producer Sashikanth’s directorial debut Test, co-starring Madhavan and Nayanthara. “This is a big boost to my confidence and a reminder of why I still do what I do,” says Siddharth.

Takkar, releasing this week, is coming four years after it began production. Carrying a story through a tight-knit production process till the release can be tiring. “This profession is not for the faint-hearted. You never know what’s going to happen and few things are in your control. But at the end of the day, when it all comes together, then it’s all worth it.”

Siddharth seems confident about Takkar, his first in an all-out actioner. “It’s a genre the audiences have not seen me in.” The action, put together with an unpredictable love story, is what drew him to Karthik’s script.

His character, Gunashekar aka Guns, is a young man pushed to the extreme in pursuit of money. “Where and how he exhibits his frustration makes him an action hero.” From the trailer, if you had assumed the film to operate in a grey space, you were right. “Guns wants money, but he wants to do it ethically. He’s not a born criminal but someone who is pushed to do something.”

Siddharth as Gunashekar from ‘Takkar’

Siddharth as Gunashekar from ‘Takkar’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Character writing seems to have always been of importance to the actor. “I’m happy if the audiences see my film and believe that such a person exists in their world,” he says. Over the course of his career, Siddharth has managed to pull off an interesting assortment of roles. “When someone sees a balance sheet at the end of my career, I would like them to say that I tried to be a believable alter-ego in a script.”

The characters he plays tend to linger somewhere in his subconscious even after the take, he says. “I cannot change the fact that while playing the character, no matter how different, it is still me breathing and living as Siddharth.” It’s those bits and pieces of the character — inherently not his but gained during the process — that seem to stay back. “I may not be aware of them but at times people do point that out in my posture, or expressions, or the phrases I use.”

The pandemic and OTT boom have accelerated a lot of changes in cinema. While Siddharth has stated that what he looks for in a script as an actor has not changed much, as a producer, along with his team at Etaki Entertainment, he likes to stay informed. “Film production is the most unpredictable business in the world now. We’re not always trying to please everyone; we find a target group and make sure the film reaches them,” he says.

Stating that a film audience in 2023 is never short of content to consume, he adds, “They are giving their time and money at the cost of not watching something else. Because we are calculating to please them, we will succeed in most cases, but if and when we miss, we need to look into it and ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

As a producer, Siddharth staunchly believes in one hard-and-fast rule: Stick to your guns. “The reason I start making a film, no matter what happens during the making, stays the same. Every Friday, a new film comes out, a new trend is set, and a new star is born. If you keep looking at that and alter your content, it’ll become a hotch-potch,” he says.

As an actor who starred in umpteen romance dramas, Siddharth seems the right person to answer why we have been getting few and far love stories these days. “People are always excited about love stories,” he states. “When you do an action film, which is about suspending disbelief, people remember the hero; and when you do a love story, people will remember the character.”

He adds, “The reason I stopped making them is because I had made the most iconic films of that genre in my generation and every time I go back to that, people are going to compare. To come out on top of that comparison is not easy.”

Siddharth

Siddharth | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Meanwhile, step-out lines for Aval 2 and Aval 3, sequels of his 2017 horror film, praised for its sound design, are all done. But Siddharth asks you to be patient. “As horror movie aficionados, we are proud of pulling off an A-certificate horror film, something we were advised against. But I don’t believe that a sequel-to-monetise is reason enough to jump into it.”

Fans of his 2016 comedy-drama Jil Jung Juk, however, need not wait longer for its streaming debut. “The film will go for a prominent streaming deal in the next 18 months and we will announce an update. Some films become bigger and better as we grow older, and Jil Jung Juk is one such film.”

Meanwhile, two things from Siddharth’s bucket list are coming to fruition. First is Shankar’s Indian 2. “I have been wanting to work with my guru Kamal Haasan sir, who has always inspired me to be a better actor. I also got the opportunity to work with the gentleman who launched me 20 years ago.”

Making a film without any compromises is the second, and he says Chiththa will be just that. “It’s a great time to work with youngsters like Arunkumar; Etaki Entertainment is in this to give opportunities to people like us who didn’t know anyone in the business but are full of ideas, like Deeraj Vaidy or Milind Rau or the technicians they brought in. So, a lot of exciting things are coming up.”

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