Cinema

Method actor Pasupathi

Think of Pasupathi, and you imagine a really serious actor who rarely smiles. His more popular roles have lent him that kind of personality. Be it the traumatised young man of Veyyil, the burdened householder of Kuselan or the angry villain of Virumaandi, he made a mark for himself in searing roles rooted in reality.

But a real-life conversation with the actor, who is a Koothu-p-Pattarai product, is peppered with laughs — at the world and at himself.

Pasupathi, known for his emotive ability and comic timing, wears modesty like a crown, and only works in films that appeal to his heart. The length of a role has never mattered. That is why he agreed to reprise the role made famous by Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Kahaani in Nee Enge En Anbae, and took up a small role in last year’s sleeper hit Idharkuthaane Aasaipattai Balakumara. “However, that small role grew and became a talking point,” he smiles.

Before taking on Nee Enge, he watched the original and worked with director Shekhar Kammula on his look and the character’s layers. “We did away with the arrogant tinge; in our film, it did not seem necessary; Shekhar’s interpretation was very different,” he says.

Since the actor does not take up too much work at a time, one presumes he must ruminate over every decision. “That’s not true. I just choose based on what comes to me,” he says. But, yes, he admits to seeking out films that are steeped in realism, and characters that break stereotypes. Remember his jovial blind RJ act in Raaman Thediya Seethai?

Despite his range of histrionics, does Pasupathi ever feel the industry has not given him his due? “I don’t think much. I’m happy doing my role and moving on.”

He’s also done a couple of films in Malayalam, an industry that knows a good actor when it sees one. He’s awaiting the release of Dancing Death, a film that speaks about abortion. “I loved the issue-based approach in the film,” he says.

But, even after all these years, Pasupathi admits he shines when there’s a good director on board. “The director is the eye of the film. It’s his/her vision that you finally see. And so, it’s important for actors to justify the director’s belief.” He’s also very impressed with the new crop of young directors who think out-of-the-box and come up with usual subjects. “Producers need to encourage them,” he says.

Pasupathi has starred in many films that tanked, but he has always been appreciated. The actor says he refuses to let that praise get to him, because it comes in the way of perfection. “One has to keep improving. You have to explore, become a master someday. If you allow yourself to think that you’ve done a great job, you will stagnate.”

Coming up next

This year, Pasupathi will be seen in the lyrical Aappavin Meesai, directed by Rohini, where he plays a therukooththu artiste. “It’s about what happens to a child after his father’s death. I wanted to be a part of Rohini’s film. We shot using hidden cameras in real-time locations, including Kolkata. Then, there’s Mosakutty, where he essays a positive role, and Sakuthalaavin Kaadhalan. A film close to his heart is Yagavarayinum Naa Kaakka, directed by actor Aadhi’s brother Sathya Prabhas Pinisetty. “They are like family,” he says. Pasupathi is also excited about Anjala, directed by Thangam Saravanan. He has also signed up for Vetrimaran’s film with Dhanush and Vijay Milton’s film with Vikram.


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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 8:23:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/method-actor-pasupathi/article6020587.ece

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