‘Even those who are not will become Ajith's fans’

Do you feel Ajith’s image has changed after Gautham Menon’s Yennai Arindhaal. Did you make any changes to accommodate this new image?

Not really. He has done sophisticated roles even earlier, so I didn’t have to make any changes to his character in Vedalam. I can argue that I’ve gone in the opposite direction with his character, who is a ‘thara local’. In Veeram he played a villager…but in Vedalam he belongs to North Chennai. His dialogues in that dialect are a highlight.

When you make mass entertainers with stars like Ajith, do you need to be a fan of the actor? Because the film needs to cater to his extensive fan base.

Yes it helps if you’re a fan as you have an idea of how you want to see your star appear on screen. I have become a fan of Ajith. Even if you’re not a fan, you’ll become one once you interact with him.

Personally, I was always a fan of the superstars and have grown up idolising MGR and Rajni. I love the cinema they represent.

But there’s a perception that commercial cinema is a lesser art…

I believe there are two kinds of films—films that you make for yourself and those that you make for everyone. I prefer to make the latter. I want the audience to forget their sorrows. They must leave happy and satisfied. Given a choice I will continue making commercial films all my life.

Vedhalam brings together Ajith and Anirudh. What does Anirudh bring to the table?

Anirudh is a ‘pakka thala veriyan’. Even when I was narrating the script to him, he was listening to it like a crazy fan would. He promised his best and he has delivered.

You made a move from Telugu films to Tamil despite a successful career there. What prompted the shift?

I started off as a cinematographer and then became a director in Telugu. But I feel happiest when I write dialogues in my mother tongue which is Tamil. I guess I’m basically a writer.

When you sit down to write how much do you think about reactions on social media?

See, you cannot satisfy everyone. However great your film is, there will still be a set of people who dislike it, who want to criticise it. As a director all you can do is to make it with a certain amount on conviction. It hurts less when you’re being criticised then.

Do you like your prefix Siruthai? Were you surprised when it stuck?

(Laughs) I don’t know how the name stuck but it has and I don’t want to change it now. Siruthai established me as a good commercial filmmaker and I’m proud of it.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 3:32:39 PM |

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