Ilaya thalapathy Vijay is easily among the quietest actors you are likely to encounter in Kollywood. His tenor and tone, that can suggest anything from utmost modesty to sheer disinterest, has nothing to reflect the effervescent onscreen image he commands.
Responding patiently to queries from fans across the country over a chat session, as part of an initiative by both Sify and Vijay fans, Vijay hopes his Villu has hit its target. When fans press for varied roles from him, or when they suggest (!) directors to work with him during the freewheeling chat, Vijay kindly ensures that he will take this point home.
But to us, he has a confession to make. ''I can never imagine myself in a complete offbeat role at all,'' he begins, in what would qualify for a whisper. ''I don’t think I'd like to see myself in such a role ever. When I'm not comfortable doing it, my fans won't be comfortable seeing it. I won't do it. But yes, variations in the presentation can be made,'' he then explains.
Villu, the actor's latest, has the commercial package Vijay has been consistent in offering fans. And that, he believes, should remain so in the years to come. ''I reiterate that I'd like to do films like this because the formula they've got is evergreen. It's not my individual creation. The commercial formula is tested and tried in the industry and is a conglomeration of many successful ideas,'' he explains.
Villu extended this dictum of using a tested formula tad too literally by having Vijay openly imitate MGR in a couple of scenes (the screen, in fact, was divided horizontally, with one showing MGR wooing Saroja Devi in 'Anbe Vaa' and the other having Vijay woo Nayan the same way). In fact, the movie surprisingly opens with the MGR hit 'Acham Yenbadhu' that plays along the title cards.
The ilaya thalapathy reveals that those were no deliberate attempts to follow MGR. ''These incidents were funny, and lent themselves to my script very well. My next film is also named after an MGR hit, Vettaikaaran but these are just coincidences. The title suits my film's story quite well. It's not a remake,'' he states. Being titled the ilaya thalapathy and looked upon as the superstar in waiting,
Vijay agrees that he is inspired by Rajinikanth. ''If I were asked to remake a movie of his, I'd choose between 'Nallavanukku Nallavan' and 'Annamalai','' he reveals.
Following Villu, which he thinks had the perfect ingredients to be a landmark movie like his 50th, Vijay will begin acting for Vettaikaaran. ''We're still discussing the project and 'Vettaikaaran' goes on floors in March. The movie will be a year end release,'' he says.
When asked if directors Darani, Raja or Siddique are involved in his 50th film, the ilaya thalapathy chose to remain silent.