For Nandaa, donning a cop role for his latest upcoming release Vellore Mavattam, was a different experience. “I play the role of an earnest cop, Muthukumar IPS, who, after undergoing tough training, eventually faces pressure from higher ups in society like politicians and business tycoons,” reveals Nandaa.
When he was approached by director RNR Manohar and Aghoram for this role, Nandaa was busy shooting for Anandhapurathu Veedu. After finishing that film, he took a break for three months to undergo a crash-course in police training. “I took rigorous training at the Police Academy in Hyderabad for about 35 days. This helped me understand what goes into the making of a police officer and how hard it is. Also, the session has not only helped me get into the skin of the character, but also understand the body type required to play the role of a cop,” he explains.
Like we all know, stunts are a quintessential part of any cop story. But in this film, Nandaa doesn’t bore us by hitting 50 people at one go. He is a realistic cop and shows no exaggerated stunts. “Believe me, there are only two fights in the film. Stunts have been choreographed by Dilip Subbarayan. In one fight, I get hit and in another, I chase the villain and fight. There are no ropes, no flying, no dupes; only realistic fights,” he says.
Talking about cops, Tamil cinema and khaki share a strong bonding. We have had mass heroes like Suriya, Vikram, Karthi and Vijay donning the khaki and smashing villains. So, is Muthukumar IPS joining the league? “I don’t have a mass image. Usually cop stories are scripted exclusively for mass heroes. In fact ,Vellore Mavattam is a commercial entertainer, but you won’t find Muthukumar speaking punch dialogues or lifting his collar and smoking beedi anywhere in the film,” he smiles.
According to Nandaa, a cop role is a thrilling experience for any actor. But he also feels an actor should not play the role of a cop more than four or five times. “The power of the cop role will lose its charm if an actor plays it more than four times,” he says. “I was offered Mankatha sometime ago by Venkat Prabhu. But I was busy completing my shoot for Vellore Mavattam and had committed to Vanthaan Vendraan. I do regret for not taking up that offer but I did not want to play the role of a cop again.”
Nandaa’s next film, Vanthaan Vendraan (directed by R Kannan), has him in a new avatar. “I play a thorough stylish urban boy with a little negative shade.” Although Nandaa has been seen sporting a moustache and an occasional stubble in his films so far, he will be seen in a clean-shaven look in Sharadha Ramanathan’s Thirupangal, for which National Award winning cinematographer Madhu Ambat will crank the camera. “It is an emotional thriller, where I play a character called Aaditya. Forty per cent of the film is complete. I wanted to try something different, which is why I chose to sport a clean-shaven look,” he says.