CHENNAI: On one side, Arul Dass is basking in rave reviews for his filming prowess in Pathinaru. On the other, he is eagerly awaiting the release of Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai in which he’s playing a cameo. Dass has already acted in Suseenthiran’s Naan Mahan Alla. He has given Dass another opportunity to shine in Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai. Produced by Gautham Menon’s Photon Kathaas, the film has been shot in exotic locales near Theni.
Dass has completed dubbing for Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai. “It feels good to dub for your own part. For the first time, I’ve done a cop’s role and it was thrilling to sport the khakhi,” he says. “From the moment I was told that I’d be enacting a cop’s role in the film, I began studying cops stationed at traffic signals, outside police stations and on patrol.”
A 16-year veteran in the film industry, Dass says, “Cranking the camera and acting in front of it are entirely different and difficult. After working as an assistant with a number of cinematographers, finally I made my debut as cinematographer in A Aa E Ee. The challenging part in that film was to fit several characters into a single frame. And in my second film, Pathinaru, it was to deal with different landscapes. I always like to use natural lights as it makes a difference and gives a good feel on the big screen.”
How did he get introduced to acting? “I must admit that it was director Suseenthiran who gave me the confidence and also the chance in Naan Mahaan Alla, where I played the part of Kutty Nadesan. During the course of the shoot, I had scenes with Karthi, who encouraged me a lot too. That exposure gave me the confidence to face the camera for Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai.”
It looks like he’s having a good time in his acting career, as he already has three films in the pipeline — Kollaikkaran, in which he plays the role of hero’s uncle, Pon Maalai Pozhudhu, where he is heroine’s father and Thanga Meengal by Kattradhu Thamizh fame Ram. “My role model is MR Radha. Who can match his role in Ratha Kanneer? The numerous shades of expressions on his face portrayed in a single role is unparalleled. Among the cinematographers I admire Santosh Sivan whose Roja gave us a fresh look and Balu Mahendra for choice of natural colours.”
Is he prepared to ride two boats at the same time? “Cinematography is my first love and acting is becoming an obsession. But I would like to do both, concentrating on one at a time,” he says.