He talks non-stop on the radio. In his recent film outing, his character was much the same — chatter, chatter, chatter. It stands to reason that he’d be comparatively quieter in real life because, who has the stamina to talk so much all the time? Apparently, Big FM’s RJ Balaji does.
“You think I talk too much? You should meet my mother!” he chortles. “If she were here in this room, she’d be holding fort with some 20 people and she’d be making every single one of them laugh.” He doesn’t stop there. “Everyone at home talks this much. In fact, if we talk less, then we think something is wrong with the person,” he laughs.
Since his ability to keep talking is his USP, director Sundar C gave him full freedom to say whatever came to his mind in Theeya Vela Seiyanum Kumaru, in addition to his dialogue. The end result, as one saw, was classic Balaji. “I thought I did a really bad job of it when I first saw myself onscreen. I even told Sundar sir. But then we went to the theatre and there were all these people laughing,” he says.
The radio jockey has signed up for debut director Savarana Rajan’s Vadacurry with Jai and Swathi for his next film. In Vadacurry too, he will be shooting his mouth off wherever he can. But what after Vadacurry? “I’m doing a very special role in a very special person’s film,” he adds, refusing to give us any more details. Not Sibiraj’s Naayigal Jaakirathai? “No! I am not acting in that film,” he hurries to clarify. “I have no idea why everyone keeps asking me that. It’s definitely not me!”
The undisputed king of non-stop nonsense, Balaji might have taken his first steps into filmdom, but his feet seem to be firmly rooted in radio. After his stint with hosting a season of Ungalil Yaar Adutha Prabhu Deva on Vijay TV, he now knows RJ-ing is what comes naturally to him. “I started out RJ-ing and I’ll probably stick with it for the rest of my life,” admits Balaji. “I don’t want to do something just for the sake of it for a short span of time and disappear. I want my work to speak,” he adds, turning serious. “That said, I always believe an RJ should be able to swap roles. According to this jock, an RJ needs to do a lot more than holding one’s attention on air in order to sustain himself in the field.
True to his statement, Balaji is now turning to teaching with his RJ Balaji Skool of Radio Studies. “I had conducted workshops and designed radio courses for others. But I realised I wanted to do it myself.” With a variety of courses ranging from two-day workshops to an eight-weekend certificate course, Balaji says the school has a gamut of radio-related courses ranging from sound-engineering to RJ-ing. Started in August, Balaji clarifies he’s not out to offer them jobs. “It is a course for whoever is interested in radio,” he says.
So is he planning to be a jack of all trades? “I don’t know. But whatever I do, whatever I put out, it should be liked by people. Be it RJ-ing or films. That’s all,” he says with uncharacteristic simplicity.