A Sishya speaks: An Interview with Director and Actor Sasikumar

Published: 10th January 2016 04:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th January 2016 04:40 PM   |  A+A-

Director and actor Sasikumar, who has played the lead along with Varalakshmi in director  Bala’s upcoming film, Thaarai Thappattai, opens up on a number of issues ranging from his role in the film to what the film is all about...

On the experience of working under Bala as an actor...

I worked as an assistant director to Bala anna in Sethu. I feel very happy to have worked as an actor with him in this film. I don’t have enough words to express my joy. When I worked with him in Sethu, I didn’t go to him as an assistant director. I went there as a disciple. In the same manner, here too, I didn’t stand before him as an actor but as a disciple would in front of his guru.

On his character in the film...

I play Sannasi, a person who runs this Thaarai Thappattai troupe. My character is one that can play all the musical instruments, including the nadeswaram and the thavil. Varalakshmi plays Sooravali, an artiste in this troupe. The story is set in Tanjore. We stayed in a colony there and shot the film.

On training for the character...

Bala sir had said I should learn dance and music for this role. So, I learnt dance for two months. Simultaneously, in the mornings, I would learn the Nadeswaram, the Thavil, the Thappu and other musical instruments. I only learnt the basics. Common artistes from Tanjore were the ones who taught me this.

On what the film is all about...

Bala sir has stressed on Karagattam being a dance of our society. We have refused to accord it its place of importance. This story will showcase the joy, sadness, anger, love and problems of those practising this art. I already had a lot of respect for such artistes. After working on this film, that respect has grown by leaps and bounds.

I had to dance barefoot for this film and it was then that I understood the amount of pain it involved. I had to dance for just a few minutes but these people dance the entire night. Apart from the pain that they bear, they face several problems including harrassment. I now feel like folding my hands in respect when I see them.

On the reason for the delay in releasing the film...

I am responsible for it. I made a bad judgement call while shooting a sequence. I got carried away by the music and ran where I had to walk. As a result, I lost my balance and fell. While landing, I put out my hand to soften the fall but it resulted in an injury, which in turn caused the delay in completing the film and releasing it.

There is this general perception that director Bala’s films appeal more to men than women.Will this film continue to do the same?

I believe that perception will change with this film. As far as I know, he has handled issues pertaining to women in this film. I will not disclose details about it. But this film will definitely appeal to women as much as it does to men.

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