Prasanna seems to have really relished playing villain in both of last week’s releases, Thiruttu Payale 2, and Jawaan (Telugu). Both films have opened to decent reviews and the actor is ecstatic. “I am pleased and hope to land similar projects in both industries,” he says.
He found the complexity of his character in Thiruttu Payale 2 to be interesting. “Every man is a mixture of good and bad. Few people, however, have something extra called evil. The conflict in this film is between bad and evil,” he says. “A lot of people have told me that my character angered them. That’s the success of a villain. Balakrishnan will be a character people will remember for a long time and it has come at a great time in my career.”
There was a lot of buzz about the film being Prasanna’s 25th film, and it’s coincided with a collaboration with director Susi Ganeshan, who introduced him to Tamil cinema with Five Star. “Talk about beautiful coincidences! It’s a pleasure to work again with Susi sir. He has an amazing command over the craft. He has always been a director who spends a lot of time in creating a character. His involvement goes beyond direction; he also designs the promotional material of the film,” he says.
Susi Ganeshan, in an interview with us, revealed that he chose Prasanna after seeing a photo of the actor in top physical shape. “I went through a physical transformation, but not for any particular film,” the actor says. “But I guess it turned out to be useful for this film. My introduction scene has really surprised audiences. We wanted an air of mystery around my character; that’s why we took great care not to give away too much in the promotions.”
So, what caused him to work towards achieving six-pack abs? “My roles were getting repetitive. Instead of expecting directors to approach me with a unique role, I thought I should present myself differently,” he says. “I wanted people to go, ‘Idhu Prasanna va!”. But I don’t think actors need to look ripped. Occasionally, a character may demand that.”
Prasanna, who was part of multi-starrers like Nibunan and Thupparivalan, says he’s done playing supporting characters. “Both directors are my close friends and so, I accepted the roles. But I wasn’t really excited, and can’t see myself doing those roles anymore.” However, he says he likes playing a villain. “There’s a lot of freedom with playing villain. But as far as our industry is concerned, I think it’s most beneficial to play hero,” he smiles.
The tag of the ‘chocolate boy’ has forever haunted him. “After Thiruttu Payale 2, I hope people will forget about that (laughs). The plan was to make play roles like in TP2, and get people to see me in a different light,” he says.
Prasanna once assured that he’d never do a film featuring him and his wife, Sneha. Any change in plans? He laughs. “No, I still maintain that,” says the actor, who’s next doing a cop film. “I’ll be playing an IPS officer in a film to be directed by Kutti Revathi. We’ll commence shooting from January.” For the moment, he’s revelling in the joy of completing the 25-film landmark with Thiruttu Payale 2. “It has been a learning curve. I’ve made my share of mistakes and learned from them,” he says. “I promise that my next 25 films will be better than my first 25. I’m a fighter and I think I’ve fought well till now.”
Film: Azhagiya Theeye and Kanda Naal Mudhal
Director: Susi Ganeshan
Heroine: Sneha, Laila
Song: Vizhigalil Aruginil Vaanam (Azhagiya Theeye), Naan Pogiren Mele Mele Naanayam), Mella Sirithai (Kalyana Samayal Saadham), and the Kanda Naal Mudhal album