Ashok Selvan, who is awaiting the release of Kootathil Oruthan, is also simultaneously shooting for Nenjamellam Kadhal and an untitled project with Ananda Krishnan of Metro fame. It may be a lot of work but he’s quite pumped. “I am excited about Kootathil Oruthan because I could relate to my character. I was an introvert like Aravind (his character in the film) and had to shed my inhibitions to become who I am today,” he says.
Ashok was a loner, growing up. “Back then, my sister was the star of the family, as she was an extrovert. I hated that,” he smiles. The story (of Kootathil...) is about ‘middle-benchers’ in college, he says. “Everyone talks about the class toppers and the backbenchers, but nobody talks about the life of a mediocre person. I play a character, who doesn’t want to be ‘seen’, and yet, wants to impress the heroine.
He has to overcome certain mind-blocks to achieve his dreams. It’s a feel-good film with a message,” he says. “One of the highlights of the film is that director TJ Gnanavel (a former journalist) has penned the story in such a way that it never gets preachy. He was conscious that the film doesn’t get melodramatic.”
The makers reportedly tried to do research about the middle-benchers to no avail. “My director used to say that nobody is interested in doing a film about them because we think their life is boring. We wanted to change this idea,” he adds.
Ashok is well aware of his positives. “I am comfortable doing boy-next-door roles as I think I easily fit into such roles. I would also like to work in action and masala films,” he tells us.
Ask him about his nerdy looks in the film, and he laughs. “My character wears a rudraksha, inspired by the look of our composer, Nivas K Prasanna. He wears it all the time! Likewise, naan potrukkra seruppu, shirts ellame en crew-lerndhu parthadhu! ”
Ashok has completed shooting the dialogue portions for his upcoming Nenjamellam Kaadhal, in which he’s paired opposite Avantika Mishra. “I play an assistant director in this rom-com. Of late, there’s an overdose of comedy in romantic films, but this film will have an equal dose of comedy and love. It will be on the lines of Priyadarshan sir’s old sit-coms.”
The actor also has high hopes for Ananda Krishnan’s project in which he plays a customs officer. “The first schedule has come out really well. I am attempting action for the first time. I also have five different looks in this crime-thriller. It’s going to be as gripping as Metro (the director’s previous film),” he says. “We shot a sequence in Puducherry that demanded that I swim in the sea.
Though I learned swimming in a well at my native place, I was nervous when I was asked to jump into the sea. Somehow, I pulled it off.” His catalogue of upcoming films is complete by Sila Samayangalil, which has already come out at film festivals. “It has got tremendous response there. Not even in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be a part of Priyan sir’s film. I can’t wait for the theatrical release,” he says.