Vijay Yesudas, who played the lead in Padaiveeran, which got released recently, wants to “judiciously balance music and films”. After Maari, though Vijay has been listening to a lot of scripts, not too many scripts have quite impressed him. “Maari happened because of Dhanush. It’s not often that I get a chance to work with a versatile actor like him. And no, before you ask, I am not a part of Maari 2,” he smiles.
The playback singer isn’t in a hurry to sign back-to-back films. “Sure, I enjoy being in front of the camera, but I want to give my best to both acting and my music career. Padaiveeran appealed to me because of its strong content. The story is about this guy in the village, and his favourite people. I enjoyed being a part of the process because it was so natural and organic.”
Dhana (director of Padaiveeran) and Vijay Yesudas know each other since he had recorded a song for Mani Ratnam’s Kadal. “When Dhana wanted to meet me after that, I thought it was for a song recording session. But he ended up surprising me with a story narration. He wasn’t looking for a star. He wanted someone, who’ll fit into the character,” he says.
Acting, he says, comes naturally to him. “Having done a cameo as a singer in a Malayalam film (Avan), I just wanted to try it more. Maari was a good platform. Eventually, Padaiveeran came along. I never planned these things.”
How was the experience of acting alongside filmmaker Bharathiraaja? “I think he was initially doubtful if I could pull off the role of a village guy. As soon as the dubbing got over, he was kind enough to say I had performed well. But I was confident of the film, and knew it would be getting positive reviews overall.”
What did his dad (KJ Yesudas) say after seeing the film? “Dad is orthodox. He still questions me when I come home late. When he figured I wanted to act, he didn’t like it. But later, he got convinced that I’m good at it. His dad (my grandfather) was a stage artiste. So, I think it’s all in the genes.”
Having now starred in a film as the lead, will he consider doing negative roles?
“I did Maari because Dhanush and I are good friends. I am game for any challenging role that comes my way. A convincing script is important.”
Any director he wants to team up with? Pat comes the answer: “Mani Ratnam!”