If my films didn’t do well, I wouldn’t be getting work: Jiiva

Jiiva, who kickstarted 2018 — his busiest year yet — with Kalakalappu 2 says it’s the most hectic film he has done in his 15-year-old career.

Published: 13th February 2018 02:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th February 2018 02:33 PM   |  A+A-

Kollywood actor Jiiva

Express News Service

Jiiva, who kickstarted 2018 — his busiest year yet — with Kalakalappu 2 says it’s the most hectic film he has done in his 15-year-old career. “One moment I’d be in a song, the next I’d be in a chase, and someone would urge me to change costumes for another shot. Multiple camera shots kelvi patturuken, multiple shooting ippo thaan experience pannen.” He isn’t complaining though, and says directors should learn from Sundar C. “Not all directors have a well-planned schedule.”

The comedy, which also stars Catherine Tresa, Nikki Galrani and Jai, was shot extensively in Kasi, Pune, Hyderabad and Karaikkudi. “We had a whale of a time,” says Jiiva who plays a mansion owner in the film. “The making was as fun as the film.” He is paired with Catherine for the first time in this film. He says, “She has worked in our banner before. We couldn’t really pull pranks on her because she can’t understand Tamil.”

Jiiva’s Kee was also supposed to be released alongside Kalakalappu 2 and he’s glad it didn’t happen. “Though I would’ve been proud that two of my films were releasing simultaneously, it wouldn’t have been good for the films.” Speaking about the science fiction film, which is said to be on the lines of the hit series, Black Mirror, Jiiva says, “The film has come out really well. Director Kalees is a visionary. Hope the producer council issues get sorted soon, so the film’s release goes smoothly.”

The actor is currently busy with Gorilla, a film that will feature a trained chimpanzee. “If we used a gorilla, adichu gaali pannirum,” jokes Jiiva, who recently wrapped up the first schedule of the film. “The title is in reference to guerrilla warfare. It’s a heist film.”

Jiiva has also signed a film titled Gypsy that’ll be directed by Raju Murugan. “The actor in me wanted to do Gypsy. It’ll be a very challenging role both mentally and physically for me.” Comparing it with Raam and Kattradhu Thamizh, Jiiva adds, “It’s a film on humanity, but I won’t call it a serious film. It’s more of a travelogue with a love track.”

When asked why it has taken him so long to get back to offbeat films, Jiiva says, “To be frank, for the efforts we put in for such films, they don’t collect much. Bernardo Bertolucci fans would’ve loved Raam. But if we show it in villages, it just wouldn’t work.” Taking the example of Kattradhu Thamizh, he says, “Though the media celebrated it, we got the film’s box back on the tenth day. Thinking about it now, it reminds me of the joke — ‘Operation success but the patient died.’ I think it was ahead of its time.”

But he doesn’t agree that his last few films haven’t done well at the box office. “If my films didn’t do well, I wouldn’t be getting any work now,” he says. “It’s just that we don’t publicise the numbers. Films like Pokkiri Raja and Kavalai Vendam, of course, didn’t do well. But Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae was successful and that’s how I got Kalakalappu 2.”

Jiiva has never worked with the same director twice. “Not too many people have noted that I’m working with new directors predominantly. While doing films with KV Anand and Gautham Menon, I also signed a film with Ahmed (Endrendrum Punnagai) who was only one film old. And that instinct worked.” He adds, “My films are bigger hits on TV now than they were in theatres. I knew at one point that things won’t be great if I kept doing offbeat films alone. That’s why I did Siva Manasula Sakthi.”
Jiiva says he knows his strengths. “Despite giving flops, I’m glad that I’m still surviving in the industry. But people should know that I don’t go out looking for flop films to do. It’s not like I get up and say, ‘Inniku oru flop padam kuduthey aaganum’.”

Jiiva feels that the industry could use some transparency and clarity. “When someone like Amazon or Netflix is ready to give us business, we aren’t welcoming them. That means we aren’t well-equipped. Producers here need to learn how this business works.” He even draws on facts to explain the medium’s reach. “North East India has only 600 theatres and thanks to the cold weather, there are 1 million people at home who don’t want to go to theatres. These apps have reached these people. There are many ways to make money but not many are utilising it.”So will he do another film like Raam or Kattradhu Thamizh? “I’ll never do similar films. When I do a film I like it to be one of its kind.”

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