GV Prakash says he’s given his all for Naachiyaar, which hit the screens yesterday. “Bala sir wanted a different person in terms of my looks. I worked quite hard on my appearance and body language, in order to suit my character (a person from the slums who sells fruits and vegetables for a living). All these days, I saw myself as an entertainer, and was doing lighthearted films. I was looking for a change, and that’s when I was approached for Naachiyaar. This is the first time I have played an intense role, and I am super happy that my potential has been fully utilised.”
Prakash never thought he’d become an actor, let alone get a call from Bala’s office. “He gets the best out of his actors. Initially, I was tense; I didn’t know if I was free on those dates, as I was shooting for four films simultaneously. But I knew I didn’t want to miss out on this offer and told Bala sir that I needed some time. I was not sure if he’d wait for another actor, but I’m glad he did it for me. He assured me we would complete the shooting in 40 days.
By then, they had started shooting Jyotika’s portions,” he says. The actor-music director can’t stop gushing about Bala. “I’d love to do another film with him. I think he likes me. Our chemistry is evident in the film, and you’ll know when you watch it. Though he’s open to suggestions, he knows what he wants. Whenever he and I speak, it’s all about cinema. He’s definitely a taskmaster,” he says. “I’ll be at the sets by 6 am every day. It took me an hour to put three layers of dark make-up. Also, I had to colour my hair brownish-orange. Mentally preparing myself for the role was perhaps the hardest task altogether,” he elaborates.
Bala is a skilled actor himself, says Prakash. “He concentrates a lot on his characters and their close-up shots. Also, he doesn’t waste shots. He insisted that I always retain some innocence in my face. One of the toughest things I did was to put seeds in my eyes to turn red. I was required to do that for almost 25 days!”
Ask about Jyotika, and Prakash’s face lights up. “She’s a warm person and a bundle of positive energy. And that extended to the sets. That’s why most of her films have been successful,” he says.
“Whenever she likes somebody’s performance, she compliments them. She doesn’t have to do all that for her stature.” Prakash, who has a slew of interesting films including 4G, Adangathey, 100% Kaadhal, Sarvam Thaala Mayam among others, is focussed on not doing similar kinds of films. “I work every day, and I believe that films choose me. Sometimes, you get fantastic projects like Naachiyaar. I’d love to do another film like it,” he adds.
He’s excited about his upcoming Sarvam Thaala Mayam. “It’s a musical, and after K Viswanath, there’s Rajiv Menon, who’s thinking about directing a musical, which is refreshing. The film talks about the roots of Indian music, and I have got to collaborate with some fantastic musicians. It’s a never-before-seen experience.”
Over the years, Prakash has learned to become more confident as an actor. “To me, the camera doesn’t exist anymore. Now I know what to do and what not. I have evolved as an actor!”
Favourite actor: Vijay
Best critic: Myself
Favourite directors: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, SS Rajamouli, Raj Kumar Hirani, Anurag Kashyap
Ten years from now: I don’t know!