What does 'Maattraan' have in store?
K V Anand sir and I didn’t want to do ‘just’ another film together. We wanted to do something different this time around. Maattraan is a big jump for Anand and with this film, he has proven his storytelling skills yet again. Also, the movie has more to it than just me essaying the role of conjoined twins. It’s not just a regular entertainer, but one that also deals with a father-son relationship. The other interesting aspect of the film unfolds post interval.
Playing Vijay-Ajith fan?
Not really. It’s just a shot where the twins — Akilan and Vimalan —want to watch Vijay and Ajith films. It was K V Anand sir’s idea. 'Maattraan' was set at a time when Rajini or Kamal movies weren’t playing in theatres and so we settled for Ajith and Vijay films. I truly respect them.
Why conjoined twins?
I enjoy doing films which are close to reality. It excites me. I wanted to essay the role of Bodhi Dharman in 7aum Arivu because he actually existed. In Maattraan, every scene will be new and refreshing to the audience. There were times when some of the scenes were shot over eight times, as we all felt it could have been done better.
Yes, it was a taxing job to play the role of conjoined twins. The film has 2,500 frames of CG shots and I had to act those sequences again. We did not want to compromise on anything. I wanted the technicians on the sets to be happy at the end of every shot. Even while dubbing for the Telugu version, I realised that I hadn’t done it properly for the Tamil version and so, I re-did it.
Dubbing in Telugu...
I enjoyed dubbing in Telugu and the people who watched over me were happy with my accent. Karthi has become a proper Telugu guy (laughs) and I will decide about continue dubbing in Telugu depending on the feedback I get after the film’s release.
Reason for not watching own films post release?
(Smiles) Yes. I give my all for my film until its release. When I watch the film later, after it has been released, I tend to feel differently; I end up thinking about how I could have delivered a better performance and where I went wrong. I think it’s important for an artiste. I remember Ilaiyaraja sir saying the same thing at the audio launch of Neethanae En Ponvasantham. He said he doesn’t think of his earlier works and it was surprising to know that both of us share similar ideologies when it comes to work.
About playing unfamiliar characters
Yes, I tend to draw a line, as far as I can, to fit into the character I play. Akilan was completely different for me. For such roles, I either try and understand the director’s dimension of the character or observe real life characters. For Singam, Rajini sir’s Alex Pandian was the inspiration. His dialogue — “I love this police attire more than my child to be born” — in the film is from where I drew the outline of my character in Singam. And all this because I don’t want to see ‘me’ on the screen (smiles).
Any tidbits about 'Singam 2'?
We have started working on Singam 2. I won’t say it’s a direct continuation of Singam, because it has an independent story line. Of course, there are characters from the first version, but Singam 2 will be different in many aspects.