Taking puffs of pure Ooty air in his grandmom’s farm, Gautham Karthik says in a long purring roll, “I have watched only about five of my dad’s movies.” Quite a shocker, given his cine lineage. In a telecon, the Kadal actor, who was on a brief vacation before his latest release Yennamo Yedho, admits he was never into movies. His days at the boarding school in Ooty and later in Bangalore were spent studying theology, philosophy, history, media, psychology and English. Phew!
Neither did his parents nudge him to enter the cine world, nor did he foresee any espousal with K’wood until he was called by director Maniratnam during his final year of college for Kadal. Though basking in the glory of his current release and awaiting a few more—Sippai with Lakshmi Menon, Aishwarya Dhanush’s Vai Raja Vai with Priya Anand, and Indrajith, Gautham can’t help compare his roles with his debut, super-intense one in Kadal.
“For Kadal, I started preparing six months before shooting, went to the fishermen colony, understood their body language, they lifestyle and how to manoeuvre the boat, but for Yennamo Yedho, I just had to be myself. The character’s name is also Gautham. Performance wise, it was very breezy,” he says.
In Yennamo Yedho, Gautham plays a fun loving guy who directs small shows for a living. Caught between two women (Rakul Preet Singh and Nikesha Patel), he trots through life in search of true love. All of it was a piece of cake, except for the action sequences and sentimental ones, he says.
While Kadal had big names like Maniratnam, Rajeev Menon, A R Rahman, Arjun and Arvind Sami, Yenammo Yedho was a potpourrie of newbies. “While shooting for Kadal, Maniratnam sir knew exactly what he wanted. I just had to present my part. But in Yennamo Yedho, I had so much freedom. I was involved in all discussions. I would even go to the studio to listen to Imman sir recording,” he says.
While his career is picking up steam, he makes it clear that he doesn’t want to grow up in his dad’s shadow. “I have my own personality. But there are times when people get reminded of my dad, seeing me act. But that’s subconscious. Like, while shooting for the Moongil Thotam song, Maniratnam sir said ‘Nee unnode appa madiriye irrukkre da! (You are just like your dad!)’,” he says with a laugh.