He lives in Bangalore, but started his film career with a Malayalam flick, Notebook. Now, after several Kannada, Malayalam and the four-language film Charulatha, actor Skanda is back on Tamil screen with Angusam, releasing this week. In a chat with CE, the actor reveals why the film is so special for him on both the personal and professional fronts.
“Angusam is the film I signed first in Tamil. But since director and producer Manukannan was based in Dubai, the shooting took longer than expected. Meanwhile, I signed up for Charulatha, opposite Priyamani, which became my first release in Tamil. But Angusam will always be special for me for many reasons,” says Skanda.
He plays a rural boy, Siva, who uses the Right to Information Act (RTI) to help the backward village he hails from. His sacrifices and the problems he faces from corrupt officials and politicians form the story. For Skanda, the film was a revelation and a learning process. “I didn’t know much about the RTI Act before I heard the script. But the idea interested me immensely and I accepted it (the project). After that I did some reading on the subject. During the making, I got to learn a lot more about the power of such an Act. The film is an eye-opener for the common man and it shows how much power he can wield to get the change he wants in society. I’m really honoured to be part of Angusam,” he says.
Skanda also has a personal reason to be happy about. His maternal grandfather H G Govinde Gowda, a freedom fighter, widely known as Malnad Gandhi in Karnataka, was happy that Skanda was doing a film with a social conscience. “He usually doesn’t show much interest in my film career. But when he heard that the movie showed the RTI Act being used to weed out corruption, he was very happy. So, on the personal front also, Angusam brought me deep satisfaction,” he says. Ask him about the challenges of the role and he laughs and says, “It’s the first time I’m playing a rural boy. In my other films like Notebook, Positive and Electra, and in the Kannada films, I never played a village boy. So for Angusam, I had to observe and learn from the youngsters in villages near Ulundurpet where we shot.” Apart from the hurricane that affected the shooting badly, Skanda had to contend with the severe 48 degrees heat wave in the area. Another tough part was doing the stunts. He says, “I had to do a lot of running and get beaten up for the candid shots. In one of the scenes, I got injured on my face when a splinter from a Plaster of Paris bench hit me inadvertently.”
About the future, he says, “I want to do more Tamil films. They have good scripts along with the right mix of commercial elements.”