After winning the hearts of television audiences, popular anchor Ma Ka Pa Anandh is slowly making a place for himself in the Tamil film industry as well. Sources in the industry now say that Anandh’s first film as solo hero, Atti, is ready to hit screens.
“It is true. The film is completed and ready for release. Atti is a fun film which based in Chennai,” says Anandh. “I play a funeral singer. If I have to put it to you in Tamil, I sing Marana Gaana. The story is set in a lower middle class neighbourhood and is about a situation in his life which changes him forever.”
Ashmita plays the female lead in the film. It has music by Sundar C Babu and has been directed by a newcomer Vijaya Baskar.
Every successful TV personality who has wanted to make the switch to the big screen has been cautious, paying great attention to their debut projects. What made Ma Ka Pa pick this story in the first place?
“I look for light-hearted scripts. In fact, I would not want to do any heavy scripts, at least initially,” he explains. “When you work on a film, you’d have to first understand the idea of the film before transferring it on screen. If it’s a heavy script, I wouldn’t be able to do that because such a story would depress me. You won’t believe it but I don’t watch serious films, even when they are aired on TV.”
So for the time being, Anandh is happy to focus on comedy films. “After all, my aim was to become a comedian,” smiles Anandh, who quickly adds that he may reconsider this decision at a later stage in his career.
“It’s too early to do serious films. In my earlier film Vaanavarayan Vallavarayan (2014), I did both comedy and serious stuff and got a good response for it. I am now looking to balance all my films with both,” he says.
What other projects is he working on? Anandh replies, “I have three other films. Panju Mittai, Navarasa Thilagam, and Deepavali Thuppaki. Panju Mittai was technically the first film I signed up for. Directed by Mohan, it’s a fantasy-based film that has been developed from a short film. It has music by D Imman. Nikhila, an actor from Kerala who has done a Malayalam film already, is the heroine.
“Navarasa Thilagam is directed by Kamran and has music by Siddharth Vipin. Srushti Dange is the female lead. The film also has Karunakaran playing an important role in it. In this film, I play a turncoat, who consistently fibs,” explains Anandh. “Deepavali Thupakki, is directed by Suresh. It’s about about the conflict between a father and a son. Iyshwarya of Kaakka Muttai-fame is the heroine in the film. I play the son’s role while Ponvannan sir plays my dad.”
Though Anandh has a huge fan following, he has never made an attempt to be a part of a comedy serial. Why? Pat comes the reply: “I will need to invest more time in a comedy serial than in anchoring a show. So, I have not done it.”
Usually, when actors from the small screen make the switch to the big one, they slowly start cutting down on their TV commitments and focus on their film projects. But in Anandh’s case, he has managed to balance both fields. He laughs and adds, “In fact, it is only after I began to act in movies that I started appearing more regularly on TV. I host two shows — Airtel Super Singer and Athu Ithu Yethu. I am on TV almost every day.”
Does this mean he works non-stop? “It is true that I am a workaholic and I will happily work even if it is my birthday. But the truth is I work only for five to six days but the way the programmes are scheduled, it seems I appear almost daily on TV,” he says with a smile.