Filmmakers Gautham Vasudev Menon and Venkat Prabhu were the first set of people to feature in the Celebrity Chat Series of Art Bistro at GRT Hotels. The glitzy event had directors Dharani and Karthik Subburaj, actor Ganesh Venkatraman, musician Devan and others socialites enjoying a fun evening listening to the witty banter of these two directors.
When Devasena, the moderator of the event, pointed out that both the directors garner a lot of female attention, they blushed and Gautham said, “I call it appreciation. But during the conversation, usually they end up asking for a role in the movie.” Both admitted that they are celebrities only in the home turf. “But I have been successful in flirting with women in the UK,” quipped Venkat.
Is there any film they would like to remake? “I think I will remake Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada, because I feel it would have been better if Simbu had been around for the climax shoot,” said a candid Gautham. Venkat said he would like to remake some of Suriya’s films his way.
Ask them what keeps them from losing their cool on sets and Gautham said, “Usually, I am calm and not irritable. But in my 15 films, I have asked people to leave my sets…twice.”
“As a producer I get tensed and I don’t know how to get out of that,” said Venkat, and Gautham offered a simple solution: “You take care of the film, the film takes care of you.”
Venkat spoke about Ajith, the first star he directed. “He trusted me and never interfered in my craft but gave inputs. I respect him for that,” he said. The floor was open to questions, which are as follows:
Would you make a film on defence personnel?
Gautham Vasudev Menon: I have a lot of material from my research for Vaaranam Aayiram (2008). I will make a full-fledged film on it sometime.
Is there one value you won’t compromise on in your films?
GVM: The portrayal of women, and you can thank my mother for that! I love that she works even now and dresses up so well.
How was it working with Kamal as opposed to other actors?
GVM: After Kaaka Kaaka (2003), he called me for a chat. I knew I had to have a solid script to share with him. Then Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu (2006) happened. On sets, when I wanted another take, I would be apprehensive. He would ask “Why? Wasn’t it good? Would you like to enact once?” How can someone act in front of Kamal! But it opened my mind.
Would you like to direct Kamal?
Venkat Prabhu: We share our birthdays. I guess that’s enough for now (laughs). Yes, I wish to direct him some day; but after listening to Gautham, I’m scared of approaching him.
What films would you recommend to film lovers?
GVM: My favourites are Shawshank Redemption (1994), The Godfather (1972) and Dead Poets Society (1989).
Any of your films would you recommend?
GVM: I haven’t made such a film yet!
Wh at quality should a film essentially have?
VP: The ability to entertain.