Jiiva is not your regular hero who makes commercial potboilers for money and fame. He’s not in a hurry to sign more films either. Only good scripts excite him, he says. So we began talking...
Tell us about Kavalai Vendam. What does it have in store for the audience?
It’s a rom-com that talks about relationships. I’m here to entertain the audience, and this film will serve that purpose. I have been hearing that many miss the Siva Manasula Sakthi (2009) Jiiva, and I’m sure this will live up to everybody’s expectations. It has better characterisation. I play a chef in this one, and Kajal Aggarwal and I are an onscreen couple for the first time. She’s a fantastic co-star. We had a great time on the sets. We shot extensively in and around Coonoor, Kottagiri and Ooty.
Why do we not see you on big screens often?
I used to do one film a year, but now I’m doing two, because I don’t want to do many films. I take my own time before signing something new and make sure that I get proper breaks before jumping to the next project. I go by the script and my instinct. I don’t see whether it will be a commercial or a critical success. Each film is close to my heart irrespective of how they fared at the box-office. I have had my share of failures and I accept them. If I were that selective, all my 25 films would have been silver jubilee! (Laughs)
What roles would you like to do?
I travel and am a loner. Everybody is in a race here and I’m not a part of it. I have just come to the ground to jog and I’m enjoying the process. (smiles) The impact of films like Katradhu Tamizh (2007) and Ram (2005) left an impact on me for long time. I’d love to explore similar kinds of films. I am an actor, and must accomodate any role that filmmakers give me. So far, I have worked in several genres and have never restricted myself to anything. In all these years, I have learnt what I can and cannot do. I always have the time to wait for the scripts written in for me particularly.
Tell us about your future projects
I am a part of Ike’s Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae. It’s a horror comedy. Shooting is over and post production work is going on. We shot the film in Palani in 50 days. Atlee is producing it. I have another film called Kee, which deals with forgery, blackmailing and highlights the cons of technology. We have shot the film, and it would be on the lines of Black Mirror, the TV series. I play a hacker in the film. No, I am not going to say if I have mastered the art of hacking. I don’t want people to freak out! We have been working on the script for 2-3 years. social media is a huge part of our lives, and this is the right time to make such films. On a personal level, I have never been interested in such complex ideas. I don’t use Twitter to update whether I’m eating upma or if I’m off to sleep!
So do you play a ghost in Sangili Bungili...?
Well, I am experimental, but not to the extent of playing a ghost. (grins)
Do you have a dream role?
When I was a kid I grew up watching historical films including Gladiator (2000), and Kingdom of Heaven (2005). I wanted to do such movies at the time. After seeing many kinds of films in the same genre, I lost interest in it.
Sequels interest you as an actor?
I have always felt that my character in Ko (2011) as a photojournalist has the capability for a sequel. I was totally excited about the script, and it was an interesting experience. Of course, Ko-2 is already out. It’s just the franchise, but not a proper sequel sorts.
I haven’t signed anything new. I’m looking to travel abroad for a month. When I’m back, I’d love to work with good directors.