Sivakarthikeyan has become synonymous with comedy films. While it does question his skill as an actor, we have to remember that his road to fame was hardly smooth though TV gave him recognition initially. Despite delivering hits like Ethir Neechal (2013), Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam (2013), Maan Karate (2014) and Rajini Murugan this year, Sivakarthikeyan knows his strengths and weaknesses well. With Remo releasing this Friday, City Express has a chat with one of the most sought-after heroes in K’town.
You have a huge fan-following in Tamil Nadu. What are your plans as far as the other film industries are concerned?
My earlier films were received well in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and even Malaysia. To expand my market, I should do big films in terms of budget and script. I ought to bring in a variety, such as a superhero-based script or something different. I want to get close to the audience, going beyond language barriers. That’s why I decided to dub for Remo. Movies with universally-appealing themes attract audience across spheres. It has become a trend now for filmmakers of one language make movies that appeal to audiences of other languages. Baahubali (2015) is a good example.
What made you choose Remo?
When I was shooting for Rajini Murugan, I decided that I would do Remo. I loved the script and the way Bakkiyaraj (Kannan) narrated it. The story also brought
PC Sreeram and Resul Pookutty to the team. It is a full-on rom-com suitable for everybody, with the right mix of humour, romance, songs, dance and fights, without any vulgarity. The nurse get-up is something I’ve never tried before.
How challenging was it for you to pull off the nurse role?
When you use prosthetics, you can change yourself into an older person. Here, I had to look like a young nurse. The director was able to visualise me like that, but I couldn’t. There was no reference material either. We did everything using the trial-and-error method. Dubbing took a month. I dubbed for 10 minutes of footage everyday because of the modulation, among other reasons. But I am of proud playing a nurse.
Your presence can elevate an ordinary script to another level…
I never thought I’d become a hero. Ethir Neechal (2013) gave me the confidence. The audience watch my films with certain expectations. However, I can’t do films devoid of humour. So once my film becomes a hit, I focus on the next one. I know as an actor, I have to be versatile. But at the same time, I don’t want to try something experimental and disappoint my audience. Take Rajinikanth sir’s films for instance. They’re family entertainers with a certain amount of energy. I want to do such movies.
We heard you’d love to be a part of children’s films?
If it appeals to all sections of the audience, then why not? They bring parents to the theatres too! Making movies for them is difficult because we need to simplify the concept.
How organised are you when it comes to films?
Initially, I wasn’t. But after my debut as the lead, I started planning and became more choosy. I don’t do more than two films a year and I never sign projects for the heck of it or for better money. Expectations and pressure makes me work more.
I am doing a social-thriller by Mohan Raja. Nayanthara is the heroine. We’ll start shooting by the end of this month. I am looking forward to learning a lot from Raja as it’s going to be the biggest film in my career. I also have a Ponram film in the pipeline with Samantha Ruth Prabhu.
How about horror flicks or dark comedies?
Let’s think about horror scripts when they give tax-free exemptions! (Smiles) All my films are targeted at the B and C centres, and I wonder if they would understand dark comedy films. Sometimes even I have issues understanding such scripts!
Tell us about your dream role.
I want to do something similar to what Vikram did in Saamy (2013). My father used to be a ‘terror cop’ just like Vikram’s character. (grins).