Music director-actor-lyricist Vijay Antony, who’s awaiting the release of Yaman, has not only been choosing different scripts of late, but has also been focusing on more than one film simultaneously. He talks about his choice of characters, which helps him show his versatility as an actor. When it comes to picking roles, he doesn’t like to judge a film based on its genre. “I keep trying to do different kinds of films,” he says.
In Yaman, he is a politician. “You’ll get to know if it’s a positive or negative character when you watch the film. From the villain’s perspective, I am ‘Yaman’ to him,” he adds.
As soon as he heard the script from Jeeva Shankar, he wanted to be a part of it immediately. “My intention has always been to pick off-beat scripts. I have reached a stage where all that matters to me is a good project, even if it comes from new or relatively unknown directors,” he tells us. He feels today’s audience welcome filmmakers who come up with stories that are more character-oriented.
“Bicchagadu (2016) was a hit in Telugu. Many don’t know me, but they appreciated the content and made the film a massive success. The (dubbed) Telugu version got us more profit than its original (Pichaikaran, 2016),” he says.
Vijay says he’s aware of being known for taking roles that aren’t considered ‘safe’ and he’s cool about it. “I want the ‘common man connect’ in the lead character. I am particular that I have it in every script I choose. So far, whatever I think has worked in my favour,” he laughs.
Initially, he was determined to pick not-so-regular films, but that became a practice eventually. “I really wanted people to appreciate my films. So, I went out of my way and chose projects that suited my body language and way of acting. At one point of time, I got used to it. I get a broad idea of the director and an understanding of his vision from how he discusses or narrates the script to me,” he shares.
Jeeva Shankar narrated the story to Vijay five years ago when they were doing Naan (2012). “It’s an action-political thriller, but has nothing to do with the current political scenario,” he clarifies.
Vijay feels he must deliver what the audience expects of him. “I know I am not a good actor. I know what I know, and know what I don’t know. I work hard when the film comes to the editing table. I believe in characters that come to me and I take them as opportunity to explore myself,” he says.
Quiz him on the choice of his titles, he says, “The film industry is sentiment-driven. Many told me not to name my film Pichaikaran. They thought if producers come forward to finance such a film, they will become beggars. But, it’s a box-office hit. The so-called ‘negative’ titles have always worked in my case.”
What’s next? “From the first week of March, I’ll be working on Annadurai. It’s not a biopic, but a story of a common-man. The film is produced by Radikaa Sarathkumar. We are doing the pre-production work,” he shares.