Sasikumar is almost relieved at getting to do a city-centric film after a while. “I know I’ve been doing rural scripts back-to-back, but every time I sit for narrations, I hope directors would offer me something new. With similar hope, I listened to the script of Asuravadham. After Bramman, the audience will finally get to see me in urban clothes again,” he says.
At the same time, the actor-director is careful to add that he doesn’t regret doing village films. “Family audiences like me. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in working in the same genre. Sundarapandian, Kidaari, Balle Vellaiyathevaa and Kodi Veeran are all set in a village. But they’re all different from each other. The only thing I look for in a script is how I can stay connected with my roots. Also, I am aware that audiences expect such films from me, and I don’t want to disappoint them,” he explains.
Also, he doesn’t believe that he should change his look for each film. “I accept roles I can do, and I do only what I think suits me. For Tharai Thappattai, I grew long hair. For Kutti Puli, I sported short hair,” he points out. “But I shouldn’t seek needless transformation. I don’t believe in exaggerated heroism to manipulate the audience,” he says with a laugh.
Rural subjects have become the actor’s bread and butter. “My films mostly do well in B and C centres, and yet, I don’t like to get stuck in my comfort zone. That’s why I am doing Asuravadham. As an actor, I felt a sense of relief about this subject with a lot of twists and turns.”
In Asuravadham, he plays a character who’s into construction business in Dubai. “What he faces after he comes to Chennai is the story. There’s a message in the film,” he says. “When you watch me on screen, you’ll have questions about why my character reacts to situations in a particular way. Director Maruthupandian has given enough justification to make things work.”
The film was shot in 50 days in and around Dindigul and Kodaikanal. “The story is in the title itself. Asuravadham refers to the killing of a demon. The film naturally has quite a bit of violence,” he says.
Sasikumar, who started his career as a director with the pathbreaking Subramaniapuram, misses being one. “I’ve introduced a lot of new talent to the industry. Director mic-a naan romba miss panren. I’ve plans to return to direction, but it’s too early to elaborate on that,” he says.
How does he see his growth overall as an actor-director? “I am a director myself and I constantly engage myself with the directors who direct me. Cinema is business. But not everything is about money. I have tried not to repeat my mistakes.”
Sasikumar says he gives his 100 per cent to any project he takes up. “It could be the script of others or my own, but I ensure I leave my signature behind. Every time, my film is up for release, I ask these questions to myself: Will people like the film? Will they follow what I am trying to say? But I try to make everything different, because that’s the only constant,” he says, philosophically.