The Jailer family
Actors Mirnaa and Vasanth Ravi speak about their upcoming film Jailer, the off-screen conversations they had, their choices, and more.
When was the last time you heard the biggest superstars of Indian cinema, cutting across linguistic barriers, come together on screen? Before Jailer, the answer might have been a vehement never, but now... Nelson’s upcoming film will have the likes of Rajinikanth, Mohanlal, Shivarajkumar, Jackie Shroff, and Ramya Krishnan illuminating the silver screen. Amid such huge stars, Jailer also has upcoming actors like
Mirnaa and Vasanth Ravi find their place in this star-studded sky.
Ahead of the film’s release, the actors talk about their life being a mixed bag of emotions filled with nervousness, happiness, and excitement. While they still remain guarded about their roles, Mirnaa and Vasanth share how they came on board. While Mirnaa reveals that she had no second thoughts about doing a Rajinikanth film, Vasanth says, “I got a call from Nelson’s office that they were looking for someone doing hero-kind of roles. After I heard the story and character, I decided to do it only if Rajini sir was okay with it. However, I got to know that Rajini sir was already aware of my casting and happy.”
Both of you have a performative body of work, like Burqa, Rocky. How do you weigh in doing a star-studded, commercial film like Jailer?
M: The balance is very important. I started my Malayalam journey with a commercial film like Big Brother. I was determined to do a Burqa where I can show my ability to perform and shoulder a niche and content-oriented film. I need a film like Jailer as well, which not only has a good story but is high on the entertainment quotient too.
V: With Taramani, Rocky, and Asvins, I was particular that I don’t repeat genres. It is important to do a film like Jailer because it is a learning process. Interacting with someone like Rajini sir, and seeing him walk into the sets, are experiences that I wouldn’t get unless I work with him. Also, working with Nelson sir was a valuable experience too. Jailer is big for me in terms of positioning myself and the line-up I have.
The film stars stalwarts of Indian cinema. Could you share memorable conversations you had with them?
M: It was mostly about films and personal interests. I used to ask Rajini sir about his journey to the Himalayas, the genre of films he likes, and the books he reads. The beauty is he also asks us the same questions. When Lalettan’s announcement was made, Rajini sir told how he had watched Big Brother. That made me happy.
V: Conversations with Nelson sir were all fun, while with Rajini sir it was deeper. When I asked him how he gets time to do so many films, he shared how Amitabh Bachchan had once advised how one should keep doing more films as they grow older to battle the unwanted thoughts that might occur otherwise. Rajini sir shared that he had no needs now, but just wants to keep himself busy.
As young actors, do you prefer working with new filmmakers with fresh voices or veteran directors to do classics?
V: Be it Rocky or Asvins, both were debut directors. It’s not that I don’t want to work with veterans, but I am more excited to work with first film directors. It gives me ways to explore a lot of things that I cannot explore otherwise who possess a style already. I think I tend to gravitate more towards new directors because they put all of their efforts into it because it is their life.
M: In a few of my earlier films, I was told to act in favour of the camera. But when I was shooting for Ameer sir, he didn’t ask me to be mindful of the camera. He just asked me to act, emote and say dialogues normally. On the other end of things, when I am working with new directors, there is a sense of being a team and building something from scratch. For Burqa, I had the script two months ahead and it helped me a lot. I love to handle both, but I like the vibes of a young team.