No one likes to work and I am no exception: Vijay Antony

He speaks about his upcoming film, Romeo, his stoic approach to life and career, and his desire to do more romance and comedy
Vijay Antony
Vijay Antony

With thousands of ardent fans packing the venue to see him live, with excitement mounting just a couple of yards away, Vijay Antony sits down for an interview moments before he is scheduled to perform a concert in Trichy. The singer-composer has to wait, while actor Vijay Antony prepares to promote his upcoming film, Romeo.

Some do it for the passion, and some for the wealth and fame, and some just for the thrill of success, and others for all these reasons combined. But, what pushes Vijay Antony? “Responsibility,” he says, “It is not motivation that drives me, for it is fleeting. What drives me is the responsibility I feel towards the commitments I have made.” The actor goes on to reveal how he has no great ambitions or goals and asserts that he has a stoic detachment to his career and the successes it brings him. This is a philosophy he extends to his life well, as he says, “I don’t value my life”

But then the lengths he goes to make sure the interview happens, amidst the chaos of preparing for a concert, seems to belie his supposed indifference to his career. Vijay explains, “That is because I am focused on the moment and I want to give my best for the commitments I have made. There is no calculated strategy behind this.

To be honest, Romeo is director Vinayak Vaithianathan’s dream. It is just another film for me.” Vijay reminds us that Romeo is also the collective dream of so many others as well. “The film is also launching the career of composer Barath Dhanasekar. So I feel a sense of shared responsibility,” he says. On how the project came into fruition, Vijay Antony recollects how he was initially hesitant to take up Romeo, since it was a romantic film at its core, a genre he largely stayed away from.

From the sets of Romeo
From the sets of Romeo

India Pakistan (2015) was the first time I tried a romantic subject but since my other films were more successful, I was only offered serious roles. So when Vinayak came to me with the script for Romeo, I asked him twice if he really did want me to act in it. I even suggested other stars like Harish Kalyan and Ashok Selvan and offered to remain as a producer. But he thought I would be perfect.” He then goes on to reveal his director’s reasoning.

“In Romeo, a slightly older man falls in love with a girl much younger than him. And the director thought I would suit it better than the younger actors.” Beyond this, the actor reveals that while choosing any script, he doesn’t think like an actor or a producer but as an audience. “Audiences attach themselves to the hero of the story. So, if I like the hero of the story I will choose the film.”

Apart from the protagonist in the film, one of the primary reasons Vijay Antony chose Romeo, was for the humour. “It is a romantic film at heart but it also has a lot of funny moments. It is the kind of humour both your mother and your friend can laugh at.” The actor is very particular about the kind of humour in his films. “I try my best to not alter the scripts and my films never have double meaning jokes anyways, but I do make sure that my films do not have body shaming jokes or humour that insults transgenders.”

While Vijay Antony is particular about the humour in his films, fans have noticed how sometimes, his silent demeanour in interviews are actually sarcastic. When asked about his deadpan humour, he smiles. “My wife used to tell me that I actually have a good sense of humour but I thought she was just being nice to me. But lately, I think I should start exploring that side of me in films. I am seriously considering doing more romance and comedy films in the future.”

He then adds on a lighthearted note. “Well AI has grown and CGI has advanced, maybe I could make myself look ten years younger and do more romantic comedies.” However, Vijay Antony still maintains that he has no burning desire to do these experiments anytime soon. “If you just let me be, I will be content doing nothing. I mean, who likes to work anyways?,” says the singer-composer-director-actor, as he prepares to walk onto the stage, to enthral the audience.

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