He is the grandson of ace yesteryear actor Muthuraman and son of Navarasa Nayagan Karthik. Now, Gautham Karthik, enters films via Mani Ratnam’s Kadal, a dream debut that any young man can think of. Confident, yet down-to- earth, the 23 year old debutant speaks to sify.com about this journey and his experiences so far.
What’s your role in Kadal?
I play Thomas who is born and raised in a fishing hamlet.
How did you decide to enter movies?
I was studying in Ooty and later in Bangalore where I did my college. I was far removed from the world of cinema as such. In fact was more into music and had my own band with some friends. I never planned on acting. This offer from Mani sir came out of the blue and when he okayed me for the role, it was unbelievable!
How was it working with Mani Ratnam?
It’s a dream debut, no doubt. But it was tough as well. For instance, when we went for 4 am shoots, we discovered that he was already on the sets! I would say Mani sir pushed me to my limits and then beyond that as well, physically, mentally and emotionally! And if you can cope with that then he has gotten the best out of you. It was a wonderful experience.
Coming from a film family, and then debuting with Mani Ratnam…were you nervous the first day?
Mani sir never allowed me to get nervous. He just picked me up from the hotel and jumped straight into the first shot the very first day! So I never got time to think about anything else!
Did you prepare in any way for the role of the fisherman?
Well I did a workshop with Kalairani which was immensely helpful. I also learnt to fish and ride the catamaran with the fisherfolk on location. I also went to Besant Nagar beach and other places to observe the body language of the fishermen to get it right. It was wonderful when I caught my first fish, about 2 feet long!
Any advice from your dad?
He just told me ‘When you live your character and bring something of your own into it, that would be your best performance.’