He is just three films old but every film has hit the jackpot so far. His debut film, the pathbreaking, award winning blockbuster Paruthiveeran and the fantasy filled Ayirathil Oruvan will both be remembered as unforgettable films in Tamil. Now his latest release Paiyaa is slowly turning into a hit. We chat up with the charismatic actor Karthi who is on a roller coaster ride
Paiyaa took a fantastic opening. How does it feel at the moment?
I waited two years for Paruvthiveeran and then another three years for Ayirathil Oruvan. They were both historic films in my career and I feel lucky to be a part of them. But now with Paiyaa I am really happy to have done a light hearted role in commercial cinema. Lingusamy and Madhie presented me so well as the city bred boy I am that in many frames I could hardly believe that it was me! ( laughs) So naturally it feels really good that the film is a success. Lingusamy was very clear about my look and said, ‘girls should like you in the film.’ I was thrilled that I got so many costume changes after the lungi shattai and langots that I had to wear in my previous films ( laughs).
What do you think was the USP of the film?
It’s a family entertainer with no gory bloody scenes, no double meaning dialogues and just a summer fun film you can see even with your kids during holidays. It has some great visuals by Madhie with excellent music by Yuvan and song picturisations. We never promised anything more and the audience liked what they saw.
You have proved with both serious and commercial cinema. What sort of films would you choose in future?
I want to do variety and all types of films. I want to do everything from mass commercial cinema to realistic good stories. In fact my next film Naan Mahaan Alle directed by Susindran co starring Kajal Agarwal, is a realistic story. It has no great build up for the hero or anything but it’s an excellent story of a dad and son and turns into a crime thriller later. In the other project directed by Sauryam Siva, which is the remake of Vikramarkudu from Telugu, you will see full a blown mass masala commercial cinema where I play a cop and a thief in a double action film co starring Tamannaah. Cinema is entertainment and I want to entertain in all ways.
Your three films are being dubbed in Telugu. Will you act in a straight Telugu project?
I have dubbed myself in Telugu since I wanted to retain the originality of my character. The Telugu audiences have loved Ayirathil Oruvan since they don’t get to see such fantasy and historical fare there so much. As for Telugu films, it could be a new experience for me alright. But I will choose a story only if I like it and not just for the banner or production. But having said that, right now I am very happy with Tamil and want to continue with that.
Playing a cop in your next, do you anticipate comparisons with Suriya who excelled as a cop in Khaaka Khaaka?
Comparisons will always be there. But he played an encounter specialist in it whereas I am a field officer in this film. However they may compare me with his role in Singam! I will just have to take it in my stride. I have a long way to go and lots of hard work to put in.
Are you putting in any special effort for your cop role?
I will be undergoing police training for 15 days to get into the character.
Do you have any favourites among your heroines? Your off-screen chemistry with Tamannaah is creating a lot of buzz. Please comment?
I don’t have any favorites. Tammu is my good friend and we always discuss the finer points of filmmaking. She is focused and is a complete professional. To be honest I have never fallen in love. I studied in a boy’s school and right from the beginning I was obsessed with cinema and wanted to be a part of it.
Any plans of turning director?
Not really. I have lots to learn before I do that, though I started out assisting Mani Sir. It needs a lot of training. I would rather act right now when I am young. I have already waited so long for each film to happen. With everything adding up, I am not three films old but six years old in the industry! ( laughs) I have a lot of catching up to do. With Paiyaa success, my responsibilities have doubled.