The multifaceted actor, director, lyricist and music composer STR is cool, confident and relaxed at his T Nagar residence. “Hey, I saw you… please give me some breathing space? Will be back soon”, smiled the actor, who was giving back to back interviews prior to the release of his new Ramzan release very smartly titled Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan (AAA).
Directors Gautham Menon and Pandiraj have said in many interviews that STR might turn up late for shoots but he would complete one day shoot in just two hours. Similarly, STR had only spent around one hour for this chat but it turned out to be a compendious yet straight from the heart conversation.
“I’ve decided to do films only for my fans and well-wishers. Don’t want to prove myself to anybody”, begins STR, the actor says he’s definitely in the race but not with anyone in the industry. “Hereafter, I would accept films that excite me and at the same time, it should satisfy my fans and well-wishers”, he adds.
Several people have expressed their surprise that you sat for two to three hours just for the make-up process in AAA. “During Thotti Jaya, I was too young to play the particular character so grew a beard to bring out the maturity. I’ve always tried to change my appearance, had put on weight for Tamizh character in Silambattam, became boyish for VTV and sported six packs for Osthi but no one talked about those transformations. Now people don’t have anything to write about so they have started saying that I’ve become fat but this look is for the film. You will soon see a new me for the third look in AAA, which will be revealed in the second part”.
Even in the scripting stage, AAA was longer and both the producer and director were not sure but after watching the rushes, they decided to release the film in two parts.
STR says AAA director Adhik Ravichandran has made the film as a fan. “Adhik had enjoyed my films as a fan. He knows my taste and exactly understands what fans would love. I can say AAA will be a treat for my fans and it’s catered to family audiences as well”, says the AYM actor, who also understands the economics of his films. “I’m doing films only at a budget which can be recovered. I’m aware of my market and audience base, will never act in films exceeds my business zone”, he says.
You said you want to films that excite you and your fans so will you be approaching big directors? “No way. I never had the habit of knocking the doors of producers and directors to do films for me. If they feel STR can do justice to the characters, they would come and I have agreed to the films which really impressed me”, explains the actor.
Though directors appreciate you for completing your scene quickly, they also complain that you dont turn up for shoots on time? “I can’t change that process, by now, directors know how STR works and they are ok with it. I’ve never asked anyone to work with me”, the actor challenges: “None of my directors can say that I left the set without completing the work for the day. I’m ready to leave my art if any such complaint arises”.
When can we expect STR, the director, and story writer? "Very soon. I have a couple of scripts in my minds. There were times when my scripts couldnt be made into films because of tax issues. Now as they are going to implement GST, vachu seiyalam", laughs the actor.
Did you patch-up with the new Nadigar Sangam team? “It’s not a patch-up. Nadigar Sangam building is our dream, that’s where we all grew up so I went for the inaugural event. Regarding Producers Council, I’ve only told them to announce the strike prior. For a good cause, we should all stay united”, says STR, who was also in the news recently for his phone call with actress and TV host Lakshmy Ramakrishnan after she criticized Tamannaah’s glam costume in AAA. “I know her since VTV days. Since it’s a negative comment about my film, called her to know the issue as fans would get upset. I believe that everyone has the freedom to express their opinion. She said no one had called and spoke to her like me but that’s how I handle issues”.
STR has been outspoken in a lot of things and his recent speech on his favorite actor Ajith was misinterpreted my a section of the Vivegam actor’s fans. “I’ve always been open about my favorites in the industry. Today, because of my hardwork, I’ve got a fan base and good place in the industry but some of them created an image that I’m using Ajith sir for my growth, which is stupid. We all know that now Ajith sir’s stardom has gone to a different level, he no longer needs anyone’s support or appreciation, that’s what I said and really don’t mind what others think”.
But does this misunderstanding happened after your recent association with Vijay? “I also know Vijay sir for a long time but haven’t supported him on daily basis. I don’t want to hurt my fans by talking about Ajith sir and Vijay sir or anyone for that matter”.
- Rajasekar S