Dhanush has been declared by Tamil film trade as “the biggest discovery of the year”. He has achieved more than any other star at the box-office with superhits like Thulluvatho Illamai, Kathal Kondein and Thiruda Thirudi and the Manmadha Raasa… song picturised on him is the top chartbuster of the year. He gets mobbed wherever he goes as the man on the streets identify so much with this skinny, gawky youngster who has signed more than half a dozen films. The market rumours is that his Pongal release Puthulkottayilirundu Sarvanan has been sold for a whopping Rs 11 crore and on the day of the puja of his new film, Odipolama distributors snapped up the film. He is working round the clock and has no time to take a break till 2005. Taking time off his busy schedule this “Boy Wonder” speaks exclusively to Sify.com. Excerpts:
What is the secret behind your success?
(Smiles) Keeping quiet and working hard. I am a director’s actor as I don’t interfere with their work.
Which is your personal favourite among your films?
It is Kathal Kondein. I worked very hard to get into the role of Vinod and it will remain close to my heart. But it is Vasu of Thiruda Thirudi that I identify with very closely. Like Vasu, I was also an irresponsible guy till I came into films. I believe that every youngster becomes serious in life after they start taking up responsibilities.
Everyone says that you are giving sleepless nights to other stars and your contemporaries. How do you handle pressure and this instant fame?
Success has to go into one’s head only if you feel that you have done something great…but I don’t feel so. My directors were responsible for my success and the credit also goes to them. I don’t deserve all this attention. Here I am trying to become a star and how can you compare me to my seniors and project me as a superstar?
So you want to give all the credit to your directors?
Yes, to a very large extent. Then comes my hard work and third is God’s grace. I don’t believe in a single God or idol worship. But there is a supernatural power that controls everything.
Did you ever think a few year’s back that you would be a big star?
To become a hero was the last thing in my mind. Both my sisters are doctors and my brother Selvaraghavan is an engineer. I was also a bright student but fate had something else in store for me. My father cast me in Thulluvatho Illamai at a time when I was not at all confident about my looks and acting. I was not interested to do the lead role but he gave me support and encouragement. Then my brother gave me the role of Vinod in Kathal Kondein, a character with immense depth. So I owe all my success to them.
But what about Thiruda Thirudi?
When Thulluvatho and Kathal Kondein became hits everyone said that I am successful only in my home production. So in Thiruda Thirudi, I worked hard and proved my detractors that my earlier hits were no flash in the pan.
Your next projects? Are doing the Hindi remake of Kathal Kondein?
Boney Kapoor had seen the film and he immediately signed me to do the Hindi version. When I told him about my date problem, he convinced me that he would do the film only with me even if he has to wait till next year. My next films are Balu Mahendra’s Unakke Uyiranen, then Dreams,Sullan, Devathaye Kandein, Odipolama.
How do you select films? What is your father’s role in it?
My father looks after my dates and handles my career. I don’t know what my salary is, as you will have to ask him! But when it comes to signing films, he has nothing to do in it. I hear the entire script and my character before signing films. I have to be convinced about the role.
But the market rumour is that you have signed about 8 films. Please comment.
See I am a beginner and let me do as many films as I can. Now my body will cooperate, as I am young. But I promise my fans that I will try to be different in every film and there will be a three months gap in my releases. All I can do right now is to see that I am not typecast.
What do you do with all the money that you are earning at such a young age?
I don’t have a lavish lifestyle. I am not interested in fancy cars, houses or expensive accessories. I only spend on DVD’s, and computer games. Recently I brought a new music system, so listening to music and watching plenty of Hollywood films are my main hobbies. Clothes do not fascinate me, as a pair of Levis jeans and any T-shirt is fine for me. I am a pure vegetarian and food does not fascinate me either. I eat to live.
What about girls? You must be having a lot of girls after you?
I used to run after girls during my school days, but now I don’t have the time. Now it is only work, work and more work.
Tell us about Puthukottayilirundu Saravanan?
It will be a fun film, which will surely entertain the entire family. There are good songs tuned by Yuvan, four fights with action master Peter Haynes himself doing a stunt with me on screen. We have shot in exotic locales of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand and I have also sung for the film. Aparna is my heroine.