It would be criminal to remake thatha or appa's film: Vikram Prabhu
The actor, whose 60 Vayadu Maaniram (the remake of the Kannada film ) is hitting the screens on Friday, opens up about the film and his upcoming projects.
Title launch, first look, motion poster, first single, teaser, second single, audio launch, trailer… Tamil cinema is coming up with more pre-release promotions by the day, and yet, Radha Mohan's 60 Vayadu Maaniram, which is releasing tomorrow, announced its existence only after the shooting was completed. Vikram Prabhu, who has high hopes about this remake, opens up about this film in this conversation...
Why wasn’t this film formally announced before shooting began?
It was all producer Thanu sir's idea. We wrapped the film in February actually, and wanted to announce it but that's when the industry strike happened. Thanu sir is not new to the industry, and has marketed his films with aeroplanes (for Kabali). I’m also doing Thuppakki Munai with the production house, and so, he didn’t want the audience to get confused about the films.
How did this film happen?
I got it through Thanu’s V Creations. My only question was what the script was about and who's handling it. When I knew it was Radha Mohan sir, I had no second thoughts. I was already thinking of doing a film with him. The film is a mix of thrills, emotions and the trademark Radha Mohan humour.
60 Vayadu Maaniram doesn’t quite fit into the sort of mass cinema you have been doing after Kumki.
Even in those films, we have emotional scenes. I've always been open to doing different kind of films. People like me doing action on account of my physique. I want to be an actor who can do any given role. I'm glad to be a part of such a film which also includes veterans such as Prakash Raj sir and Samuthirakani sir. I'm only a part of this film.
My first day on the sets was the second week for Prakash Raj sir who had taken a couple of months to prepare for the role. I didn't have that liberty; so Radha Mohan sir helped me ease into the character. I knew that I had to instantly up my game to match with Prakash Raj sir's preparations.
This film is also your first remake.
I've always stayed away from remakes as people typically encourage me to do one of the many hits given by my thatha (Sivaji Ganesan) or appa (Prabhu). That’d be criminal. I'm here to create my own image.
We had to localise this story for our audiences. Thankfully, the story is relatable and has a lot of life. Radha Mohan sir has the ability to create a joke out of a serious scene. Some of the scenes had me in splits when I saw the final copy recently. I think it’s one of his best films to date. He's the reason I wanted to do a remake.
This is also the first time that a film of yours has music by Ilaiyaraaja.
I didn't know this at first. When the director told me, I was in a state of shock. It’s a huge honour to be associated with Ilaiyaraaja sir. In a way, he’s also creating story with this film by composing for three generations of actors.
What goes behind you choosing a script?
It keeps changing. I want the script to challenge the actor in me but don't want to get monotonous about the kind of films I do. The biggest challenge is seeing the script faithfully get translated on screen. I’ve had hits and misses but I just look to improve all the time. If we had the key to everything, life wouldn't be interesting (smiles).
What’s up next?
Thuppakki Munai, my other film with Thanu sir, is being directed by famous writer Selvaraj's son, Dinesh. It's a challenging role and a captivating story. We shot the film predominantly in Rameshwaram. I had to put on weight for the film. Another film of mine, Asura Guru, is a thriller with a heist backdrop. I've also got a film with Nirmal Kumar but it’s too early to talk about that.
Is a film with your father on the cards anytime soon?
I really want to work with him. When we come across a script that can get the best out of both of us, why not?