Battered and bloodied
With Pandigai all set for release, Krishna shares that he took more than one punch to his face while shooting for the film
A career as a star kid is never too easy. For Krishna, who came into the industry as a child artist in Anjali and Iruvar, the going has been hard, but he sees the silver lining: "There’s no pressure on me to be the best."
His film with debutant director Feroz, Pandigai, is about underground street-fighting, and is up for release. For such a subject, you'd imagine there would have been rigorous training, but Krishna surprises me: "There wasn’t much preparation at all. As Taylor Swift's song goes, 'There are no rules', and that's what the film's about. The stunt choreographers have done extremely well to help us get the fight scenes right."
The actor had to put on weight for the role. "I needed to have a medium build, and not look too young. The story demands that I play a man who gets dragged into underground, street fighting. So I had to put on some muscle without really looking ripped," he says.
The fight scenes weren't easy at all, as the makers, in the interest of authenticity, shot Krishna actually taking punches. "There were instances when I knew I was going to get it, and I took it anyway. Then there were accidents too. I had no guts and was s**t-scared, but I knew I had to take it. Anticipating a hit is worse than taking it. But instead of taking 10 soft shots with many retakes, I thought I might as well take one strong punch."
On working with Feroz, the director of Pandigai and the husband of actress Vijayalakshmi, the producer of the film, Krishna comments that it's hard to work with friends and family. "You can't be professional with them. So for me, considering I was friends with Feroz, it was a delicate task." He says there were times when he didn't know if they were having a professional conversation or a casual one. "But working with friends also makes life easier. I've known Feroz for eight years, even before his assistant director days. We've been family friends from the when he was dating Vijayalakshmi," he says.
The conversation veers to some of his previous films. He is very vocal about the misses. "I started with lows. My first two films (Alibhabha and Kattradhu Kalavu) were disasters. That's the lowest I could've gone. The next two (Kazhugu and Yaamirukka Bayamey) were blockbusters. If you know how to cry, you should know how to laugh as well," he philosophises. After all these films, there's one thing he's clear about: That he doesn't know what works with the audience. "What I thought would do well, didn't. I didn't think Yaamirukka Bayamey would click. I had fun while filming it and loved the screenplay. But when dubbing for it, I was not at all excited. But we know how it turned out."
In his fairly nascent career, he has managed to work across genres. "I don't go looking for scripts, and look to pick the best of what comes to me. After Kazhugu, I was getting a number of performance-oriented roles. The audience had accepted me as an actor. And similarly, after Yaamirukka Bayamey and Vanavarayan Vallavarayan, I got a number of horror comedies and rural films. Despite that, I try to bring variety."
Krishna is more than comfortable with multi-starrers. "Every actor should be. I feel that when a film works, the actor works. It's never the other way around. When I get a multi-starer, I try to see if the story works for me. If it does, I don't mind being a part of it. Of my forthcoming releases, three are solo hero subjects, while two are multi-starrers."
His next project, Grahanam, is a film in which he only appears for 20 minutes. "The film's total length is 1 hour and 40 minutes. Five stories are narrated in it, each revolving around a 2-minute eclipse. The stories are interconnected, and the characters don’t ever meet."
His other projects scheduled for release are Kalari, which he has just completed; Veera, which is in post-production; and Vizhithiru. He's starting a thriller film in September with a new director, and has also promised a surprise announcement on a big project by the end of July.