'I related to my role of a casanova'
... says Atharvaa, who’s happy about the reception to his just-released rom-com, Gemini Ganesanum Suruli Raajanum, in which he plays a character who likes to ‘fall in love’
When filmmaker Ilavarasu Odam narrated the script of Gemini Ganesanum Suruli Raajanum to Atharvaa, he was instantly hooked. “I knew the film was going to be a hit because of the treatment of the story and the dialogues. The story seemed honest, and yet, there was something attractively unusual about it,” he says.
Though the actor has attempted light-hearted roles in the past, Gemini Ganesanum... is his first full-fledged comedy. “I enjoyed playing this character who likes to ‘fall in love’ with different women. But ‘love’ romba strong-aana word,” he says. “I have always believed that rom-coms bring crowds to the theatres, and it helped that I could relate to certain portions of the film. Like how I used to be in my college days! Oru ponnoda settle aagirpen. Padhi nalla poitrukum; adutha ponna paarpen.”
Gemini Ganesanum... was supposed to have released much earlier, but got delayed due to post-production work, adds Atharvaa, who’s all praise for his director. “Ilavarasu is the most-chilled out guy I’ve worked with. There was so much positive energy on the sets that extended even off the screen. It was his faith in the film that made me more confident,” the actor says.
All Atharvaa wants is to be recognised as a “good, convincing actor who does at least three films a year.” He has already shooting for Semma Botha Aagatha, which also marks his maiden production venture. “The film is a funny take on a guy who doesn’t drink. It’s almost a road film. I am teaming up with Badri Venkatesh who directed me in Baana Kaathadi for the second time,” he tells us.
Another film like Paradesi?
I am really not sure.
Something like Baahubali, maybe?
Regret not becoming a pilot?
Yes, but hopefully, I’ll become one soon (Laughs). Is any director listening?
Where in ten years?
Sustaining is more important than reaching the top
Atharvaa loved the script so much that he decided to produce it. “I didn’t plan on doing it. Badri and I were discussing scripts and I suddenly thought I should produce it. I have been interested in the business side of filmmaking for some time. Semma Bodha... seemed like the right film.” This film that has music by Yuvan Shankar Raja has two heroines — Anaika Soti and Mishti Chakraborty. “Both of them have equally powerful roles. Mishti plays my love interest, while Anaika’s role is a bit of a surprise.”
Atharvaa has learned that being a producer isn’t easy. “I realised it’s a big deal, but I am open to learning. I am sure the job will get easy with time!”
The actor is also optimistic about Imaikka Nodigal in which he plays a doctor. “Recently, we shot a risky stunt scene in Bengaluru as part of which we had roped in a cycle stunt specialist from Hong Kong. The scene had us riding on risky surfaces at high speeds. I had to flip the cycle, do a wheelie, and so on,” he shares, excitedly.
He’s also shooting for Barnesh’s Oththaikku Oththai, which revolves around two students, their lives, and ego clashes. “Like any other film set in the backdrop of a college, this has elements of love, friendship, and humor. The film is inspired by real-life incidents,” he says.
I prod him about a comedy sequence in the just-released Gemini Ganesanum... that pays tribute to his late father, Murali. He thinks he has a long way to go before comparisons with his dad can be justified.