My happiness isn’t important: Vishal
In a candid chat, Vishal opens up about not having the time for himself any more, thanks to his multiple responsibilities in the Tamil film industry
Vishal says he’s a "drastically changed man". The failure of his last release, Kaththi Sandai, has led him to introspect. "But I don’t have time for regret," he says. The actor, who’s making his Malayalam debut in Villain, starring Mohanlal, has a rich line-up of Tamil films, including Irumbu Thirai, Karuppu Raja Vellai Raja, and Thupparivaalan.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Is it true that Mysskin is a tough person to work with?
(Laughs) No, he’s actually one of the most flexible filmmakers I’ve worked with. The film is about a private detective, who has been modelled on the lines of Sherlock Holmes. I’ve played a cop before, but for the first time, I’ll be seen as a detective. This won’t have the darkness of his earlier films. He wanted to explore something different and I was equally kicked about the idea. It will be an edge-of-the-seat thriller. The second half doesn’t have any songs. We’ve followed a unique narrative structure.
You sound quite optimistic about the film.
Absolutely. You can’t plan success, but I think it’s easy to guess it sometimes. I don’t mean to sound arrogant; it’s just confidence. I sign every film with a lot of positivity and goodwill. Sometimes, they work; sometimes, they don’t. I try not to brood over the past, and instead choose to work harder on my next film. I’ve been around for quite some time now, and understand its dynamics. Ultimately, I try to do producer-friendly films.
Does this have anything to do with you being the head of the Producers’ Council?
Perhaps. Producers haven’t realised their potential yet. There are people who have been making money off someone else’s conten; producers are losing out on their revenue. That’s why we’re planning to launch entertainment channels to try and monetise the thousands of Tamil films that have gone unreleased. In another five more months, I’ll show you what I can do. Once this idea materialises, the whole film fraternity will get benefitted. Small-time producers are generally the worst-hit, and I want to help them. We are trying to request the satellite channels not to telecast songs without getting an NOC or paying a price for them. Why should we give free content? Fifteen years ago, they paid to telecast songs. It’s not the case anymore. Producers can make guaranteed money, but they just don’t know how to. They can have their own channels. Take Malaysia, for instance. They are able to release their films through other avenues.
You seem to be buzzing with a lot of ideas.
(Smiles) I have become more mature over these years and am trying to manage things with grace. I juggle between three offices on a daily basis, and my personal life has gone for a toss. It’s stressful, yes. But on the other hand, I feel I ought to do it. I’ve taken up the responsibility, and I want to prove myself and deliver. Good things take time. I hardly attend parties these days, or even family dinners. But I feel my happiness isn’t important. I’m trying to make others happy.
On the acting front, it’s been a while since you teamed up with a debutant (Mithran for Irumbu Thirai).
He is quite promising and the film is about digital crimes like ATM fraud and forgery. I play an army officer. The underlying idea is that we are never safe in this world. I’ve another 20 days of shoot left, and the film should be out for Diwali. As for Karuppu Raja Vellai Raja, I feel blessed to be part of it. It was Subhash’s last script before he passed away! Karthi loved my character, and I loved his. But somehow, we didn’t want to swap roles. I have great hopes for the film.
You’re also making your Malayalam debut in Villain starring Mohanlal.
Yes, but I can’t tell you who of us is the villain in the film. It’s an awesome script. Upon hearing director Unnikrishnan’s narration, I got immediately tempted to do the film. Mohanlal is a terrific actor. Avar vandhu nindhu paarthaale porum.
Will you return to Twitter?
I don’t have the time for it.
You’re juggling quite a few roles.
I came into this industry to direct films, but now, I’ve become many things, including being the general secretary of Nadigar Sangam. For the next two years, I will focus on acting. We’re resuming work on Sandakozhi-2 next month. It’s a proper sequel, and we are trying to bring Meera Jasmine on board. Let’s see! A few years later, I’ll definitely fulfill my dream of direction.