'Vijay Sethupathi is the epitome of friendship'
Director Muruganandham talks about his directorial debut, his journey so far and the friendship he shares with Vijay Sethupathi
Not many knew that the director of this week’s Kathanayagan, Muruganantham, is the same actor who is famous for saying, ‘Super ji, super ji, super ji’, in Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara. "I was helping my friend, director Gokul, with the script of IAB. While working on the screenplay, I spoke the dialogues and showed him how it could be done. He liked it so much that he wanted me to say the lines. I told him I didn’t want to be recognised as an actor, but he cast me anyway," says Muruganantham, who went on to act in Kashmora and Maragadha Naanayam.
The director is cautious of being over-confident of Kathanayagan. "From what I've seen in recent years, I realise I shouldn't say malai-a kondu vanthu vechiruken and puyal-a kelapiruken but the truth is, Kathanayagan is a simple story with comedy and romance," he says. "Everyone has a dormant hero in them. When we see something wrong, this hero wants to wake up, but we put him to sleep, worried about the consequences. This hero, however, doesn't do that.”
On Vishnu Vishal stepping forward to the produce the film, Muruganantham says, "Vishnu is clear that he's not out to make an art film. Commercial films end up reaching a larger percentage of audiences." Thanks to Vishnu being the producer, the director says he’s "glad that he doesn't have to convince both the actor and the producer separately for every scene."
Soori is in charge of the comedy duties in this film. "Both Vishnu and I zeroed on him. I met the comedian first when I was working with Suseenthiran a while back. We would call each other ‘pangali’. He was an actor who respected me even before I got into direction,” he says.
The topic turns to the cameo from Vijay Sethupathi. "He is an epitome of friendship really. He plays a doctor in a small but pivotal role in the film," says Muruganantham. He also recalls how he signed in Sean Roldan as the composer without revealing anything about the story. "We sat for discussion but we spoke about random things such as Himalayas and Rishis. Then he signed on the dotted line and left (laughs). I later heard that he told Vishnu that he liked me,” he says.
The director has two more scripts ready, a comedy and an action subject. “But it’s an action film that won't defy the laws of science," he laughs.