I like to be part of the latest trends in cinema: Bobby Simha
The National award-winning actor, who will next be seen in Rajinikanth's Petta has made his web-series debut with Vella Raja
After seeing Bobby Simha as a beefed up villain in Saamy Square earlier this year, it is quite surprising to see that he's lost quite some weight. "I lost it for Petta, and was actually even leaner. But then, I was free for a while and ate a lot," says a laughing Simha, as we sit down to discuss Vella Raja, which marks his foray into the web-series world.
Simha doesn't think of the web-series as a transition from feature films. "I think only the duration and marketing is different from that of a feature film. It's the same art form and as actors, we're not going to approach it in a different way because it's a different perspective. Ultimately, I try to do justice to my role," says the Metro actor, who shares that the story of Vella Raja got him hooked. "It's a superb script by Guhan Seniappan (director), Lokesh Kanagaraj (Maanagaram director), and Madonne Ashwin (National Award-winning short-film maker). I've seen a few web-series and films of other languages that made me wonder why we don't get such content in Tamil. I'm glad Vella Raja will fill that void and I'm a part of it. When a major production house such as Dream Warriors which has made content-oriented films such as Aruvi and Theeran Adhigaram Ondru, is backing the project, there's no reason to have second thoughts."
Simha, of course, was a big part of the short film wave of the early 2010s, and the actor agrees he likes to be part of such new trends. "I see them as art forms and frankly, the platform can be anything. The reach for a web-series is phenomenal these days, and there's a different crowd that's consuming that content. Moreover, considering the series is available for people of more than 20 countries, it feels good to let others know about our culture and people. For us who've enjoyed foreign films, this is quite a proud moment."
Simha, who plays a don in Vella Raja, was careful to make sure that his role didn't seem reminiscent of what he did in Jigarthanda. "As I say, Assault Sethu is not a role but a 'soul'. I don't think it can be recreated. Vella Raja's Deva (his role) has his own soul. How he handles situations and anger is completely different. I feel I've done justice to the role's demands," says Simha. "Credit for this web-series should go to SR Prabhu sir of Dream Warrior Productions. He made sure whatever we needed, such as gunshots and firing scenes, were made available without thinking twice. He was strong that the content on paper get translated to visuals. I felt like I was on a feature film shooting spot when we were doing Vella Raja. Similarly, the crew too is technically strong. The fights are realistic and we've used huge guns such as double barrels."
Simha beams as the topic turns to his upcoming biggie, the Rajini-starrer, Petta. "I can't reveal anything about it yet. Whatever awe I had when I saw him the first time is still the same. No matter how many films I do, sharing screen space with the one and only Rajini sir will always be special. We spoke a lot and he's very jovial. He doesn't even go to his caravan. He'll sit on his chair and watch the shooting. When he's needed, he'll be there first. There's a lot one can learn from him," says Simha who has also signed up to play the lead role in LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's biopic titled Seerum Puli. "It's the story of a legend, so we want it to be told genuinely."