I don't regret my flops: Nakkhul
The actor whose next release, Sei, directed by Raj Babu, is all set to hit the screens this Friday, talks about his journey so far
It has been 15 years since Nakkhul made his debut with Shankar's Boys, and a decade since his turn as solo lead in the 2008 hit, Kadhalil Vizhunthen. Nakkhul, who’s experienced a heady mix of success and failures in his career, now awaits the release of his 11th film, Sei. Talking about his start-stop career so far, the actor says, "I can only do with what I get. I have been working with mostly new directors, and new production houses. I would love to do 4-5 or even 10 films a year. The thing is, it is easy to make a film, but having it released is a different ball game altogether."
It was a problem concerning Sei’s release that put Nakkhul in the eye of a controversy recently. The film’s release was postponed from last week owing to a lack of screens, following Vijay Antony's Thimiru Pudichavan — originally slated to come out on Deepavali — getting an advance release. "You are standing in an airport, in the queue, and then suddenly, someone else stands in front of you. Is it right? My producer was like, 'I could have made three Malayalam films in this time'," says the actor, who hopes that the Producers' Council will deal with those who don't abide by council-approved release dates, with an iron fist.
Sei’s delayed release, Nakkhul believes, won’t affect the viewing experience. Calling it a fast-paced film, the actor says it encompasses all the requisites of a ‘commercial family entertainer’. He plays a wannabe actor, Saravedi Saravanan, who is forced to take up the job of an ambulance driver to fend for his family. Sei also stars veteran actors Nasser and Prakash Raj in important roles. Calling them ‘an inspiration’, Nakkhul talks excitedly about how his pre-conceived notions about these actors was broken on the very first day of the shoot. "I thought I would have to maintain a diplomatic relationship with them, as they are seniors. But then, they turned out to be extremely friendly. I actually miss them now. With Prakash Raj sir, I even developed the comfort level to ask him to mouth his iconic dialogues. In the future, I'd want to be an actor about whom junior and upcoming actors talk fondly," he says.
While Sei is conceived as a family entertainer, Nakkhul has dabbled in quite a few genres in his career so far, ranging from a sports film in Vallinam to a hyperlink narrative in Tamizhukku En Ondrai Azhuthavum. Talking about how he picks scripts, the actor reveals that it is the story that always gets the highest priority, followed by his characterisation and the team backing the project. "Having a good team is important. There is only so much I can do as an actor. How a team delivers the product becomes very important. I have had both successes and failures, but I have loved them all. I regret none of my flops," he says.
Calling himself a ‘director's actor’, Nakkhul feels that the right director can really tap into his acting potential. "Many people said that Vallinam broke the pattern of acting I was doing till then. I credit director Arivazhagan sir for breaking that mould," he shares.
The actor’s also tried his hand at playback singing, having been part of hit numbers like Kaadhal Yaanai (Anniyan) and Karka Karka (Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu). "Singing was a passion. I know the difference between a professionally trained singer and me. I have the highest regards and respect for them. I like it when SPB sir, Hariharan sir, Unnikrishnan sir or Haricharan sing for me. It is a matter of great pride. I love to sit back and listen," says Nakkhul, who will next be seen in Eriyum Kannadi, opposite Sunainaa, with whom he’s delivered hits like Kadhalil Vizhunthen and Maasilamani.
Nakkhul, who’s against doing cameos, remains open to multi-starrers. "I'll definitely do 3-4 films next year. If I had a choice, I’d love to do an army film, a sports film, and maybe even a space project. I want to do it all," he signs off.