Vaibhav: Small films cannot afford to be uninteresting
The actor talks about his new film Sixer which talks about a man suffering from night blindness
Vaibhav is visibly excited about his upcoming release, Sixer, in which he plays a person with nyctalopia (night blindness). "It's a pucca entertainer for the whole family. I prefer working on such films," says Vaibhav. The team of Sixer is full of admirers of Goundamani's character, Cook Kandhasamy, in Chinna Thambi. That’s why this film’s tagline, drawn from the veteran comedian’s track in Chinna Thambi, is 'current bill kattunadhe illada (I have never had to pay the electricity bill)’. "We grew up watching Goundamani sir's comedy and his Chinna Thambi character was the inspiration for our lead character. We had a lead character like that in Raja Paarvai, but we wanted to treat it with humour."
Vaibhav has apparently never had to rehearse for any of his roles. "I believe that when actors rehearse for a role, their mind goes for improvisations during the shoot. Spontaneity is key to films like Sixer, and so, I prefer going to the shoot with a blank mind," says Vaibhav, who laughs when I mention the scene in Sixer that shows him dressed up as Kamal did in the ‘Pudhucheri Kutchery’ track from Singaravelan. "Director Chachi wanted to include that reference. I was sceptical but he explained how it is the most perfect example for any boyfriend looking to pacify his girlfriend. Chachi was confident that the scene would take this film to every centre."
The actor stresses that while the film may be a comedy, it does not make fun of the medical condition. "It was quite hard to shoot a few sequences with my eyes closed. Many scenes had me wearing glasses but the director told me to close my eyes for the sake of authenticity. That's when I realised how difficult it is for those who suffer from sight-related disorders. We were extra careful to make sure we didn't hurt anyone and there is also justification in the climax in the form of an emotional sequence," says the actor.
Vaibhav is happy about the reception to the film's album by Ghibran. "We got to know that Ghibran was interested in working on a fun film. He had become bored doing thrillers and action, and was quite happy to accept this project," says Vaibhav, who goes to talk about the two famous personalities who have lent their voice for the film's songs: Sivakarthikeyan and Anirudh. "Both of them are close friends and their addition to this project is a huge plus."
Talking to us about two years ago around the release of Meyaadha Maan, the actor had joked about how he had no control over his film getting released alongside a big film like Mersal. Now, Sixer is getting released with another biggie, Saaho. "Yaaravathu venumne Mersal odavum Saaho odavum varuvangala? It just turns out like this. The makers are confident about the project, and practically speaking, there may be a spillover from such big films. Also, release slots for the next few weeks are all full."
Vaibhav says he’s cautious not to work on similar films. "That’s how we can get audiences to accept our films. Small films always need something interesting," says Vaibhav. I point out that he’s really taken to the boy-next-door character, and he denies that this is something planned. "I am not interested in playing characters that are wealthy (laughs)," he explains.
The actor has had quite a few releases with debutant directors, and that’s because “they bring out the best for their first film. They want to extract the best of you and that results in better films. They want to make a point and it becomes evident in how they work."
In a career spanning a decade, this is the most successful period for the actor, at least when it concerns the number of releases. "I used to take a lot of time to do a film, but after Meyaadha Maan, I got a lot of scripts to choose from. It changed perceptions about what I could and could not do. Even Meyaadha Maan's director Ratna Kumar was sceptical about casting me and it was the film's producer Karthik Subbaraj who stressed I should prove him wrong," says Vaibhav, who goes on to talk about his upcoming films. "RK Nagar, whose release keeps getting pushed, has been ready for a while now. I have also wrapped up work on Kaatteri. Taana is almost done too. The film with Nitin Sathyaa's production house is at its final leg of shoot. Next, I will be doing a film with Passion Studios, the makers of Seethakaathi." When prodded about his web-series with Venkat Prabhu starring Kajal Aggarwal, he says, "That's almost confirmed too. As always, I never get to know what role I am doing in a Venkat Prabhu project until I go to the sets.”