I rehearsed more than 2 weeks to be stone-faced in 8 Thottakkal: Vetri
The actor talks about his upcoming crime thriller Jiivi
Vetri is best known for his debut film, 8 Thottakkal, in which he played a cop, and now, after two years, he returns with Jiivi, which is getting released this Friday. When asked if it was a conscious decision to stick to thrillers, the young actor says, “I actually wanted to do a different genre, quite far removed from 8 Thottakkal, but Jiivi was a film we just couldn’t let go of. Though both films are thrillers, there’s a fantasy angle to this film. The story deals with thodarbial (connectivity); it shows how everyone is connected and the same consequence may befall every individual. There’s a point to stop all this, and it’s the job of my character to search for that particular point.”
Despite getting rave reviews, 8 Thottakkal came under some criticism for the actor’s ‘lack of expression’. Vetri, who acknowledges it, says it was intentional. “The character in that film was supposed to be stone-faced. As it was my first film, I guess the audience took it in a wrong way. I actually had to rehearse for more than two weeks for the role in 8 Thottakkal at the end of which I got to learn the precise way to play the character. But my role in Jiivi, which is more dialogue-oriented, is different and it needed just a day of rehearsal. The director (VJ Gopinath) also gave me the freedom to improvise a few things on the set.”
Vetri finds Jiivi to be the perfect second film considering he is playing a character with grey shades in it, one who isn’t above conning people. “I wanted a character through which I could showcase my acting skills, especially after the criticism I got for my first film. This role has a good mix of heroism and villainy. My character is someone who believes in his intuitions and does what he wants without caring about repercussions.”
The first sneak peek had a lot of quirky dialogues and Vetri credits that to scriptwriter Babu. “We were keen that the dialogues should be relatable to the audience and Babu is wholly responsible for coming up with strong dialogues that double up both as a line that the character speaks, as well as something the film wishes to tell the viewers through me.”
The actor adds that his father (who has produced both 8 Thottakkal and Jiivi) and brother help him with script selection. “I listen to the scripts first and select a few which I then take to my father. He, along with my younger brother, takes the final call on what would fit me the best.”
Interestingly, his next two films are not produced by his family. “Both are with new directors and the titles are yet to be fixed, with one set to go on floors from July. An official announcement regarding them will be out soon,” concludes Vetri.