Only breaking stereotypes can elevate an actor: Harish Kalyan
The young actor, whose IRIR is in theatres, talks about the film and his choice of films
Harish Kalyan is keen to keep his on-screen and off-screen persona disassociated. Though he calls himself a simple, boy-next-door who happened to become an actor, it is this very image he’s trying to break out of with the roles he does. "I'm a normal person who cherishes simple things. You can spot a guy like me in your friends or family. As an actor though, I want to experiment. I believe that only breaking stereotypes can elevate an actor to the next level."
In keeping with his belief, Harish, for the first time, has played an intense, angry man, in this week's release, Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum, directed by Ranjit Jeyakodi. Ask him about the preparations for the role and he says, "I had to put on weight, and sport a fabricated cut near my eyebrow. IRIR is a character-driven story. Ranjit gave the necessary inputs and guidance to pull off the role. Gautham, my character in the film, is a commoner; every audience will relate him to a person they know in their real life, and I believe all the boys will relate to this character,” he says.
Harish Kalyan believes parts of him are in Pyaar Prema Kaadhal's Sree and IRIR's Gautham. “I have to something to relate to in all the roles I play. Even my character in Poriyaalan had a lot of who I am."
Be it IRIR or PPK, Harish hasn’t been one to be coy about intimate scenes on screen. Asked if he has any worries about losing the 'family audience', he says, “I believe the audience has become mature now and they are clear about their views on entertainment. This just keeps transforming. The next generation will be in a mentality to accept much wider content when they reach my age,” he says. “You can't cheat the audience by showing something that is not happening in the society. After all, films are just their reflection. But I'm definitely against showing obscene and crass content, and calling it entertainment." He believes that the family audience I speak of “will realize the damage caused to a person due to raising him wrong."
Harish being one of the most active celebrities on Twitter, I ask if the negativity in the space has ever hurt him. “I do get affected at times,” he says. “Even if I post something with good intent, certain people take it wrong and make a mountain out of a molehill. But keeping in mind the greater good, it is a useful platform to share personal opinions and unite for a cause."
Harish's Bigg Boss stint and his friendship with Simbu are topics that invariably creep into conversations with him. "I definitely have the curiosity to enter the Bigg Boss house again and stay there for a few days. But I'm genuinely scared that people might get bored of seeing my face regularly." Simbu, meanwhile, is like a brother to him, he says. “I didn't become his fan all of a sudden. He has inspired me from my childhood. He is frank and grounded, and only means well for others."
He notes that the success of PPK has made him more responsible as an actor. “I don't want to cheat those who come into the theatre trusting me. My script sense has definitely evolved. But one might never know what will be enjoyed by the audience and what will be shunned by them, unless the film hits the theatre," he says. "For instance, we didn't know that PPK would become such a huge commercial and critical success while we were working on it. But it was celebrated by the audience. I gained the confidence to work on a full-fledged comedy script after realizing that the audience liked my antics in PPK."
His upcoming film with Sanjay Bharathi, son of director Santhana Bharathi, is a comedy-drama with a lead male character who is highly superstitious. "My character is a staunch believer in josiyam and jadhagam, unlike the real me. For the first time, I’ll be playing a character who’s nothing like me. I also have a fantasy and a quirky comedy, bankrolled by reputed production houses, in the pipeline."