GV Prakash: 2020 will be the biggest year of my career
The actor-composer talks about his Hollywood debut with Trap City, regaining his glory as a successful composer and his journey forward in cinema.
Vasanthabalan's Veyil which came out in 2006, was an impressive film on several counts. The one that perhaps was foremost among them was the music and by an 18-year-old, no less. Twelve years since, GV Prakash is today a sought-after actor as well, and is all set to make his Hollywood debut with Trap City, starring Brandon T. Jackson, Clifton Powell and our very own Napolean. Prakash says he never dreamt of reaching this place. "Just like everyone, I grew up watching films. A lot of films like Kaakha Kaakha, Alaiypaaudhdey, Nayagan and Thalapathy had a profound impact on me and inspired me to take up film music as a career. Similarly, I have also been fascinated by Hollywood films like Jurrasic Park, Independence Day and Titanic. Stepping into Hollywood feels a bit surreal."
Prakash was offered two characters to choose from by director Ricky Burchell. He chose the character of a surgeon. "I was given the script a month prior to the shooting. This helped me understand the film better," he says. He is all praise for the time and work invested in the pre-production of Hollywood films. "This gives actors so much time to prepare. The script-reading session also proved to be very helpful. I had a lot of space to improvise, discuss the scenes with my co-actors and make the performance as natural as possible," he says.
Prakash has enjoyed recognition as an actor in recent films like Sarvam Thaala Mayam and Sivappu Manjal Pachai, and as a composer in films like Asuran and Soorarai Pottru. Can we call this the best phase of his career? "Post-September 2019, you definitely can (laughs). I did nothing different, in fact. I just told myself that I shouldn't be afraid to fall. One can't stay in the minimum guarantee zone and aspire to win. When people expect you to fade away, you have to rise and show them what you are made of. That's what I call success. I think 2020 will be the biggest year of my career." He says proper time management enables him to balance his roles as an actor and composer, "I hate last-minute work. When I was in school, I used to procrastinate a lot. But I am really passionate about cinema and want to give the best in everything I do. I take an initiative to talk to my team and directors, plan the schedules ahead and ensure that the work is finshed on time."
Prakash is known for making his lead actors sing under his composition regularly. His latest Soorarai Pottru title theme featuring the voice of Suriya, who hadn't faced received much love for his singing previously, became a chartbuster. He calls it his sole responsibility to give the right song to actors and bring out the best from them. "When I plan to make an actor sing, I have to get a satisfactory result from them. Else, I will delete the track without a second thought. Dhanush sang 'Un Mela Aasaidhaan' in Aayirathil Oruvan after a long break, but right after the song, he became a busy singer. I am not saying it happened only because of the song, but I think I gave him the right song to showcase his full potential." About the idea of making Suriya sing, he adds, "Suriya sir has a lovely bass voice, so I thought of making him rap for the title track. I am happy that the song has been receiving a lot of love."
Prakash calls Soorarai Pottru "the career-best performance of Suriya". "Though we have seen Suriya sir perform roles with various shades in films like Nandha and Kaakha Kaakha, I believe Soorarai Pottru has brought out the best in him. I told him that he has broken previous benchmarks set by him."
Prakash will be reuniting with Dhanush for director Karthick Naren's next, tentatively addressed as D 43. He calls the film a new-age thriller. "I am looking forward to this film. I loved the narration of Karthick and it has always been a pleasure to work with Dhanush. I can assure the audience that it will be an intriguing film."
There are a couple of his acting ventures which are facing an agonising delay in hitting the screens. He says no actor can escape this phase. "A film gets delayed due to various reasons. You can't pinpoint one single person. Such delays do affect me. But, the fact is, no one can evade this. Even Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has three-four films which have not faced the light of day." Prakash wraps up the conversation with a one-liner on how he wants audience wants to remember him: "As an actor who played relatable roles that weren't related to each other."