Kartikeya: Valimai will create a big impact in Indian cinema
Telugu actor Kartikeya, who is set to make his debut as the villain in Valimai, talks to us about his character and why Ajith Kumar’s countenance on the sets motivated everyone to give their best
Ever since its announcement, the Ajith Kumar-starrer Valimai has remained one of the most anticipated Indian films. The film stars RX 100-fame Kartikeya as the antagonist in the H Vinoth actioner. Speaking about how he came on board Valimai, Kartikeya says, “I never saw the film coming. I was shooting for Raja Vikramarka, and it was then that the offer came to me. At first, I was surprised because the combination of H Vinoth and Ajith Kumar is a huge deal.” It’s the script that ultimately drew Kartikeya towards the film, he adds. “I listened to the script and was amazed at how strong my character was, and how he gets pitted against Ajith sir. There was no reason to refuse this film. Ajith sir plays a cop and I play a criminal, who has a powerful philosophy and is both physically and mentally strong. Even my character's name is unusual in this film.”
The actor had his share of apprehensions while walking into the project, with the language barrier being the biggest of them all. “Initially, I was scared as I cannot speak or understand Tamil. I started watching Tamil films and started speaking the language with my friends. Now, I can say I am halfway there, and I can speak and understand the language reasonably. Learning the language has also helped me deliver a better performance. I have dubbed for my character but have told Vinoth sir that if he finds it lacking, he should go for a dubbing artist.”
Talking about his experience of sharing screen space with Ajith, an elated Kartikeya shares, “It was amazing. At first, I was nervous because Ajith sir is a big star, and in an industry that I am not quite familiar with. In barely a day or two, he made me feel so comfortable on the sets; it was as though I was playing the hero. In fact, he treated everyone on the sets equally and made every person feel important. When such a star provides that comfort, it helps everyone to own the film and give their best.” He adds that he also took lessons from Ajith on how to handle a gun. "While shooting for Valimai, I observed how Ajith (Kumar) sir held the gun, and in between the shots, he also explained to me how to hold it in a particular way as it would recoil when a bullet gets fired. It helped a lot."
What do the makers of Valimai, which is releasing on Pongal 2022, have in store for us? “A top-notch action film with first-of-its-kind action sequences in Indian cinema. And yet, it has an emotional core too. I haven’t watched the complete film yet and I am excited about it. H Vinoth is a brilliant director, and I am confident that Valimai will create a big impact in Indian cinema,” Kartikeya concludes.