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Kathir for Suzhal: The actor who seeks the extraordinary- Cinema express

Kathir-The actor who seeks the extraordinary

The actor who made his web series debut with the recent Amazon Prime Video Original, Suzhal, that has opened to positive reviews, discusses his acting choices 

Published: 20th June 2022
Kathir: The actor who seeks the extraordinary

The pandemic has transformed people in a lot of ways. Actor Kathir, who plays a cop in Pushkar-Gayathri's latest offering, Suzhal, feels that the pandemic has caused a sea-change in the audience's taste for cinema. "OTT platforms have expanded horizons and people’s exposure to national and global content has increased their expectations when it comes to regional creators. Now, creators and actors need to run the extra mile to entertain," he says.

Kathir, who last played a cop in Sathru (2019), believes that a memorable entertainer should either deliver a novel experience or convincingly narrate a story that is close and relatable. He thinks his web series, Suzhal, does both. "When I first heard the narration of Suzhal, I was engrossed in minutes. I knew that the idea would really take off, and our validation came from Amazon Prime Video who liked it so much that they have dubbed it in five languages along with offering subtitles for seven languages. This was a huge confidence boost."

Multi-starrers aren't new to Kathir, who has worked with Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi in Vikram Vedha (2017) and Bharath in Ennodu Vilayadu (2017). In Suzhal, he has worked with many actors including Parthiban, Sriya, and Aishwarya Rajesh. "Parthiban sir is strong in the art of mastering new body languages. For instance, the way he handles his eyeglasses in this series conveys a range of emotion. Sriya knows the script by heart, and can deliver any dialogue if you just tell her the page number. Aishwarya, on the other hand, is a confident actor, who clearly knows what a director expects from her. Watching all of them perform was so special."

Kathir has already earned a reputation for featuring in characters that are very different from each other. The oppressed Pariyan from Pariyerum Perumal, for instance, is a far cry from Pulli in Vikram Vedha. This came about as a result of some tough decisions and being able to say no, he shares. "I turn down unexciting offers in the most subtle and diplomatic ways. I am kind to them because I must respect a director who has given it all for their script."

Right now, he is basking in all the appreciation that is coming Suzhal’s way. "I fell in love with Sakkarai (his character in Suzhal) ever since the narration. He is so pure and full of love. It isn't easy to come across such a person in everyday life,” he says. Another intriguing thread in the film for Kathir was the idea of a cop being attached to the many suspects in the story. “This idea was rather unique. In fact, so much do I like and trust Sakkarai that I wish Suzhal was my follow-up to Pariyerum Perumal."

The time an actor spends in the shoes of a character is significantly longer for a web series when compared to a feature film. Did his character, Sakkarai, affect him a lot? He laughs: “We had long pandemic-induced breaks in between, and so, I had enough time for my reality checks. This was still an easier character to handle than the one I played in Sigai (2017). My walking style completely changed after that film; it took me a long time to get back to normal."

Kathir hopes that the audience will remember him as ‘that actor who didn't settle for the ordinary’. "I can’t ask for more.”

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