TOLLYWOOD to HOLLYWOOD
Dhanush is all set to make his debut in English with The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir. As the film hits the big screen, Padma Iyer catches up with the actor, discussing the film, the experience of being a debutante again and more
What was it about The Extraordinary Journey Of The Fakir that made you want to be a part of this film?
The film was all heart. It had positivity and also conveyed a very important message. So, I thought I should be a part of something that is positive.
This film has been shot all over the globe and you have worked with artistes from different countries. Were there any challenges?
Actually, the director, Ken (Scott), did a fantastic job. He made all of us comfortable during the shoot. He helped us at every step and guided us through the script. It, therefore, made things easy for all of us. But, sure, there were challenges. We worked under some difficult circumstances, especially time constraints. But when there is clarity in the mind of the filmmaker, everything falls in place. So, overall, it was not so difficult as it was an exciting experience.
You made your debut in Hindi with Raanjhanaa and now this film marks your debut in English. When you are so well-established in Tamil cinema, what made you want to start all over again?
With Hindi, it was completely Aanand L Rai. He can convince you that a 50-paise chocolate is worth Rs 500! It was the Aanand L Rai factor that convinced me to do Raanjhanaa. And I also thought, how many people actually get the opportunity to fill the shoes of a newcomer again. I wanted to go through that feeling one more time. The first time it happened, I was too young, I was just 16. This time, I knew exactly what was happening. I received an opportunity to start afresh, to understand things again, to learn again.
And then I got it, yet again, with this film, and I am doing it all over again. I am happy to carry my own bags, hold my umbrella and start as a nobody!
You are an actor, a writer, lyricist, director and producer – so many roles. Does it interfere with or help when you are just an actor?
I think I have the clarity of not mixing all these roles. But when I am working in a film, I do brainstorm and offer my feedback. Also, if I am not completely convinced about a film, I will not be a part of it. Once I am convinced at the script level, then it is like any other film.
Luckily, I have worked with the right people at the right time, from the very beginning of my career.
You are one of those actors who has not stuck to a specific genre of films. Do you consciously seek variety or has it just happened naturally?
I seek variety. I don't like to do the same kind of stories, the same type of movies. I never wanted to be stuck inside a circle where the audience can brand me, so much so that if I do something out of it, they don't accept it. So, I keep changing the kind of films I do. It has worked out very well for me and I am grateful for that.
Also, the love of the audience is not something you plan. You can't possibly predict and work towards it. It is, of course, God's blessings, and the kind of films that you do and the makers that you meet. I am blessed to have met the right people at the right time.
Tell us about your future projects. What films can we look forward to?
There is Vetrimaaran's Asuran. It is probably one of the toughest films I have ever done. It has been a mentally and physically draining film. It is almost approaching completion. I have a lot to say about this film but it is too soon to say anything now.
And what about working with your brother?
Very soon. Selvaraghavan's next film will be with me.
And any plans to write and direct?
Hopefully, next year, I will be directing a film. I also enjoy writing. As of now, I am writing something dark. I might end up making it or I might end up doing something else. I am taking it as it comes. I have not decided anything. Let us see.