After 13 years in the industry, Suriya’s 25th film Singam is releasing worldwide today.
The actor’s growth has been phenomenal as his climb to the top been slow and steady. The actor broke the myth that a hero who caters to upmarket multiplex audiences cannot become popular among the masses in small towns and rural areas. Today, the actor has a following from Cumbum to Chicago via Chennai, which is his biggest selling point.
The actor is able to do a class act like Gautham Menon’s Vaaranam Aayiram and follow it up with a mass entertainer like KS Ravikumar’s Aadhavan. In an interview to CT, Suriya says, “It is a tightrope walk; you have to maintain a balance between the niche and mass audiences as both are important in making a film a success. A lot of people have asked me why I should do a mass masala film like Hari’s Singam. My answer is that films like his Vel gave me a new reach among audiences who love such kind of entertainers.”
Suriya says that there is a lot of difference between Dorai Singam of Singam and Anbuchelvan of Kaakha Kaakha. “Yes, both the characters are cops, but Anbuchelvan is a suave city slicker and the film, in a way, was about his deep love for Maya. Dorai Singam, on the other hand, is a guy who grew up near the banks of the Thamirabharani river in Tirunelveli and has a lot of love for his parents and deep-rooted sentiments. At the same time, he is a Dirty Harry, who wants to clean up the mess at work. I found Hari’s characterisation appealing and I’m sure the film will be a superhit.”
On his new-found superstar status and the trade’s belief that his films have better reach and penetration than his peers, Suriya says, “For me, the most important factors are the story and screenplay. My film should look colourful and cheerful; there should be something for the family audiences. It should also appeal to the sensibilities of people outside Tamil Nadu, as people in other southern states, metros and overseas comprise 40 per cent of my audience. In fact, Singam is releasing in 35 screens in North America, which is the highest for a Tamil film in recent times.”
About rumours that he is no longer interested in Kollywood and is looking towards Bollywood, Suriya retorts, “Tamil cinema is my bread and butter; it’s made me a star. I’m not interested in doing a regular Hindi film. I did RGV’s Rakta Charitra as I found the character exciting and challenging. You don’t get to play a Suri, which is one of the most complex characters in the film, every day. Next month, I’m beginning work on A R Murgadoss’s Ezhaam Arivu, which is pure dynamite; the subject will appeal to a pan-Indian audience.”
Unlike his colleagues, Suriya has not increased his salary even after delivering blockbuster after blockbuster. Why’s that, we ask him. “I do not go after money and will do only one film at a time. I make enough money doing endorsements. I believe that everybody should gain from a film that I act in — right from the producer to the distributor, exhibitor and even the agency that has taken the theatres’ canteen and parking lot on contract. I’m passionate about my projects and know my market limits,” he signs off with a smile.
On the home front, Suriya and Jyothika are expecting their second child in June. “We are eagerly looking forward to the arrival of the new member of our family,” says the actor, with a smile, “Whether it is a boy or a girl does not matter, as long as Diya has someone to fuss over and play with.”
Checkout singam movie information here.