You were doing well as a music director… then why this risk?
When I came to Chennai, it was for studies. Later, I turned a sound engineer and had my own studio. Life was going on well, when I had the desire to try my hands in music direction. When I told my friends about this, they asked why I wanted to take a risk when things were going on fine. Had I heeded to their words, you wouldn’t have seen the music director Vijay Anthony. The same question arises now for which I have to answer.
I don’t consider this to be a risk. Quite a number of people, who do not know anything about cinema, come here to try their luck out of sheer interest. If that is the case, why should someone who has been in the field and knows cinema well not arrive on the scene?
A businessman runninga garment manufacturing unit enters hotel industry; a journalist writes dialogues for films, in the same manner my interest in the donning the greasepaint also lies. It does not mean that I would quit scoring music because it still remains in me and will stay there. It is just that I like acting and am going to try my luck. I have also undergone some special training for the purpose and you’ll realise once the movie is out.
How did Naan start?
The film’s director Jeeva Shankar was my junior in Loyola College and we have been friends since then. After college I turned towards music and Jeeva went onto become a cameraman. He was an associate to cinematographerJeeva and has directed the film AnandhaThandavam produced by Aascar Films.
One fine day, Jeeva Shankar came on a casual visit. At that time, he wanted me to hear out the script and neither he nor I had the slightest idea of me starring in the film. Soon after the script was told, I was very impressed and expressed my desire to star in the film. Jeeva Shankar was very happy with the decision and made some minor changes to the script to suit me. This is how Naan was born!
Is it necessary to produce the film?
When the script and hero was ready, we had a doubt on who would come forward to produce a film with a music director debuting as hero. I did not want producers to reject such a good script on this ground. Hence it was decided that I would fund Naan myself. It does not mean that I turned a producer without any experience. I asked producer VenkatRamani who had produced the film TN07 AL 4777 for ideas.
Since he liked the script, Venkat sir also decided to co-produce Naan with me. It is indeed a great honour that the producer had faith in me to co-produce the film. Since the production was ours, we were able to take some good decisions.
Okay… you’ve decided to act… but it also involves a lot of things like dance and fight…
Just like you’ve asked, a person asked me if I know horse riding since I am going to act. It made me ponder why a film hero should know all this when in real life we don’t have use for it on a daily basis and yet we are all heroes. However, I don’t suggest that such things are not needed for movies. With technological advancements and computer graphics, all that can be taken care of, I think.
What is the genre of this film?
This film is an action thriller. Anuya, Rupa Manjari, Deepa and Anandha Thandavam fame Siddarth have acted in this film along with me. Who are they and what is their connection with me forms the plot for the story.
All of us have three faces. One is a very professional face for the outsiders and the other is a casual face for the family. Other than these two, there is a third face which is known only to the person concerned.
I play the character of such a person with the third face.
Naan is no one else but me. Jeeva Shankar has handled the camera and directed this film as well. I’ve taken care of the music.
Since you’ve composed music for your film… what is special in it?
I selected this script mainly because it has good scope for a music director like me. I’ve scored music for a number of films and several of my songs have turned into hits. But as far as the re-recording is concerned, I feel I haven’t achieved much. I hope with Naan I’ll achieve what I wanted. For this film’s re-recording alone I took six months to complete the work. This is one the reasons for the delay in Naan’s release.
Everyone who sees this film will be able to travel with me throughout. For this, background music will be helpful. I have put in a lot of efforts into this film. At the same time, one would be able to see the same-old Vijay Anthony. For example: MakkayalaRaagam.
Industry is now seeing you as a hero… will the chance to score music come down?
I don’t see it like that because as far as music is concerned I improvise every day. In fact, after completing the re-recording and seeing the film, I felt that I got stronger in music. People who have the same feeling will surely come to me and I won’t disappoint them. Even now I associated with a number of projects.
What are your current projects?
Madha Gaja Raja aka MGR, which is being directed by Sundar C, has Vishal playing the lead role. My good friend GNR Kumaravel is directing Haridas and Ramesh-directed IruvarUllam. Apart from these, a Telugu filmis in my kitty right now. Havingsigned up so many deals, I am still busy scoring music.
After Naan will you continue as actor and producer?
Definitely… if I act and produce a film it means I can give opportunities to new directors. Wouldn’t that be welcome? With my filmmaking, quite a lot of technicians are able to work and earn. I take it like that!