Ilayathalapathy Vijay may be busy shooting for his films but he still makes time for social causes and charities. And, in between his work schedule, he also ensures he spends time with his family.
We caught up with Vijay for its fifth anniversary issue and chatted about his days as a youngster in the city, his family and more…
How are you as a father?
I am like a friend to my kids. My wife, Sangeeta, handles their studies, etc. My son, Sanjay, and I discuss a lot of things – like he gives me feedback on my films and what his friends say at school. In fact, I always test out my movie songs on him. If he likes a song, then I know for sure it’ll be a hit. He loved Google Google… and I knew it would do well. (Smiles) My daughter, Saasha, also watches my films and tells me if she likes them or not.
I heard you hated school and refused to go… and that you were a big Michael Jackson fan so you focused on dancing…
Well, I wasn’t interested in studies. (Laughs) Yes, I liked Michael Jackson and used to practice his steps. I enjoy dancing!
And what about college? You dropped out to get into films and your parents weren’t happy…
I wanted to get into films and my parents were against it. I convinced my mom and finally she convinced my dad. My dad then felt who best to launch his son than him? So, he launched me and here I am.
If Sanjay wanted to become an actor, would you allow him to drop out?
No! I’d tell him that education is important so he must complete college before he gets into his career. I would like my kids to study well. But Sanjay’s interests keep changing every month (like any kid) – he recently said he wanted to become a cricketer; so, I have organized a coach and take him to cricket matches. So we’ll have to wait and watch.
Surya and you were batchmates in Loyola College though in different courses and now colleagues. Were you friends then?
Yes, Surya was doing B.Com. and I was doing my Vis Com. We used to hang out with our friends in the parking lot and generally catch up there. Then I left college to enter films. We are friends even today, not just then. My closest friends today are, in fact, my friends from college.
‘I’D LIKE TO GIVE MY BEST’
Some of the films you have done (like Sura) have been extensively criticized…
(Laughs) Yes, some of the choices were perhaps not right but it’s all part of the film business.
How do you feel after joining the Rs 100 crore club? Is there more pressure on you now?
As I told you earlier, I don’t understand these figures and numbers. I am happy that Thuppaki hit the Rs 100 crore mark and I hope more Tamil films in future cross that figure. As for pressure, there’s always the desire to give my best to every film – after all, so many people put in so much of hard work.
How important is the work you do for social causes and charities?
It’s very important and close to me. It brings me a lot of satisfaction to help people in whatever way I can. I am happy to do it.