Insisting that he doesn’t psychoanalyse his roles, Dhanush says he must relate to them
ifteen years and 27 films have seen Dhanush come a long way from his first outing, Thulluvadho Ilamai (2002). While his Soup Song got him international attention, it also opened the doors to Bollywood. His Hindi debut, Raanjhana, may not have rocked the box office, but it did fetch the actor a Filmfare for the most promising actor. His next venture, Shamitabh, also opened to lukewarm reception—but it had a unique storyline and snagged him a chance to work with the stalwart Amitabh Bachchan. Meanwhile back home, the cash registers continue to ring as his last Tamil film, Anegan, earned `50 crores in 10 days. Now Rajinikanth’s son-in-law (married to Aishwariya) has a host of films lined up for 2015, starting with Maari with Balaji Mohan. Then there is Naanum Rowdydhaan with Vignesh Sivan, VIP 2, with his favourite director and cinematographer, Velraj, and a collaboration with Vetrimaaran. His previous films with the director—Aadukalam and Polladhavan—were both box office hits, with the former winning Dhanush his first National Award. The actor and producer, who is now a brand ambassador for 7UP, took some time off while judging 98 finalists—as part of 7UP Up starters, a talent competition—to talk to us. “It’s really nice to see so much talent from all over the state. We have had dancers, singers and actors, and it is refreshing to see them perform in front of you with no inhibitions,” begins the 31-year-old. The show will be telecast on Sun TV on June 7, from 5 pm onwards.
After his Bollywood outings, Dhanush tells us candidly that he memorises his lines because he still hasn’t picked up Hindi too well. Firmly believing that Hindi cinema gives him the platform to experiment, he says, “There is nothing expected of me there. I can do whatever I want to. In the Tamil film industry, we cannot decide what we want to do. People expect something out of Dhanush and it is up to my intelligence level to understand that and deliver what they want.” While comparing the two film industries, the actor says, “Bollywood is much bigger and larger in terms of sets, money and budgets. But other than that, film making is the same everywhere.”
As for the toughest genre, he says, “Action is physically very demanding. But mentally, comedy is the most difficult thing to do.” The actor is also excited as his film Kaaka Muttai hits the screens today. He is producing the film— an unusual story of two slum children wanting to have some pizza—with director Vetrimaaran. While critics believe that Dhanush can play grey characters really well, he has other ideas. “Everything is grey. There is nothing called black or white. But I don’t intentionally choose films with a complex story. I do films and roles that I can relate to. I don’t sit and analyse the psychology of the character. Sometimes, you just understand what the character is going through and that’s when I pick it up,” he concludes.
— Mrinalini Sundar