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    Silambarasan on his film Vaalu and finding new direction in life

    When we caught up with Silambarasan TR, we were surprised to find Tamil cinema’s favourite bad boy uncharacteristically sombre, l10x16-12aid-back and rather exhausted. The lull at the box office seems to have taken its toll on the actor, singer and producer.  Besides a string of flops like Idhu Namma Aalu and Vettai Mannain in the past two years, the 32-year-old has also received a lot of flak for his off-and-on relationships with his co-stars and has been the butt of negative publicity, especially post his break-up with co-star Hansika Motwani. With STR’s latest film, Vaalu (co-starring Motwani), releasing soon and Gautham Menon’s Acham Embathu Madamaiyada and Selvaraghavan’s Kaan in the pipeline, he is hopeful but talks less about his movies and more about life.

    Shooting star
    Silambarasan says he plays a macho character in Menon’s next, in contrast to his breakthrough character of Karthik in Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya. “I  have respect for Gautham Menon’s faith in me, even after I hit an all-time low. We deliberately kept my character in his next film a stark contrast to the boy-next-door image. The character is like a mix of Karthik in Vinnaitandi Varuvaaya and Surya of Kaakha Kaakha. Kaan, on the other hand, will see me as a devotee to Lord Murugan,” says the actor, who is shooting simultaneously for both projects. Does he research the diverse characters he is playing? “I just go on the set and speak to my director. Then I launch into my character. I do not require any former preparation, I know I’m good at what I do,” he says.

    Changing goals
    “Superstar MGR was very careful about his image as a star, which got him to where he was. I did just the opposite, but I still became a superstar,” says the Vallavan star, who has been known to call a spade a spade. “The last two years have not been easy for me. I realised I have had my biggest learning in 32 years during this phase. My goals are no longer restricted to making films. Box office hits or `100 crore films do not excite me. I do films because my fans have stood by me. As long as they whistle and clap and have a good time, my job is done,” says Silambarasan. The actor who has adopted meditation, and embraced spirituality over the last two years says he does not chase money or fame anymore. “In the last two years, I did not ask my parents for money even when I ran dry. I have realised there is a larger goal to life than chasing material goals and I am keener on finding myself with God; of reaching further through meditation,” he insists.

    Bigger plans
    The actor does not have much to say about making it to film festivals. “I don’t have to pretend to be somebody and talk about awards and off-beat cinema. I like the kind of films I do and am also appreciative of films like Kaaka Muttai, where I did a brief cameo,” he says, meanwhile, he has no plans of getting married anytime soon. “Life is moving forward and with women empowerment and equality on the cards, women are choosing what they’d like to do, be it same sex marriage or staying single. As a man, I choose to live and let live,” laughs the actor, who brushes off his past relationships, commenting that probably life has “bigger plans for him”. So what is with his  meditative state of mind? “Every human being has a phase two. I am just lucky to have discovered my calling,” the actor concludes.

    Vaalu is scheduled to release shortly.

    Niranjana Hariharanandanan

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