How do you look back on your career?
There is room for satisfaction. But if you are constantly trying to evolve, there should be an element of dissatisfaction. Only then you can improve. Of course, I would like to attribute my longevity to hard work, perseverance and commitment. Then there is also the important ingredient, the following of fans. They are the main reason for my success. They are highly discerning here.
How do you keep yourself relevant in the ever-changing scheme of things?
It is quite simple. As long as you choose your roles and films with care, things will be okay. Obviously, over a period of time, there are bound to be some wrong choices, but if your majority of films are good, there won't be any room for cribbing.
You have stayed away from controversies and gossip. You are seen as a role model. How has this been possible?
As I said discipline and commitment takes care of very many things in life. If you consider yourself to be professional and concentrate on the work, there won't be time for other things in life.
You are seen as a versatile actor. How did you achieve this?
The thing is if you are careful and choosy about the characters you play, then half the job is done. The trick is not to be repetitive. Otherwise you run the risk of being typecast. Look at the films of mine in recent times --- Kazhcha, Black, Vesham, Thommanum Makkalum, Taskaraveeran and Raapakal, each had a different shade to my character. There was an inherent logic in the roles. And you have to bring the relevance to the audience, too.
In other words, quality control at the time of accepting a film is crucial?
Absolutely.I have to convince myself about the role before I can become convincing in that. There is a lot of internal process to it.
Tell us about Nerariyan CBI, the historical fourth in the list of sequels
I love the character Sethurama Iyer. It was my baby. It is close to my heart.The character was shaped up by me. Originally, Sethurama Iyer was not a Brahmin, he was supposed to be a Muslim. But I knew, for that character to work, the hero had to be a honest, tough as nails Brahmin. It is nice to have done a character that has worked for four films.
Your future projects
Rajamanickam is almost over and will hit the theaters for Ramzan. I play the role of a buffalo dealer. In Bus Conductor, I play the endearing role of Kunjaka, a bus conductor from Malabar.