Do you want to be an action hero or chocolate boy?
(Giggles) It’s a very interesting question. The way I began was very different, it was unlike an action hero or a chocolate boy. I did an interesting character in Paruthi Veeran, after that my transition into main stream or rather entertainment sector was through ‘Paiyyaa’(Awaara in Telugu), because even ‘Ayarthil Oruvan’ (Yuganiki Okkadu in Telugu) was also an experiment. I think Paiyyaa got me this Chocolate boy image and ‘Naan Mahaan Alla’ (Tamil) again a serious film where I had to act there. I think I’ll try to split between action hero and chocolate boy image, because I like action and I enjoy comedy. So I think ideally a character that can get me both!
Working with new directors
See I am also new (laughing). I need some time to learn my craft and be more sure about what I can deliver even without the director being there. Or director not explaining me to exactly what he wants, I should be able to give what the film requires, once I go to that level, probably I’ll be able to work with new comers. But again when I see everyday at the shooting spot, the number of decisions that have to be made and the amount of knowledge a director needs to have, I really think a director has to have reasonable knowledge to work. I think it will take quite some time to work with a new director or if a story is really impressive that I can’t say no to, and then I’d probably work.
What kind of films would you like to do?
Story is first of all is very subjective. Once you listen to it, I am not particular I want to do a particular genre of films because all my five films, even ‘Siruthai’ my next Tamil movie, is a mass commercial film that I am doing something for the first time. I try not to be repetitive, anything that interests me, and which I would really want to do, which I would be proud to show it to people, it depends on the story. The director, he conceives and suppose if it’s a new director then probably he does something fantastic then I would never say no. It all depends on the impact of the story has on me.
Competing with Suriya
When you have a brother in the industry who is a competition to anybody, naturally you can’t avoid it. He is always in front of you, showing that you can be surpassing your targets, you can set your own benchmarks and keep growing further and further. Naturally he is an inspiration; I can never call him a competition. He’s an inspiration, I learn a lot from him. Competitor is not the right word.
Response from Telugu audiences
In Tollywood, I should be really thankful to people, because, Sri Raghavan, director of Yuganiki Okkadu, when ever I speak, he always says people in Andhra always enjoy movies. They really enjoy, if you give a good film, they will enjoy it. Basically I should be thankful to the people, because they love films and appreciate hard work, appreciate talent and if I get something, it is because of the people. I am also thankful to my directors and producers, because K E Gnanavel Garu promoted my movies so well.
A gossip about you and Tamannah....your comment.
See there are not many heroines in Tamil right now, there are very few heroines. So it is hard not to repeat your heroines but there is a successful film, the producers will always want to repeat the successful combination. Since Aawara is a huge hit, producers will always want to cast successful pair again, like Vijay and Trisha has worked in a lot of films in Tamil and also Surya and Jyothika. Successful combinations cannot be avoided and this is part of the industry where rumours are always spoken about you. I can’t avoid those rumours. I am really comfortable acting with Tamannah. She’s a good actor and with such people even you will improve a lot.
Generally people celebrate birthday with friends and family, but you go to orphanages...
For me from childhood, my father has encouraged us to respect elders and to give for people who need help, so again it comes from home. I’ve seen Dad helping people even before they could ask him for help, if he knows that they may need something, he’ll go forward and give it to them. I don’t wait for people to ask me help. When I see people in need, I make sure I go and help. If I am going on birthdays to reach out to kids in orphanages, it is for my own satisfaction, I feel happier to be with them and its nice to make them smile on that particular day.
If you’re offered a role of a villain in a film that has Suriya as the hero...will you do it?
It all depends on the script. If the villain is equal to the hero, then (laughing) its not a problem, it has to be interesting for me to act and I have to like that film. If it is really interesting film, if you see, for example, ‘Face Off’, where John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, they both are two important part of the film, they are the hero and the villain. Those kind of films will be interesting, to see brothers playing opposites, definitely interesting to me itself. Depends entirely on the film and the script!
What if you get an offer in Tollywood with negative role?
I am not very particular in doing negative roles; I am not for negative roles. This negative role has to be in a special place, if it is really interesting, I might do it. I don’t think, I’ll enjoy being a negative person but if it is a ‘Khalnayak’ kind of role, where the hero itself is the villain, for example ‘Paruthiveeran’ where I had a negative shade in me, am not a proper hero. So those kind of films that I think I can do. Not a “villain villain” role, I can’t!
Dubbing on your own in Telugu?
I’ve already done dubbing in Telugu. (Speaking in Telugu) I dubbed for myself in ‘Aawara’ and for the Telugu version of ‘Naan Mahan Alla’ I am dubbing it on my own. From now, all Telugu movies, I’ll dub on my own.
Memorable moment in childhood with Mahesh Babu
I remember one day where, 4 ‘o clock in the morning, one of my friends Praveen and Mahesh Babu come to my house to get the notes. The exam was on the same day but on the same day morning, he is coming and asking for the notes (laughs) I don’t know how he manages to study after that but I heard he always passed. He’s very smart and brilliant at grasping things faster. But I can never forget 4’o clock in the morning and waking me up for notes. It is quite a memorable thing.
Directors you’d like to work in Telugu
I am not particular to work with any one director. There are brilliant directors like Rajamouli Garu, VV Vinayak Garu, and I have seen all their films. I think it entirely depends on, when they want to work with me (smile). Again I am really open to good scripts.
Karthik wishes IndiaGlitz readers a Happy Deepavali 2010.