I approached my character with a blank mind: Selva

Director-actor Selvaraghavan in an interview with DT Next talks about turning into an actor with Arun Matheswaran’s Saani Kaayidham and the connect he has with his character, Sangaiah. He also opens up on his much anticipated Naane Varuven, which marks a reunion with his younger brother Dhanush
I approached my character with a blank mind: Selva
Director-actor Selvaraghavan and Keerthy Suresh

Chennai: Director Selvaraghavan is known to be a man of few words. He is no different in this interview. “This is how I was on the sets of Saani Kaayidham as well. If you ask me whether people were terrified of me on the sets, I would say no. I was doing the job that was given to me. You would have spotted me standing quietly in one corner of the shooting floor,” he laughs.

Going by the trailer of Saani Kaayidham that will release on Amazon Prime Video on May 6, his character of Sangaiah too looks tailor-made for him. Selvaraghavan opens up on the connect he had with his character and says, “Naanga rendu perum nalla dhum adipom, adhan connect eh (We both are smokers. That is the connect I saw in Sangaiah). Off camera I tend to light cigarettes. For the character I had to smoke beedis. That was the challenging part. Jokes apart, a script like Saani Kaayidham was perfect to make my debut as an actor. There was no plan to turn an actor as such. But I instantly liked the script when Arun Matheswaran narrated it to me and agreed to be a part of it. Be it three scenes or 30 scenes, there has to be something in it for me to agree”

Selvaraghavan, who is a taskmaster and looks for perfection in his actors when he is behind the monitor, says that there was no preparation from his side to go about the role.

“I went to the sets with a blank mind and did what the scene required. Arun Matheswaran was the boss there and I didn’t intervene. I just went by his vision. Apart from that I was only asked to grow a beard for the role,” he smiles. The director’s role in Beast was a surprise package. Having made films that are not heroism-driven and having acted in a film like Beast, that has Vijay in larger-than-life role, Selva explains,“Beast is that kind of a film. Again my character in it was something that is close to real-life. We talk good about some people and we admire them. That is what my character was all about.”

On his experience of working with Keerthy Suresh in Saani Kaayidham, he tells us, “She is a brilliant actress. There were times, I asked her to teach me some nuances,” he adds. Selvaraghavan recently collaborated with his brother Dhanush with Naane Varuven after 11 years. He opens up on the reunion and says, “We have wrapped up the shoot and the film has entered the post-production stages. It was like meeting him at home. His evolution as an actor has been immense. I am amazed at his transformation at the moment the camera starts rolling. I can see the actor in him. We can work together till I see him this way and enjoy the actor in him. The day I start looking at him as my brother, I don’t think our combination would work.”

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