'I'm experimenting with characters I haven't played before'

Sarathkumar has as many as 22 films in his kitty as of now. “After Vaanam Kootatum, it so happened that my passion took a backseat and that is the time I started getting good stories as well.
Actor Sarathkumar
Actor Sarathkumar

Actor-producer Sarathkumar talks to us from the sets of his upcoming film Aazhi and even shares pictures in which he stuns us with his makeover. The actor is being critically acclaimed for his role of Periya Pazhuvettarayar in the recently-released Ponniyin Selvan-1. “When Mani Ratnam told me that I would be playing Periya Pazhuvettarayar, I went through the traits of the character. He is a muscluar, and macho who has witnessed several battles and bears 64 wounds/scars and is one of the most chivalrous and revered person in the Chola empire next only to the king. Apart from this, the costume and the tone of dialogue, and the director’s vision of the character has all culminated in bringing the character to life,” says the veteran actor.

Sarathkumar adds that Mani Ratnam would have seen him fit for the role going by several of his previous performances. “Vaanam Kottatum was my last film in 2020 for Madras Talkies, where he saw me perform and of course Mani Ratnam has seen me since my Dasarathan (1993) days when he produced it for Aalayam Productions. Command of the Tamil language was another important thing in bagging the role. It is a feeling one can never express,” he remarks. The actor who is one of the biggest inspiration for youngsters in fitness says that it played a huge role in playing Periya Pazhuvettarayar. “It takes a lot of energy in playing such a character. My riding skills helped me as well. We had to get ready for the shoot and work till six in the evening and had to come back next day morning in full costume. Again my next film Vaarisu, with Vijay also requires a certain amount of energy. So fitness is the key in taking up roles.

Sarathkumar has as many as 22 films in his kitty as of now. “After Vaanam Kootatum, it so happened that my passion took a backseat and that is the time I started getting good stories as well. So I decided that I would be doing two types of films. One is main role and the other is the lead -- where my character is a need of the film. I am now shooting for Aazhi which is about two men going in to the sea and how they come back is what the story is all about. It is more of a mid-sea duel between two men. I am also working on Suryavamsam 2. I am at a point in time of my career where I can do roles which I haven’t done before. Be it black, grey or the good guy, I am up for it all,” he concludes.

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