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Maanaadu ran into a lot of trouble in various stages: STR
Silambarasan TR aka STR meets us in a city hotel to talk about his upcoming time-loop film Maanadu at length. He opens up on problems he faced for Maanaadu, how his physical transformation did a world of good to him mentally and being a happy single
It has been four years since we met STR. The first thing that catches our attention is his physical transformation. The 38-year-old makes us reminisce the good old days of his Alai and Kaadhal Azhivadhillai. But once he starts talking we realize that his approach to life and career has taken a quantum leap.
“It is easy for me to explain what I did for my physical transformation. I played tennis, badminton, cricket, went swimming, walked in the morning, and hit the gym once a day. I went on a liquid diet for two months. It was difficult at first but I got used to it,” he sums up. The result is evident in the teaser and trailers of his upcoming film Maanaadu, directed by Venkat Prabhu and produced by Suresh Kamatchi’s V House Productions. STR’s energy in the film has amused not just his fans but everyone who watched them. “Had you seen in my earlier films, I was slow when I performed stunts or when I was chasing someone in a fight scene because I wasn’t in a good shape. After I lost around 25 kgs for Maanaadu, performing stunts was much easier. And this is a film that requires high energy as there are a lot of stunts and chases involved. So people will get to see that in the movie,” he says.
Time loop is a concept that hasn’t been explored much before. STR says that it is high time that the audience is given good content to watch. “In the last few months, people have started watching all sorts of content and have accepted them well. They want good films that test their IQ levels and not their patient. Even commercial entertainers would work only if it is less dramatic. Coming to Maanaadu, we have made the film less complex and have worked on something that reaches people across centres. In the movie, you would see me explaining to a person how I got stuck in a time loop and why things keep going back and forth,” he adds.
The conversation once again leans towards his transformation—mental transformation this time. “At a point in time, everyone gets a calling to transform oneself before it is too late. I think I had that calling during the lockdown. I put a lockdown on myself and decided that I should embrace only positivity. There are people on social media or in the real world who keep naysaying, I ignore them completely. Only when the body accumulates a lot of negativity, our inner peace gets disturbed. I don’t let that happen to me. I somehow managed to do it,” he smiles.
Ask him if we are talking to an erstwhile party hopper, who got his contemporaries envious of his lifestyle, he laughs, “They failed to make hay when the sun shone and I did. They should have partied hard when they were young. It was a phase. I worked hard when everyone enjoyed their lives as teenagers. So, at one point I started to enjoy, have friends and partied hard all night. That phase is now gone and I am focused on my career,” the actor reveals.
STR has been a mentor to a young crop of leading actors like Harish Kalyan, Mahat, Sandy and Shirish among others. He says that he has enjoyed doing it. “When I was young I looked up to a few people and was inspired by them. I think it’s now my turn to guide the young breed of actors and be there for them personally and professionally. This is something least I could do,” he says.
In the pre-release event, the actor said that he would gladly marry a girl who shares her horoscope with composer Yuvan Shankar Raja. “That is the compatibility levels we share with each other. I have my own ways of dealing with Yuvan which I cannot do to other composers,” he quips. Having said that STR tells us that he is a happy single and denies the Vellore bride his parents had fixed for him. “Dad keeps saying such things for quite a long time now. But I’m a happy single and I have been enjoying this phase. So, I would be focused on my career for the next couple of years. I am three films short of 50, so I am not committing to anything before that. Even my direction and music have taken a backseat. Whatever it is, it will be after my 50th,” he concludes.
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