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‘Used to watch Deepavali releases in advance and swagger around in school’

In this interview, actor Karthi Sivakumar reminisces on watching Deepavali releases during his childhood and on having a festival release with Japan. He also talks about playing a character with grey shades and his upcoming films

‘Used to watch Deepavali releases in advance and swagger around in school’

Actor Karthi (Manivasagan N)

CHENNAI: Dressed in a black shirt with grey check and a formal trouser, Karthi looks dapper and has retained his stubble look for quite a few months now. He greets us for Deepavali and says, “Time flies so fast. Deepavali during childhood was a lot of fun. Despite appa (Sivakumar) being an actor, anna (Suriya) and I celebrated a normal and a middle-class Deepavali. It was a middle-class upbringing in fact. Though they weren’t extravagant, they were fun. I don’t remember firing a huge 10,000 walas. We fired big crackers only when our mama got it for us. Apart from that Deepavali was about watching new releases.” Karthi with a smile says that he watched Deepavali releases before his classmates could. “I was privileged enough to watch preview shows and used to go around the class telling my friends that I have already watched the new releases. And now that I have a Deepavali release with my 25th film, Japan is special,” says the actor.

Having made his debut with Paruthiveeran in 2007, Karthi has only signed 25 films in 17 years. “We work on a film for eight months or more and aim to deliver our best to the audience. I chose a profession that I am very fond of. Despite graduating from an American University, I still chose cinema. I converted my passion into career. Hence, I don’t want to compromise on my work, which is why it takes time for me to land something I like,” he remarks.

Talking about Japan, Karthi says that he was looking forward to working with Rajumurugan for quite some time. “If I had called any director for the first time and asked if he had a script for me, it would have to be Rajumurugan. His Cuckoo and Joker had a huge impact on me. Also, I like his sense of humour. He has done the same with Japan. You can’t find someone like Japan Muni, who is a happy-go-lucky person and is unpredictable,” he laughs. Be it Paruthiveeran, or Kaithi, Karthi doesn’t shy away from playing characters with grey shades. “That is what is fascinating. Even the audience would be bored of watching a hero play a pure white-hearted character,” he tells us.

Having started off his career as an assistant director to Mani Ratnam, we ask him about his debut directorial. “It is not as easy as you ask. When I had this thought of becoming a filmmaker, there was a lot of scope for creativity. Even now, I am living my dream by co-directing a film. I will do it when I have the confidence,” he says and wishes our readers a prosperous Deepavali before posing for our photographer.

Kaushik Rajaraman
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