Star Talk – Actor Ashok Selvan :)

Ashok Selvan Interview Q: I want to know what your qualification is. Where did you complete your studies? – Heena Selva A: I did my B.Sc., (Visual Communication) in Loyola college. 2010 pass-out. Q: Hi Ashok… I am one of your fan.. I was not only impressed of your acting but also your determination towards your carrier and you look being totally committed to ur carrier. I really feel amazed of your positive spirit of achieving goal.My first impression when I saw you in Soodhu Kavum was ‘Hey this man looks like Mr.Bean’ .hehehe. I have many questions to ask you… Hope you will answer all my questions. Sorry if I’ve been rude in anywhere of the message. 1. I knew that u put ur dad’s office on fire when u were a kid. I actually read ur interview. How did u do that being a small kid? Putting the whole office on fire? (Interesting) 2. Are you the only child in your family? 3. Are you in relationship? Are you in love with someone? 4. Was your first ambition to become an animator? 5. Whats your favourite colour? food? – Bhuvaneshwari.M A: Thanks for being so frank, Bhuvaneswari. Yes, I will answer all your questions. 1. I had an attraction for Fire, since childhood. I just love watching fire itself. I use to burn match sticks often. When I was 5, 6 years old, that incident happened when I wanted to see very big fire, a room full of fire. I burnt the files and documents in my father’s office room, when my Mom & Dad were in the next room. I got nicely from my parents for that, after everything was settled. 2. I have an elder sister too. 3. Am not in a relationship; but, l like someone. 4. As children, we do not limit ourselves to single aim or dream. Initially, I dreamt to be a Businessman. Then, I wanted to become a Police or serve for the Indian army. During my high school studies, I was much serious about becoming a cricketer. After schooling, My aim was to become an animator. Finally, I ended becoming an actor. 5. Favourite color is Black, Favourite food is any sea food. Q: Hi Ashok sir… I am from Malaysia… I become your fan since ‘Soodhu Kavvum’ movie. I just wanna ask you that why did you choose a criminologist role in Thegidi? Was it challenging to do this role? Did you take any training or homework to prepare for the role? – Thansika B: Thanks, Thansika. Actually I did not choose THEGIDI for the criminologist role, but for the script. The character did not demand much training or homework, because Vettri was just a college pass-out; it was his first assignment. He should not be much stylish or look like expert in such things; he is more of a rookie. But still, I met some detectives and learnt few mannerisms alone. Q: Hello Ashok… If you are given a chance to act in a remake any of the films from 1980s or 1990s, which will be your top two choices? – Prasanna A: 1) Kamal’s Sathya 2) Agni Natchathiram (Karthik role) Q: 1. In future, will you act in mass masala films? 2. Will u prefer to do negative roles? 3. If you want to remake a classic Tamil movie, which movie will u prefer to do? Same question for a hollywood movie remake in Tamil? – Suren Dhanasekaran A: 1. Not sure, if I will act in Mass masala films. But, I will continue giving good commercial entertainers. 2. If the character is interesting and if the script demands, I will not hesitate to do a negative role or any kind of character. 3. Sathya, Any Hollywood Historic Film (On The Lines Of 300, BRAVEHEART) Q: Hi Ashok… Why do you always prefer serious scripts? What is your next film? – Ganesh Kumar A: I do not prefer any serious scripts actually. The fact is, I liked the stories that approached me. I wanted to do something contrast after VILLA. But, THEGIDI was a script which I was not able to say NO. I knew that I would regret for sure, if I rejected it. My character in VILLA had very less relativity with the audience; it is so rare to see such a character in your neighbourhood. But, VETRI in THEGIDI is someone who the audience will like from the first frame. Other than that, the script was perfect and gripping. Also, SOODHU KAVVUM was not a serious script; but, I was the only serious character in the film. Nothing of this was planned. So, my next film is a full-length comedy movie, with no doubts. The shooting has already started. The film is directed by ‘Kazhugu’ Sathya Siva. Q: I’m a Die-hard fan of u, Ashok Selvan!! You look dashnig in THEGIDI. What is your next film? May all your future movies suceed!! 🙂 – Sanga Vishali A: Thanks, Sanga Vishali. My next film is a full-length comedy movie, directed by ‘Kazhugu’ Sathya Siva. My co-star is Bindu Madhavi. Produced by Actor Arun Pandian. Music by Thaman. Following that, I have signed a film named ‘VARAIPADAM’ to be directed by Ashraf (A.R.Murugadoss’s associate), which will be a romantic action thriller. Q: Hi ashok… Am a die-hard fan of u…. And ma frnds too… V jus lov u ashok… All d best for ur future projects.. 🙂 btw wats ur nxt movie and wen ll t b releasing?? – Nithya Nataraj A: Thanks a lot, Nithya. My next will be releasing probably by end of 2014. Q: Congrats for THEGIDI’s success, Ashok … It was such a nail biting thriller after a long gap in Tamil cinema. What are your future projects? Will you be acting only in thriller movies? – Bavani Surya A: Thanks, Bavani. My next films are with ‘Kazhugu’ Sathya Siva and Ashraf (A.R.Murugadoss’s associate). I personally love the genre ‘Thriller movies’; but, if I continue to do only thriller movies, I will stagnate as an actor or entertainer. If I have to exist, survive and move forward, I cannot do thrillers alone. But, I assure you that I will keep on doing good thriller movies frequently. Q: Hi bro, I want to wish Ashok Selvan for his superb performances and I want to thank him for choosing super scripts and working in new directors’ story. Only one negative thing that I felt was his intense/serious look all time. I want him to do some comedy / light hearted scripts, which will suit him a lot. Can we expect such a film from him? – Aravind Erode A: Thanks Aravind. My next project will be such one. It’s a full-length comedy film, light-hearted one! Q: When will you do a commercial movie with action blocks and dance sequences in it? Will you do such a film or not? – Sarath Sivakumar A: My film with Ashraf (A.R.Murugadoss’s associate) will be such one, with action blocks and dance sequences. Thanks for asking this question, Sarath. I wanted to answer this. Q: Hi Ashok, please concentrate on romantic comedy movies. That will give u a good reach among Family audience than serious movies like Villa and Thegidi. – ArunGuhan A: Hi Arun Guhan, you will see me acting in some good romantic comedy scripts in the upcoming years. Q: Hi Ashok… How r u?? First of all, Congrats for the back to back hits … Please do films like Pizza 2. Hope you will not do any boring love stories… – Mahesh Kumararaju A: Thanks, Mahesh. There are a number of people who are asking to me to do more of love stories. I will act in love stories. But, considering your request, I will make sure that those are not any boring love stories! Thanks. Q: Hi Ashok… To be frank, I did not like THEGIDI much. But, I just loved VILLA. It was an extra-ordinary film. I watched it three times in a theatre at Madurai. I would say, it is one of my most favourite 10 movies. But, I wonder why the film flopped at the BO. How did you take the failure of such a good film? Personally, what do you think is the reason for the film’s failure? – Deepak Manokaran A: Hi Deepak, I wonder the same why the film flopped at the Box Office. Sometimes, we might be so much confident on something. But, that might go wrong. I put my heart and soul for the movie. I had too much pressure as a debut hero. I was looking forward for the film’s success like anything. For me, VILLA is my first film, even being debuted in SOODHU KAVVUM. But, there was a setback for the film. I took it as a feedback and had to move on. No other go. I felt depressed and highly rejected about the film’s failure. When such a big franchise from a very big team was there and it did not succeed, people started blaming us like a better actor or better director could have made a difference. Few critics’ comments hurt me to a great extent. I took the film’s failure as a feedback, because I didn’t have a choice. The reason for the film’s failure was that our film did not match the audience’s expectations. I am not saying that the audience expected much and we were not able to meet it; but, the fact is our product was totally different from the expectations they had. They were looking for a scary ghost in VILLA and they actually wanted to see a ghost film. But, the franchise was a totally different story. I think that is the main reason for the film’s failure. Many people were waiting for some ghost to appear even after the climax. Many things did not reach the audience clearly. Q: Hi Ashok Selvan sir… I watched your films Villa & Thegidi. I liked both the films especially Villa, the Direction and your performance were the biggest plus… I have three questions to ask. 1. What makes a film good? The story or screenplay? How do you choose your films? 2. Does acting needs training classes? 3. What should an aspiring actor focus on? What is your advice? – Arun Kumar A: Thanks, Arun. 1. A combination of lot of things makes a film good. It won’t work if a single department alone scores. Even though the story and screenplay plays a vital role, that alone is not enough. The presentation matters a lot. So, I would say that every single department plays a role in making a good film. I choose a film based on Screenplay. Because cinema is there for 100 years and there is never a new or untold story. The story might be very simple, but how you tell it matters. I choose my scripts / films, just as an audience. I should like it first; that is it. 2. May be, a basic training might be needed. But, my module of learning is TRIAL & ERROR. Trying something once on your own, you will know what you are good at and what you need to improve. I did a lot of short films, through which I learnt so many things. I never had any formal trainings. It is also better to have a formal training. But, in my opinion, experience is more important than training. 3. An aspiring actor must focus on satisfying his director’s expectations. Staying focused is the most important thing. An actor must know thyself. He must know how he looks like while giving a reaction or expression; he should get to know himself better. My advice is ‘Start spending more time alone; spend time with your mirror. Perseverance is the most important thing. Keep trying. Believe truly on your passion and Keep on working; you will reach where you deserve. AND, Get ready to face rejections!’ Q: Congrats Ashok for the success of your past three films (Soodhu Kavvum, Pizza 2: The Villa, Thegidi); all your films are good. In all the three films, the script has been the HERO. PLEASE KEEP DOING ONLY THESE KIND OF MOVIES. Only few actors like you, Vijay Sethupathi are doing good commercial entertainers. What is your dream role or dream subject that you want to act? – Kathir Velu A: Thanks, Kathir Velu. I love to do biopics. I want to be someone else; to live as someone, starting from the looks, costume and everything. Want to be a part of such a recreation of life in celluloid. I would love to do the story of some unpopular freedom fighters like Theeran Chinnamalai. Would love to do the biopic of legends like Milkha Singh, whom people do not even know before the release of BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG! Q: Hi Ashok anna… I have only one question. Please answer without any diplomacy. Who is your favorite actor among the two? Super Star or Ulaga Nayagan?? * Thala or Thalapathy?? – Raj Kumar A: Hi Raj thambi… I was a hard core fan of Super Star, when I was a kid. I grew up enjoying his style and whistling for his performances. But, after choosing acting as my profession and starting to watch non-commercial movies, I started admiring Kamalhaasan ji. I am a big fan of him. When it comes to dance, elegance, dialogue delivery and style, it is always THALAPATHY. People can easily comment that he is a director’s son or he does remakes films, but it is not easy to reach a such a position. There were many other star kids, who did not even do 10% of what he did all these years. He is been a great entertainer for the past decades. I always have a lot of respect for THALAPATHY. But, when it comes about calling myself as a fan, it is THALA. I am a fan of ‘Thala’ Ajith. We love some people with no reason; such a person is Ajith, for me. I like both THALA and THALAPATHY; but, a fan of THALA. I admire him and like him a lot. He is a great inspiration for people like me, people like us. He has proved that HARDWORK NEVER FAILS. Whenever I am down, I think of him. Q: Ashok, my wishes for your continuous success. I have two questions to ask. 1. Tell any film in recent time, which you thought like ‘I want to do such a film’. 2. Please tell about your family background. Are you a ‘born with silver spoon’ kid? – Bindiya Rammohan A: Thanks, Bindiya. 1. I had such a feeling, when I watched PARADESI. 2. I am from a typical middle class family. My forefathers were into farming. My dad came to Chennai in 1980s, with nothing in his hand. Even though my forefathers were respected in my village, my father wanted to stand in his own and he struggled a lot. He is a writer; He is my first inspiration. We still live in a rented house. Bindiya, to answer your question… Am not a kid born with a silver spoon, but someone who was blessed with basic necessities. There was a spoon, but not a silver one. My family was not dependent on me. Q: Ashok anna, unga acting superb… My question for u is… If u get a big break after acting in a famous director’s film or a mega-hit film and once your market-value reaches great heights in future, would u still do films with newcomers? – Gautham Victorious Prakash A: Definitely, Gautham. I will continue working with new comers. All my 3 films have been with new comers only; I will not hesitate to continue it. End of the day, it is the script which leads to the decision. Q: Ashok Selvan sir, you have done a great job in Thegidi. Does your team have an idea of doing a sequel? – Danuis Saravanan A: Thanks, Danuis. You can expect THEGIDI-2, for sure. But, right now, I don’t have the answer for the question on when it will happen. Q: When can we expect Thegidi 2? Surely needs second part…… Don’t disappoint please. – VishnuVardhan.M A: Thanks, Vishnu. You can expect THEGIDI-2, for sure. But, right now, I don’t have the answer for the question on when it will happen. Q: Boss, when will you be acting with your three friends Vivek, Vinoth and Laguparan together? – Muthuram Vivek A: Me, Vivek, Vinoth and Laguparan were all classmates, benchmates and close friends at college. We all had the aspiration of becoming an actor since college days. Definitely, we would love to do a film together. But, the script must have such balanced roles and characters for all of us; hope we will get such a script someday. All four of us are looking forward to do it. Q: Ashok Selvan bro, you are from the deemed Loyola College which has given many artists to the industry? Have you acted in short films in your college cultural fests? Did your college management and your college friends encourage acting as a career? – Adrian David A: My career began in LOYOLA college. I started acting in my seniors’ short films. I have acted in a lot of short films and have also directed some. On the first day of my college, we were told by a FATHER ‘If any one had any dreams of acting, please leave.’ They were very particular about it. They wanted people to be behind the camera. They wanted their students to be technical & knowledgable. But still, there are a lot of good actors from LOYOLA. There was neither an encouragement nor discouragement for me; but, my college friends were my biggest support. They motivated me whenever I was down. I would not be here now, without my friends. Q: Dear Ashok, you are a great actor. With Thegidi, you have reached the next level. I heard that you have done your drama on stage; but how come you are into film acting? Who introduced you? – Cinema Karuthu A: I have not acted in much stage dramas. I have been into ‘THERU KOOTHU’ for 3 months and I have acted in a Tamil play and two English plays. But, when I decided to become an actor, I wanted to be a film actor only. Nothing was accident. Everything was planned; calculated moves. My friend Ani Sasi inspired me to choose acting as my profession. Director NALAN KUMARASAMY introduced me in SOODHU KAVVUM, after seeing one of my ads. Q: How are you seeing people calling you fondly the ‘James bond of Tamil cinema’? – Actor Lagu Paran A: Mr. Actor Lagu Paran, it feels good to hear this; but, it sounds more of a mockery. So, you can take the title yourself, if you want it. Q: Hi Ashok, My question to you… How do/did you deal with rejection? I mean in professional life you might have gone through a few rejections to have made it to this level. How do/did you deal those rejections? – Deepa Thangavelu A: Very interesting question, Deepa. Am usually a ‘Happy-go-lucky’ guy; I started my career not being so serious. But, my rejections shaped me. I became at least a little serious, only because of such rejections. I thank all the people who rejected me. Sometimes, it has been honest rejections where I would not have been the best choice actually, which is understandable. But, in some cases, it has been so unreasonable or unacceptable; a popular film director made me wait for more than 6 months and said ‘You look more like a hero; I don’t want such a face for my script.’ Such rejections hurts much and do not let us even sleep acting as a mental block. But, such rejections are now like a fun stories to tell. Those rejections which seem like a very big tragedy, will look so small when you move on. Rejections will be answered later someday. Rejections must be taken as a feedback; that is the only way how you can take it. But, never stop trying due to rejections; keep moving. No one can stop you from achieving something that you love the most! That’s how you deal with rejections; that is how I dealt with rejections. Q: 1) Did you receive any negative reviews for Villa and have you worked on that? 2) First of all, I saw a great improvement in your performance between Villa and Thegidi. You were definitely more expressive, and saw a fine tuned actor in you in Thegidi. Did you see it for yourself or someone pointed it out to you? 3) We would love to see you doing films under other production houses too and established directors as well. Are you getting calls? Any new projects lined up? – Anand A: 1. There were too many negative reactions for VILLA, saying that am ‘Stone faced’ ‘Being unexpressive’ ‘Same reactions’. But, actually that is what me and director DEEPAN decided how my acting should be. The emotions and expressions should be within a line, because JEBIN is such a character. JEBIN has a backstory, which is not necessarily should be told to the audience directly. JEBIN is a guy who was brought-up so lonely, he does not want to express everything. But, people wanted to see some typical reactions in a romance scene or emotional scenes. I sort of avoided it. I wanted to give only what the character demands. I take the feedback if people say my acting was not good. But, if someone asks me why JEBIN is being unexpressive, I don’t have an answer; because that is how JEBIN was brought-up. I received many such criticisms, but I take them all in good spirit. So, now I will try to add such usual / typical reactions which people expect too! 2. The fact is, THEGIDI shooting was fully completed even before VILLA’s release. So, I did not tune myself for THEGIDI, from the feedbacks for VILLA. According to me, I gave what was needed for THEGIDI and what was needed for VILLA. I think I saw it for myself! 3. Yes. My next two films are with other production houses only. Q: Please tell us about your experience with Vijay Sethupathi in ‘Soodhu Kavvum’ movie. – Vishal Kannan A: Awesome experience. I was nervous in the sets of ‘SOODHU KAVVUM’, since it was my first film. Everyone except me (Bobby Jayasimha, Nalan, Vijay Sethupathi, RJ Ramesh, Karuna) had rich experience in short films already and they were already known by people; I was sort of an outsider. I had doubts like if I would fit into such a big group. Vijay Sethupathi anna was such a big support. Even after the success of PIZZA and NKPK, he was so normal. It took some time for us to get to know about ourselves. But, we got much closer, when we became friends. He is like an elder brother and a well-wisher to me. I would love to do many more films with VIJAY SETHUPATHI anna together. Q: I read in an article that you were supposed to do a small role in A.R.Murugadoss’s YEZHAAM ARIVU, but later you were rejected. Also, I heard that an associate director of A.R.Murugadoss approached you to narrate his script recently. How do you see these happenings? – Sathish Kumar A: I was not rejected actually; I acted in YEZHAAM ARIVU, but that scene was edited off. The one who got me the opportunity to do that small role was Mr.Ashraf, with whom I doing a film soon. Ashraf was someone who got me an opportunity in the initial days, I owe him; besides that, the script is too good. Am happy to work with him. Q: Hi Ashok… I am not ur fan.. but, your acting has really floored me.. Especially, in THEGIDI, your acting skills are just completely cool..!! 1) Who is u r biggest inspiration in cinema 2) Any unforgettable incident in cinema, that you would like to share with us – Ram Kumar A: Thanks, Ram Kumar. 1. My biggest inspiration in cinema are Kamal sir and Daniel Day Lewis. 2. First day at SOODHU KAVVUM sets. It was a day which I didn’t sleep at all. The reporting time was 7.30am, but I was the first one to be there by 6.20am itself. Q: In your opinion, which is important for an actor? Film’s success and profit for investors? Or Critical acclaim and awards?? – Balaji.L A: Bit of both. If answering this question selfishly, I would say it is critical acclaim and awards. But, it is all about team work, so I would definitely want the film to be success and profitable for the investors! Q: Hi Ashok anna… I am a very big fan of you. I would love to watch all of your short films. Can you please tell the name of the short-films that you have acted? – Siva Kumar A: Thanks, Siva. Below are few of my short films. ‘Life and Death of a Rebel’ which is not in YOUTUBE now, because it has a nude scene of mine. ‘After Party’, ‘Prerna’, ‘Pazhaiya Paadal’, ‘Ippadi Oru Love Story’ and many other films which are not in YOUTUBE. Q: Will you commit yourself in a film, which has a lead character other than you? – Venkat A: If the role is interesting, YES! If the script and role is appealing, I will not hesitate to do a supporting character or a cameo appearance. Q: Which was the film or who was the actor made you choose acting as your career? – Pasupathi A: ‘Paruthiveeran’ influenced me a lot, it had a bigger impact on me which did not let me sleep for 2, 3 days. That film did not influence me to choose acting as my career, but increased my love for movies. I started looking at films personally, from then. Another film called ‘CRASH’, which I watched at the same time also impressed me a lot. Actor who influenced me to choose acting as career is KAMAL sir. Q: 1. Other than Tamil, who are your favourite actors? 2. Seeing which Tamil / Indian actress, do you go crazy? – Arun Raj A: 1. Other than Tamil, my favourite actors are Daniel Day Lewis, Russel Crow, Nawazaddin Siddique, Mahesh Babu, Pawan Kalyan, Dilip Kumar (Hindi), Tony Chiu Wai Leung (who acted in the movie ‘In the Mood for Love’). 2. Tamil – Simran; Hindi – Madhuri Dixit, Deepika Padukone. Q: Who is your godfather in Cinema? – Saravanan A: I don’t think I have a godfather in the industry. But, I always have a great guide and mentor C.V.Kumar sir. Q: 1. What is the thing that you like about being an actor in cinema? And, Is there anything that you don’t like about it? 2. Who is your fav. Actress in recent time, in Tamil and in Bollywood? Which actress do you aspire to act with? – Prasanna.K A: 1. What I like about being an actor is we can live as someone else, which is very liberating. That is a great blessing for actors. There is nothing that I don’t like, but what I find difficult at this point of time is when I have to struggle to forget my personal problems and get into the role or scene given. Sometimes, I try method acting to do so. I did not speak with anyone in the set at VILLA, to get the right mood, which again made people in the unit to think if am showing attitude. 2. My favourite actresses in recent time are Parineeti Chopra and Sruthihaasan. I would love to act with Samantha. Interviewed by Kalilur Rahman for Box Office ‘Boss’


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