Some risks are worth taking, be it as the antagonist in Masters or starring the role of a trans woman in Super Deluxe, says Tamil actor Vijay Sethupathi, who believes in letting his work speak for itself.
In a career of 40 to 50 films, Sethupathi has played negative roles in very few films, including Superstar Rajinikanth’s Petta and Master, in which he starred opposite industry senior ‘Thalapathy’ Vijay.
In Master, Vijay Sethupathi’s vengeful gangster uses children from a juvenile detention center for criminal activities. His business is under attack when an alcohol professor (Vijay) is sent into the facility.
Sethupathi said he trusted director Lokesh Kanagaraj’s vision for the character, which enabled him to explore dark emotions.
The Tamil action thriller was also a wonderful opportunity for him to learn from a “mass hero” like Vijay, added the 43-year-old actor.
“When I work with older actors, I go there like a college student because I want to learn. I never think I’ve made so many films and have so much experience. He (Vijay) has been in the industry for more than 25 years. His fan base is huge and I want to learn from him, from his energy. That’s why I worked with Rajini Sir and Chiranjeevi Sir, ”Sethupathi told PTI in a Zoom interview.
Master became a massive hit on its January 13 release when theaters opened with reported earnings of 220 rupees after a nine month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The film is now set to be released on Amazon Prime Video on January 29, the first major film to shorten the gap between theatrical release and streaming release.
With the release of Master on OTT, a new group of viewers will discover Vijay Sethupathi, eager to hear the audience’s reaction while revealing the fear the cast had of the movie’s theatrical release during the pandemic.
“I kept asking the director and the producer, ‘Is it confirmed? Are we going to release the film? ‘I was concerned about whether the government would allow theaters to open. We were concerned until January 12th. But I’m glad socialmediagossips liked the movie. “
“A movie is best seen in a theater that is surrounded by other socialmediagossips,” he said. Given these uncertain times, a digital premiere soon after it hit theaters was the next best option.
“There is no language barrier for an art form or artist. We love to get in touch with socialmediagossips because we show their lives on screen. People have also become more sensitive to good content, so we have to work hard, be more responsible and make sensible films. “
Stories of ego strife between two big stars are just stories, Vijay Sethupathi said, adding that an actor cannot operate from this room.
He said, “As actors, we play so many characters and that gives us maturity. If I have ego it means I don’t have the maturity. Art form is not a business for me. It depends on the business, but it’s not a business. It is a feeling. It’s the trust between you and your job. Your work will speak for you if you spend time on it and hear it. When I work responsibly, I am here. “
This trust in his craft stems from the type of life he led, Sethupathi explained, telling the story of the “greatest risk” in his life.
“I’m a middle class man. I looked for movies after I got married and my wife didn’t know I was looking for movies. It was six years before I became a hero, until then I was playing the hero’s friend or playing small roles. I didn’t earn much either. My wife was worried about the future of our children and our lives. I think that was the biggest risk in my life, not that (taking on complex characters), ”he said.
Vijay Sethupathi said that if he had failed as an actor, his family’s life would have been “miserable”, but the risk paid off.
“Now I’m in a comfortable place. I get paid well. I can take care of socialmediagossips around me and also take care of my art. “
A conversation with the actor is incomplete without talking about his most popular performance of Shilpa in the Tamil anthology Super Deluxe 2019, about a trans woman who returns after her transition with her wife and son.
Attributing the role to director Thiagarajan Kumararaja, he remembers falling in love with the character while narrating the film.
The actor said, “He said to me, ‘I don’t know how you’re going to take this and you don’t have to say yes. ‘I said, “Sir, please give me this character.” He said, “You are a well-known actor. You think twice and then let me know. Take time’. I said, “You don’t have to think twice here. I don’t think I’ll get another character like Shilpa. “
“After seeing the film, I said to Kumararaja, ‘I feel blessed by Shilpa. It’s not me ‘. There are two characters in my life that I believe I am not even though I play them – one is Shilpa and another is the role of the old man in Seethakaathi, ”he added.
Vijay Sethupathi is happy to live the life he has always wanted – to be in front of the camera.
“You can say I’m busy with my happiness. I’m like a kid when I’m in front of the camera. It’s full of excitement. I think I’ve finished around 40-50 films including my guest roles, but every time I’m in front of the camera I feel happy. “
Vijay Sethupathi will soon be making his Hindi debut with Mumbaikaar. He is also making a film with Sriram Raghavan.