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Feb 08, 2013 at 05:28pm IST

Mani Ratnam and my character were the reasons I chose 'Kadal': Arvind Swamy

Actor Arvind Swamy joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on his new movie 'Kadal'.

Q. What made you choose this film? Asked by: vinny

Mani Ratnam and my character were the reasons I chose 'Kadal': Arvind Swamy

Actor Arvind Swamy joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on his new movie 'Kadal'.

A. It is directed by Mani Rathnam, whom I consider one of the greatest directors of our times. Moreover, we have worked together on so many projects in the past that I felt that our understanding will also greatly help me in my comeback to cinema after 13 years. I also loved my character in the film and was confident of bringing some dimensions to it.

Q. Are you happy with the response to the movie? Asked by: fatima

A. I am extremely thankful for the response that I have received for my work in the film. The film of course has mixed reviews which was something expected for an unconventional storyline such as this.

Q. How encouraging is our country to non commercial movies? Asked by: Meherish

A. A lot has changed with the audience in recent times. There is definitely a market for the so called 'non commercial' films now. The audience is more accepting to experimental stuff and independent films. The key, of course is to keep it within a budget that is recoverable. There are quite a few wonderful such films in Tamil cinema of late which have even gone on to become commercially successful.

Q. Few Liked the Movie 'Kadal', and a few didnt. What do you think the Reason could be ? Asked by: Vijo Varghese

A. As I said, the reviews and the reactions have been mixed. Firstly, the storyline is unconventional and complex. It is set in a very strong christian and rural backdrop and therefore sports a strong authentic dialect in the delivery of the dialogues. The feedback in most cases seems to be that people have not been able to fully comprehend the dialogues in that dialect and therefore miss out on the nuances. People also expected a love story Mani Ratnam style, which this certainly is not. Those who went to the theaters without such expectations have responded more positively. People of course have also suggested their views on the story, screenplay etc. The good part is that it seems to touch everyone at some level in order for them to respond so strongly, one way or another.

Q. Why you are oftenly not acting in Tamil movie? We love your acting in 'Minsara Kanavu'. Asked by: vijay

A. Thank you. I am someone who has a variety of interests in my life like my businesses, family and my hobbies. These are equally important to me. Being an actor is only one of the facets of my personality, a very interesting one nevertheless. I did not plan to stay away for so long, but for health reasons(I had injured my spine a few years ago), I had to. Will definitely try and do more in the next few years to make up for lost time.

Q. Why was you not coming to Telugu industry? Your Kadali movie is super. Asked by: sudheer kuvvarapu

A. Thank you, so glad that you liked the Telugu version of Kadal(Kadali). I don't know how to speak Telugu and therefore, unless there is something extremely compelling as a story or character, it is out of my comfort zone due to the language problem.

Q. What is the major change you are feeling now, since you are coming back after a long time. Asked by: kumar

A. The biggest change that I see today is that the audience has matured so much and are welcoming a variety of movies in different genres. This is a great time for independent film makers and young directors. The other change is in transparency of collections etc. That help in easily determining budgets for certain films thereby making more films commercially viable. Other changes that I see are technical in nature and not game changers.

Q. What about your future projects sir? Will you accept any other powerful roles in films? Asked by: Raj

A. As I am not the kind of actor who can work very often and do multiple projects simultaneously, I would only prefer lead roles in films that can give something new to the audience or to me as an actor. The attempt is as important, if not more important than the result.

Q. hi sir, why can't act in a lead role? Asked by: kk

A. As mentioned, my intention is to only do lead roles which give me and the audience to experience something new.

Q. I'm asking 2. 1. What & when is your next movie? 2. Given an option to choose the heroine for your next movie, who will you pick? Asked by: vrraghy

A. 1. I am working together with some directors on a few scripts. I will let everyone know as soon as it is finalised. This will start sometime in July this year. 2. I leave the choice of the heroine to the director. I have absolutely no say in that matter and am willing to work with anyone who in the opinion of the director is good for the role.

Q. Can we hope at seeing you more often in movies again? Asked by: Meherish

A. Yes, as I said, I could not work in the recent past due to my spinal injury. Ok now and will try and make up for lost time.

Q. Kadal didn't have a very good story line, but still liked the screenplay,acting, dance and the music. How did you like the music? Your acting was superb.. Hats off Would you continue acting henceforth? Asked by: Sunethra

A. The music was outstanding. Loved it and so did the rest of the country and Rahman's fans from all over the world. Thank you for liking my work. The last question has been answered in my other responses.

Q. Your take on your character in kadal? How difficult was the homework? The dialect is not too easy Asked by: Stacy

A. We had decided(Mani and I) on having different looks for the different parts of the film. Most of the homework was in the physicality of it. I am an actor who prepares a lot mentally- keep thinking of my role even in my sleep and in most cases even after I have finished the shot or scene!

Q. People still recall you in Roja & Bombay...many reasons not to let that talent take a backseat...keep acting. Asked by: Naaz

A. Thank you very much. Will definitely try.

Q. We would love to see in other Tamil movies. Do you have any other offers in your hand ri8 now? If so,what are all they? Asked by: kumar

A. Thank you. I am working on a few scripts. Will definitely finalise and let you all know in a few months.

Q. How do you feel after the response from the audience about your comeback in Kadal? Asked by: Vinodhini

A. I am so thankful to the warmth and appreciation showed by the audience, members of the film fraternity and the general public. It is priceless!

Q. I am some one who is currently a part of consulting firm and my strong interest to be a part of the movie industry? For someone who is part of both worlds (business and film), how does it feel? Asked by: Viswanathan C

A. It feels good. there are so many facets to a human being...don't believe that we should restrict ourselves to be unidimensional...go for it.

Q. How do you feel after seeing response from audience about your comeback in Kadal? Asked by: Vinodhini

A. Like I said, I am so thankful to the audience for their appreciation. It is extremely satisfying for an actor to receive such a response for one's work

Q. Sir, we missed you so much during these years. What was so fascinating about Kadal that you took it up? Asked by: gautham bharathi r

A. Thank you. Mani Rathnam, my character and the complexities of it, the challenge of portraying it right..were probably the primary reasons.

Q. Your association with A.R. Rahman has always resulted in bombastic success. From Roja to Kadal. What do you have to say about Rahman sir? Asked by: Vikas Rawat

A. Firstly, I am a big fan. The genius of Rahman is there for everyone to see and love. So glad that the world has woken up to ARR. So proud of him.

Q. Hi Arvind ! Don't you think that you are posing tough challenge to present young heroes in Tamil Film Industry...with your new avatar.( amazingly young look Pl keep up ).? By the way , what's the secret of your ' still young' look? Asked by: Sesu Raju I

A. Ha, ha, ha...I am not posing any challenge to anyone...they are all so much younger, better looking and talented. Honestly and I mean this, I have never bothered about my looks...I don't even wear make up in films unless it is for an effect like injury, tan etc.

Q. Apart from Mani Rathnam, which other director you are looking forward to work with..? Asked by: gautham bharathi r

A. There are so many people who are so talented. I like Bala's movies in Tamil. Like Selvaraghavan, Venkat Prabhu, cheran etc...I also liked Subramania puram, pizza, NKPK, myna etc..love to work with any of theses film's directors.

Q. What skills is essential in running your own business? Asked by: Manikandan Velyial

A. Focus, focus, focus..any activity, service etc that you wish to embark on, always see if it serves the primary product or service...this is important when you start your business...it needs to be focused. People skills..get people better than you to run the business, not just those who say yes to you. Invest in Marketing and Sales...none knows that you have a great product if it stays in your closet.

Q. Sir, what is the unique quality in Maniratnam sir? Why are his movies so special? Asked by: Srikar

A. He is a tremendous film maker..never shy to try new things..not scared of a failure...always learning and extremely focused...wants to take the audience with him as he continuously evolves.

Q. you dubbed for disneys Lion King in Tamil,how did you take it up..? Asked by: gautham bharathi r

A. It was fascinating as to how people gave voice to animation. I was curious and wanted to learn and experience. I came out more knowledgeable and that is what such experiences do...they are an opportunity to learn.

Q. How did you lose so much of weight? Asked by: Deepak

A. I had put on so much weight because of my spinal injury and medication...once I became ok, I got back into a good workout program with my trainer Timothy, who was a state athlete. Mani Rathnam kept motivating me everyday. I lost nearly 15 kilos in 2 months through a healthy diet and a hard workout regimen. Do not starve yourself or push your work outs to cause injury. Consult a dietician or an expert and they will guide you.

Q. Remaking old movies became fashion now. If u have an option to select a movie for remake which one you would like to do and which role you will select in that movie? Asked by: Vinodhini

A. I would like to play the role of any of the powerful kings or mythological characters of the black and white era...don't want to be a part of any remake though.

Q. Your favorite 2012 Hindi Film ? Asked by: Tushar

A. I don't watch many Hindi films but I liked Gangs of Wasseypur, 3 idiots(don't know which year), Barfi was a good effort, so was Kahani...can't recollect the others.

Q. Why were you away from the films for so many times? In my opinion you are the only sober and charming actor. Which are your forthcoming attractions? Asked by: Prithviraj Chavan Pune

A. Thank you...my other interests in life kept me away from films like business and family. I had an injury to my spine a few years ago and that contributed to the delay.

Q. Best moment in your life so far? Asked by: sri

A. So many..I am someone who is thankful for what I have and celebrate life itself.

Q. As an actor, do you think that cultural terrorism is on the rise in this country. Very recent examples are the Vishwaroopam issue and now some groups protesting against Kadal. What's your take on "Movie is just a movie"? Asked by: Adarsh

A. Obviously we have a few people who don't think that way. Vishwaroopam and Kadal both spread the message of good over evil..this is the crux...that can't be wrong. However, we are in a democracy and people have a right to object and protest...the law is there to deal with this. Just glad that both his movies are out for people to see.

Q. What has been your favorite role so far? To Me its Roja, Kadal. Asked by: Ranjitbees

A. Kadal as it is the most recent, Roja, Bombay, Devaragam were also very important to me as an actor.

Q. Santosh Sivan and Rajeev Menon. How was it working with the top notch technicians? Asked by: gautham bharathi r

A. Both are such fabulous DOPs...one can learn a lot by just being around them.

Q. What's the worst part about being an actor? Asked by: Ranjitbees

A. The waiting between shots.

Q. About Your Family? Asked by: Arun

A. Family is so precious and most important...we have a lovely home filled with lot of love, support and happiness.

Q. Will you take up direction? Asked by: gautham bharathi r

A. Definitely, but a few years down the line for sure...watch out for that avatar!

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