Vijay Sethupathi’s career is not only filled with success. He had struggled a lot as a junior artist for six years to establish himself as an actor with hit films like Pizza, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom and Soodhu Kavvum.
Despite enjoying continuous hits, Vijay also witnessed a string of failures that five of his films, including Rummy, Pannaiyarum Padminiyum, Vanmam, Purampokku Engira Podhuvudamai and Orange Mittai, were declared box office duds before he finally tasted success with Naanum Rowdy Dhaan.
“An active man should fall down, experience bruises, pain, bloodshed and get up in his life. One shouldn’t be worried about failures, you have to fight in the battle to make sure that blood still flows in your body. Today, I see a lot of youngsters are getting offended and walk out of their job just because their boss scold them for a mistake. They think ‘Google’ will teach them everything which sets a bad example for the future generation,” said Sethupathi.
Although Sethupathi is busy with Tamil films, he is open to acting in other languages. “An artist is common to all languages, there is no barrier for him. Titanic had a tremendous run in India so if someone thinks that language is a barrier to success, they are wrong”, said the Vikram Vedha actor.
Talking about his long-pending Kannada film Akhaada and magnum opus Telugu film Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, Vijay said, “Well, that Kannada film has been under production for a long time. In Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, I play a Tamilian and the character itself has his lines in Tamil with occasional Telugu dialogues so my role doesn’t demand any special preparation”. Vijay’s character name in the film is said to Obbaya, a loyalist to Chiranjeevi.
Sethupathi also confirmed saying that he plays the antagonist in superstar Rajinikanth’s upcoming film with Karthik Subbaraj. “I’m waiting for the moment to stand in front of Rajini sir’s eyes and deliver my dialogues. I’m 100 percent ready to get defeated by him”, said Sethupathi to Firstpost.
The actor also has a great sync with some of the directors that he does not even demand script from them. “There are directors like Karthik Subbaraj (Pizza, Iraivi and Jigarthanda), Gokul (Idharkku Thaane Aasaipattai Balakumara), Balaji Tharaneetharan (Nadvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom and Seethakathi) and many others from whom I don’t demand scripts,” said Sethupathi who also voluntarily meets directors and asks them to cast him in their films.
In Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s new film Super Deluxe (in which he plays a transgender), Balaji Thanraeetharan’s Seethakathi (plays an aged drama artist) and Kaaka Muttai director Manikandan’s upcoming film (plays a farmer), Sethupathi only has limited screen time but still the actor loved the characters and gave his nod.
Sethupathi says that each person in the world has different qualities so there are millions of characters across the globe. “Each person has a unique character in the world so there are many unexplored roles out there and as an actor, I’m willing to take up characters which challenge me. If we cherish our childhood memories, as an actor, I enjoy playing an old man in Seethakathi because it’s an endearing experience for me,” said the actor.
In his romantic drama 96, Sethupathi plays a wildlife photographer who regains love from his schoolmate and in Junga, the actor essays the role of a stingy gangster. “I play a peculiar character in Junga. Throughout the film, my role has a lot of problems but audiences would be laughing at me for things I do in Junga. It’s the most expensive film in my career but I feel my distributors would help me to reach the public”.
Talking about his experience in working with Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, the versatile actor said “The greatest quality to become a director is their ability to appreciate and enjoy the performance of actors. I think Mani Ratnam is a tasteful person and his passion for filmmaking is unparalleled. Despite achieving many hits and awards, he still tells me that there is a strange fear inside him while making any new film. As a director, he celebrates your performance and provides freedom to improvise yourself for the role,” said Sethupathi.
He says he is also open to doing original web series. “Though I haven’t watched any web series, I’m open to such new platforms because today, people have high speed internet and they watch films when they to go to the office or in their long journeys, so we should give them the entertainment in whatever form they want,” signs off Sethupathi.