Karthi, was at his candid best in an exclusive interview for Diwali. He talked about a lot of things, including his Telugu success and working with his brother Suriya. Here is the excerpt of the interview where he talks about his favourite character, his future movies, an unforgettable moment with Telugu super star and childhood friend Mahesh Babu and many more things.
With his ‘Siruthai’ a remake of ‘Vikramarkudu’ in Tamil and another Tamil movie being dubbed in Telugu, Karthi tells that he’s ever grateful to people of both states having accepted him.
Do you want to be an action hero or chocolate boy?
(Giggles) It’s a very interesting question. The way I began was very different; it was unlike an action hero or a chocolate boy. I did an interesting character in Paruthi Veeran, after that my transition into main stream or rather entertainment sector was through ‘Paiyaa’, because even ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’ was also an experiment. I think ‘Paiyaa’ got me this Chocolate boy image and ‘Naan Mahaan Alla’ again a serious film where I had to act there sustained me. I think I’ll try to split between action hero and chocolate boy image, because I like action and I enjoy comedy. So I think ideally a character that can get me both!
Working with new directors
See I am also still new (laughing). I need some time to learn my craft and be surer about what I can deliver even without the director being there. Or with minimal brief from the director, I should be able to give what the film requires. Once I go to that level, probably I’ll be able to work with new comers. But again when I see everyday at the shooting spot, the number of decisions that have to be made and the amount of knowledge a director needs to have, I really think a director has to have reasonable knowledge to work. I think it will take quite some time to work with a new director or if a story is really impressive that I can’t say no to, and then I’d probably work.
What kind of films would you like to do?
Story is first decider. I try not to be repetitive. Anything that interests me, and which I would really want to do or which I would be proud to show it to my people, it all depends on the story.
Competing with Suriya
When you have a brother in the industry who is a competition to all actors, naturally you can’t avoid it. He is always in front of you, setting new benchmarks and keeps growing further and further. Naturally he is an inspiration; I can never call him a competition. He’s an inspiration, I learn a lot from him. Competitor is not the right word.
Response from Telugu audiences
In Tollywood, I should be really thankful to people, because, Sri Raghavan, director of Yuganiki Okkadu, when ever I speak, he always says people in Andhra always enjoy movies. They really enjoy, if you give a good film, they will enjoy it. Basically I should be thankful to the people, because they love films and appreciate hard work, appreciate talent and if I get something, it is because of the people. I am also thankful to my directors and producers, because K E Gnanavel Garu promoted my movies so well.
Gossips about you and Tamannah….Your comment…
See there are not many heroines in Tamil right now, there are very few heroines. So it is hard not to repeat your heroines but if there is a successful film, the producers will always want to repeat the successful combination. Since ‘Paiyaa’ is a huge hit, producers will always want to cast successful pair again, like Vijay and Trisha has worked in a lot of films in Tamil and also Suriya and Jyothika. Successful combinations cannot be avoided and this is part of the industry where rumours are always there. I can’t avoid those rumours. I am really comfortable acting with Tamannah. She’s a good actor and with such people even you improve a lot.
Generally people celebrate birthday with friends and family, but you go to orphanages..
For me from childhood, my father has encouraged us to respect elders and to give for people who need help, so again it comes from home. I’ve seen Dad helping people even before they could ask him for help. If he knows that they may need something, he’ll go forward and give it to them. I don’t wait for people to ask me help. When I see people in need, I make sure I go and help. If I am going on birthdays to reach out to kids in orphanages, it is for my own satisfaction. I feel happier to be with them and it’s nice to make them smile on that particular day.
If you’re offered a role of a villain in a film that has Suriya as the hero…will you do it?
It all depends on the script. If the villain is equal to the hero, then (laughing) its not a problem It has to be interesting for me to act and I have to like that film. If it is a really interesting film like, ‘Face Off’, where John Travolta and Nicholas Cage are two important parts of the film, they are the hero and the villain. Those kind of films will be interesting, to see brothers playing opposites. It’ll be definitely interesting to me. Depends entirely on the film and the script!
What if you get an offer in Tollywood with negative role?
I am not very particular in doing negative roles; I am not for negative roles. This negative role has to be special and if it is really interesting, I might do it. I don’t think, I’ll enjoy being a negative person but if it is a ‘Khalnayak’ kind of role, where the hero himself is the villain, or ‘Paruthiveeran’ type, I think I can do. Not a “villain villain” role, I can’t!
Dubbing on your own in Telugu?
I’ve already done my dubbing in Telugu. (Speaks in Telugu) I dubbed for myself in ‘Paiyaa’ dubbed version ‘Aawara’ and also for the Telugu version of ‘Naan Mahaan Alla’. From now I’ll dub on my own in Telugu.
Memorable moment in childhood with Mahesh Babu
I remember one day at 4 ‘o clock in the morning, my friends Praveen and Mahesh Babu came to my house to get these notes. The exam was on the same day but he came asking for the notes (laughs). I don’t know how he managed to study after that but I heard he always passed his exams. He’s very smart and brilliant at grasping things. But I can never forget him waking me at 4’o clock in the morning and asking for notes. It is quite a memorable thing.
Directors you’d like to work in Telugu
I am not particular to work with any one director. There are brilliant directors like Rajamouli Garu, VV Vinayak Garu, and I have seen all their films. I think it entirely depends on, when they want to work with me (smile). Again I am really open to good scripts.