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Why Vijay Sethupathi Won't Work With Younger Actresses

June 12, 2024 13:57 IST
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'I felt awkward pairing with Anushka Shetty on screen because she had played my daughter in a film.'

IMAGE: Vijay Sethupathi in Maharaja. All photographs: Kind courtesy Junglee Music Telugu/YouTube

The extraordinary Tamil-Telugu-Hindi actor Vijay Sethupathi has a major release coming up this week.

It is titled Maharaja. Coincidentally, Aamir Khan's son Junaid Khan's debut film is titled Maharaj and it begins streaming on the same day as Vijay's Maharaja.

"Oh, is it?" says VS when I pin him down for an interview.

"I wish him all the best. I've just been running from one city to another promoting Maharaja.

"It is my first really massy film in a long time. And we are doing it in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The Hindi version may release a week after the other versions. This is what the producer told me."

IMAGE: Anurag Kashyap in Maharaja.

VS reveals there was actually another Hindi film that he was going to do.

"Coincidentally Anurag Kashyap who is my co-star in Maharaja was to produce that film.

"Vasan Bala was to direct. It never happened. Then I wanted to do a Hindi remake of a Tamil film Good Night with me in the lead. But the producer didn't find it exciting in Hindi."

IMAGE: Vijay Sethupathi in Maharaja.

VS is in constant search of scripts that challenge him.

"I wouldn't say it's tough to find challenging roles. It is tough to ensure it turns out well.

"Many times the script falters in the direction.

"There is no guarantee of a film turning out as well on screen as it sounds on the script level.

"Actually, there is no guarantee of anything in life.

"When Nithilan Swaminathan narrated it to me I immediately connected with my character. How? It's just an instinct.

"Most of the time my gut feeling pays off. This time I felt an instant relatability with my character.

"I know what it is to want to protect one's family."

IMAGE: Vijay Sethupathi in Maharaja.

The actor-extraordinaire is not willing to reveal much about Maharaja.

"It is a revenge story with lots of emotions.

"Anurag Kashyap plays the antagonist. We have always shared a mutual respect.

"When I was in Mumbai he showed me his film Kennedy. I liked working with him. He is an interesting co-star."

VS says he places the script above all including the director.

"I don't choose directors. I choose scripts.

"The director could be someone who has not had any experience. I don't mind working with debutant directors if their script excites me."

IMAGE: Abhirami in Maharaja.

Vijay recently made a relevant statement about not working with Anushka Shetty as she was almost his son's age.

He is not kicked by the attention given to what he says was a casual observation.

"Why is this such a talking point? I wasn't saying anything controversial.

"It was twisted out of context.

"What I meant was, I felt awkward pairing with her on screen because previously she had played my daughter in a film.

"She even calls me Dad in real life. So that was a problem.

"Otherwise it doesn't matter what my heroine's age is. It is all acting."

IMAGE: Mamta Mohandas in Maharaja.

Would he agree that there is a tradition in Tamil and Telugu cinema of superstars working with actresses half their age,and more?

VS begs off. "Sir, please don't turns this interview into a controversy. We will speak about that some other time.

"Right now I am focussed entirely on Maharaja. It is a very crowd-friendly film.

"I get to play the truest hero possible: A man who would go to any lengths to protect his family."

Wasn't he tempted to play the antagonist?

"Not at all. I have played the villain in some of my recent films. My fans did not like it. Neither did I."

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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