Right from the time I saw the trailer of Atrangi Re, I was very impressed with Dhanush‘s character Vishu. Having some amazing films to his credit, there have been some memorable characters Dhanush has played, but for me, he is the man who gave me ‘Why this Kolaveri Di?‘ and as he gears up to impress us once again with Atrangi Re, I caught up with the actor for a quick and candid conversation.
Read his interview here…
This is the second time you are associating with Aanand L Rai for a film, so was the comfort level different this time?
Not at all, with Aanand Rai it’s the same. We are brothers, we are always together even when we started this, it was like we continued from where we left. So it was like coming back home. And I had such fun when we work together.
But were there times when you guys sat and recalled the Raanjhanaa days?
We do that all the time, generally, whenever we meet, we have so much talk about Raanjhanaa because those were the most magical times for us. And it’s one of the most beautiful phases of my life, not because of the success, but because of the making process, and understanding that new maker who believed in a random South Indian actor, and to witness makers conviction that I want only this actor to play Kundan and then to found a brother in Aanand Rai, it’s a great journey.
Like you said, random South Indian actor. I don’t agree with that. Because you are the man who gave us Why This Kolaveri Di? So for me, you are always going to be that person who gave me one of the best songs in my college days.
Definitely not. Why This Kolaveri Di? is one of the stupidest songs ever (laughs). It worked brilliantly, I know. I’m not offending anybody, but I’m offending myself. So that song is an accident, it happened. It’s a beautiful accident. It’s not based on Why This Kolaveri Di? that Aanand Rai found me, he found me because he was asking who won the national award this year. And they showed him my film Aadukalam, not even the film, he saw one song where I danced with a lungi so he thought, I want somebody like him. Then Aanand Rai was sourcing and meeting new talents like me. And then randomly one day they thought why like him? Why not just him? And that’s how they came to me.
So tell me one thing how different or similar are Vishu and Kundan?
They are nothing similar. Given a choice I think, I would pick Kundan over Vishu, because Kundan is very, very, very close to my heart. But I feel you all will love Vishu more.
I must tell you that ever since I’ve seen the trailer, I’ve loved the entire vibe that Vishu carries, I want you to go back in time and recall the moment when for the very first time you heard the story of Atrangi Re. After the narration, what was your very first reaction?
Of course, I loved the script. But I knew there’s a big challenge in playing Vishu. When you watch the film, you’ll understand why. I understood the challenge and I wanted to be very prepared this time. Because it’s a much bigger challenge than I thought it would be. So I’ve tried to give my best. I hope people like my work as Vishu.
How was it being on a set with Sara Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar? I’m sure that must have also been an experience in itself.
Definitely. Sara Ali Khan is such a hard-working youngster, she has so much energy. She’s very sincere and she’s done a very fine job as Rinku. Akshay Kumar Sir is so kind, so sweet. He’s very honest, very endearing. It was great to share screen space with different actors from different generations and understand so much about the craft. It was beautiful.
This film, I’m sure has also been shot in the new normal. So being on a set in a situation where either we’ve just come out of the pandemic, or we are still in the pandemic was that a different shooting experience?
I’ll tell you very honestly, it was horrible. There was nothing nice about it. After every shot, you had to wear your mask or run for your mask, and actors would have a mark on their nose and they had to get rid of it. It was traumatising to an extent. We were very precautious though, and all the crew members were tested and were quarantined. We were in a bio bubble, we took all safety measures, but how safe can you be we don’t know? It was really not a great experience, but we were in a film that was so beautiful, and with Rahman sir’s music around us, it made all the difference.
The music I must say is very beautiful in the film. So if there is one particular song that you personally like, which one would that be from this?
Garda. I just start jumping when I listen to the song, I get very energized. I don’t know what I am listening to, I don’t know the meaning because I don’t understand Hindi. But the song has that vibe, so I really love it.
Also since the name of the movie is Atrangi Re, I want to know in reality how Atrangi is Dhanush?
Very. I am a very strange man, a very weird person.
Do you still get those Friday jitters when a movie is close to release?
Absolutely, I’m so nervous. I don’t meet anybody. I disconnect from everybody. And I get very nervous. I feel it’s my first film all over again.
Well, I am looking forward to Artrangi Re on 24th December on Disney Plus Hotstar, for, I want to witness the magic Aanand L Rai puts in his films.