Interviewer : Inian & Jyothsna | Camera : Ganeshbabu | Text: Jyothsna
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The dirty, foul mouthed coolie has metamorphosed into a suave, stylish, city Paiyya who is all set to scorch the marquee tomorrow with Tamannah. Meet the hot and happening Karthi in an exclusive chat with Jyothsna Bhavanishankar and Inian

What is Paiyaa all about?

Paiyaa is a simple romantic action film. It is a very plain love story and is not too deep. Although the romance is basic, it is presented very well. Since it is a road film, there is only journey in it. And the story has been narrated in a visual and musical manner. It is a pleasant neat film that can be enjoyed by youngsters and by the family audience alike. It is exciting for me because after Paruthi Veeran and Aayirathil Oruvan, I feature as myself in Paiyaa without black make-up and dirty clothes. I have come in clean costumes in a presentable fashion. This is the first such time for me and I am being re-introduced as a new face in Paiyaa.

Experience with Lingusamy?

My first directors are task masters. They were very clear about what they wanted and how I should perform. Selva is a bit different in the sense that he gives you a little maneuverability to perform and improvise the portrayal.

My first directors

are task masters
Lingusamy lets you perform and then corrects. He does not come with fixed notion to the sets and any kind of inputs are welcome. He gives a lot of freedom to work on your role. It was a good learning experience for me. I have implemented many things that I have learnt. And secondly in Paiyaa, it is not a character unknown to me. I enjoyed working with Lingusamy and there were many useful interactions to hone every scene. He has taught me the difference between being a star and a hero. When my friends (especially Trisha) came to know that I am going to work with Lingusamy, they were certain that I was going to enjoy my stint with him. His style is to extract work without troubling the artists. What I like in him the most is that he enjoys his work. He knows the reactions of the audience very well-when they would clap for a scene, when they would laugh and things like that. I think that is the secret of his success.

Tamannah the

current hot property

of Kollywood is the

greatest plus for Paiyaa.

How did you get the opportunity to work on your first film?

Tamannah the current hot property of Kollywood is the greatest plus for Paiyaa. There are only two main characters in the film which travels through out. Generally it is difficult to react to someone who does not know the language but it was very easy with Tamannah as she used to take her dialogue sheets well in advance, write them in English and speak which would sound just like Tamil. She is very hard working and sincere. As she is deeply involved in her work, no time was wasted on the sets. Our discussions were only work-centric and I liked such working style but where I was caught on my left foot is in the dance segment. Tamannah dances very well. This style of dancing is very new to me which I have not done earlier. In my previous films whatever I did was only called dance but in Paiyaa there were dance movements and dance masters and I had to do a decent job to make the scene appealing.

What about your romantic scenes?

Jagan has done an important role in the film. If I take charge of comedy in the first half, he does the honors in the second half. He wondered, “Hey, everyone is talking about chemistry between you and Tamannah, but I see you in the front seat and she at the back seat of the car. What kind of romance is that?” This is precisely the romance that you would see in Paiyaa. Romantic scenes are lesser in the film as the two are not known to each other and are complete strangers. However the romance would be much highlighted in the song sequences. Visuals in the song sequences have come out brilliantly. The absolute intensity of the romance would be palpable in the song sequences.

Romantic scenes

are lesser

Yuvan Shankar’s music?

Yuvan has been with me right through. He was my junior in school and I am very fond of him. In Paiyaa, all the songs have turned out to be superhits. When Lingusamy narrated the story I realized it is a musical film. Adhering to this need, Yuvan has scored. After listening to every composition, I would tell the director that this was the best and realize the next one was better than the earlier one. And

Yuvan’s name has

become synonymous

with love.

there is variety in every number. If Adada mazhaida is a folksy piece, then the first track is a soft romantic one and En Kaadal Solla is city based number. There is as much variety in music as in visuals. Background score in Paiyaa is brilliant. For the first twenty odd minutes, there would not be much of dialogues and the story moves through music. Yuvan’s role is phenomenal in Paiyaa. Now a days, Yuvan’s name has become synonymous with love.

Your favorite song and can you hum it for us?

Suthude Suthude is my favorite number when I was acting in the film. When I was performing the emotions were intense for this number. But ‘En Kaadal Solla’ is what I frequently listen to. I’m sorry I can’t sing.

About Milind Soman, the villain…

Milind Soman

still looks hot

I first met Milind Soman at Sathara, a place near Pune, when we were shooting a fight sequence. He looks like a hero and I a villain. He is after all the most handsome man of India right? Milind Soman still looks hot. Lingusamy always wants to make films stylishly and to steer away from the routine stuff, he had cast Milind Soman. He is not the typical villain in veshti with moustache but a stylish one in jeans. As his character is a Mumbai based one, he has spoken in Hindi but due to his interactions, it was easy to understand him. His expression and body language were brilliant. He used to score in minute expressions and breeze past. As Paiyaa is romance based film, villainy in it will not be powerful as in any of the other Lingusamy’s films and will be simple but effective.

Did you use a body double for fight sequences?

In olden days, body doubles were used but now the audience finds out very easily and they cannot be cheated. I have not used a body double. Stylish fight sequences are the usual highlight in Lingusamy’s films. The making and presentation would be different. Similarly, I feel the fight sequences will be much talked about in Paiyaa. This is the first time for me to feature in such action sequences. Car chase scenes would be very interesting and stunt choreography is very novel in Paiyaa. On the whole action sequences are very powerful and different in this film.

Any unforgettable scene?

There were many unforgettable scenes in Aayirathil Oruvan as it was a new attempt. However Paiyaa is the usual film that you see but presented in a different format. As the film is woven around the Highway, this film becomes unique. I think this is the first time such an attempt is made. As it was shot in the highway, a minimum of two to three cameras were used for filming. So we brought in a truck from Mumbai and designed three cars in the same format and we were toggling them as per the requirement. As I love driving, I enjoyed the shooting. I liked all the car chasing sequences. There is a scene where the car goes in reverse in the opposite traffic. That was a thrilling one.

Any risky shot?

There is a scene where ten cars will be chasing and there emerged another car in the perpendicular direction. I was not informed about this. Ten cars were moving at full throttle in an open field and I spotted this Maruthi van. Usually, Maruthi vans don’t have good pick up and move very slowly. I saw cameraman Madhi sitting inside the van when I came close to the vehicle. They tried to speed up and come along with me but they could not. All these ten vehicles should avoid the Maruthi van and everything should happen in a fraction of a second. Madhi dropped his camera in fear. It was a close shave. When I see that shot in the film, it appears really scary. It was indeed chilling because we wee not informed about the Maruthi van. Although the stunt sequences were taxing to me, the outputs are powerful. While filming some of the stunt sequences in Mumbai, I was suffering from terrible back pain but could not cancel the schedule. I wore belt and performed.

What in your opinion is the USP of Paiyaa

Tamannah has been portrayed so beautifully. Music is one of the big USPs. Another strong aspect of Paiyaa is its making especially cameraman Madhi’s work. Technically, Paiyaa will stand out.

Technically, Paiyaa

will stand out.

Does Paiyaa have any resemblance to Ram Gopal Varma’s Road?

No, absolutely not! Paiyaa is completely different. Another interesting aspect of the film will be the dialogues that lead to the friendship between the lead pair. When a young man meets a beautiful young girl, it is only normal that he would go all out to impress the girl. These sequences would appear very natural and amusing.

Paiyaa in a nutshell...

Paiyaa will be a film to which you can come with your family, enjoy, laugh heartily, savor the beautiful visuals, applaud and take home a pleasant feel. It is undoubtedly a clean film and you can take your children. Normally Lingusamy’s films will not be bold and Paiyaa is no exception either.

What are your next projects?

Naan Magaan Alla directed by Suseendran of Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu and Yuvan scores music. It revolves around a middle class family in Chennai. My screen father is a call taxi driver in the film. It is a bit of an offbeat, realistic film. Apart from a family drama, it is also a crime thriller. It has shaped up very well.

Are you again a dirty boy in Naan Magaan Alla?

I am a middle class Chennai boy in Naan Magaan Alla. While Paiyaa can be termed as a fantasy, romantic film, NMA will be more on the realistic side. I accepted this film mainly because of my character called Jeeva who is replete with positive approach towards life.

About the remake of Telugu Vikramarkudu?

I saw Vikramarkudu when I was doing Paruthi Veeran. It is a very exciting film, double role; one is a police and the other a thief. I felt it was a good script to do a double role. One can show a huge variation between two roles. It is a complete emotional entertainer. Comedy forms 70% of the film and emotional aspect travels along with it. I was very eager to do this film.

Who is the heroine in Vikramarkudu remake?

Tamannah. Shiva who has directed a few films in Telugu is making his entry in Tamil. For the first time, I am joining hands with Santhanam for the comedy track.

The promos of Paiyaa had you mouthing punch dialogues. Are there such dialogues in the film?

It is all presumption. Please don’t believe them. It is a comedy scene, that’s about it. You will understand it when you see the film.

Your brother Suriya says that producers are lining up to book you skipping him. Is it true?

No. he is chumma giving a build up and there is nothing like that. In fact people who are not able to reach him approach me to help them. That’s the truth. They tell me a story and say it is for Suriya and wonder if I would like the same. My brother’s level is different and he is just kidding. That’s all.
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