Interviewer : Hemananth | Coordination : Venkatesh | Camera : Vivek | Text : Prathap | Video Editor : Kadar
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Santhanam needs no introduction. More than the lead men of the industry, Santhanam’s name crops up quite often as the bankable star of the industry. Proof: his presence in every movie, akin to the hero’s character. Not only does he lighten up the mood in any movie, he is also a great conversationalist, as we discovered here. Excerpts from an interview.

On your role in Settai

Settai is Delhi Belly’s remake. There are a few tweaks in the script to suit the Tamil audience but I am playing the role of Imran Khan’s friend. Usually, if I’m there the movie will only get U/A certificate. But since Delhi Belly is already an A certified film, we wanted to not do much damage to the prospects of the film getting at least U/A. We worked on the script and made it acceptable by Tamil audience. If you had watched Delhi Belly, there is no doubt you will like this movie. But if you haven’t watched Delhi Belly, you will love this one.

About Kalakalappu and your role

My character is called Vettupuli in Kalakalappu. Vettupuli has employed many people for himself but he doesn’t know what kind of work to give them. That’s his dilemma. There are a lot of punch dialogues in the movie and director Sundar has done it really well.

Working with Sundar C

Sundar usually gives you a good platform and that is one important thing for an actor like me. He has given me a good role and a good platform.

Sundar has given me a good


Your favorite director

All my directors are my friends. I like legendaries like AP Nagarajan and I have all his films in my collection.

Your combination with director Rajesh

I have worked with Rajesh in his three movies. We almost think alike and since our thoughts sync it becomes easy to work with him. And his suggestions always become successful and I am happy to have found a friend in him.

Working with heroes like Ajith, Vijay, Suriya and Vikram

I have worked with almost all actors except Kamal. It’s nice working with all of them.

I look forward to work in a

Kamal film

You have not worked with Kamal till now. Are you looking forward to do a film with him?

Yes I look forward to work in a Kamal film. That is one of my huge wishes.

How does it feel when you are single handedly credited for the success of movies like OKOK, BEB?

Earlier I used to be responsible for all my portions alone. But since these days my responsibilities have become huge, I work on the script with directors and provide suggestions.

Recently you have said that post the success of OKOK, the expectation has increased. How are you handling this?

I think it’s enough to avoid repetition in my work. I constantly strive to do that – try to bring difference in my every movie. But I am also aware that I should stick to the movie’s plot.

I constantly strive to avoid

repetition in my work

Where do you get your one-liners from?

It’s just words that you regularly use but the situations in which I use them make the one-liners funny. I improvise a lot and create words that are non-existent.

Support for your comedy scenes from your family and friends

Oh yeah, they love my comedy a lot.

I get inspiration watching my

friends, they inspire me a lot

How do you do the homework for comedy scenes?

There are a lot of friends from my Lollu Sabha days and I also observe people from my friends circle. They inspire me a lot. For my characters in Boss and Settai I derived inspiration from real life.

Do you feel that you can become a solo hero now that you are a star in your own right?

I love doing comedy and I think I will stick to it right now. No plans of doing a lead.

Is there a dream role for you? If so what’s it?

I want to a film that portrays me in three different periods. I want to do a period film. And also a film based in the eighties.

I want to do a period film

My punch dialogues are inspired

from my mother

Whom do you attribute your humor sense to?

I think it’s my dad. I also used to be a very mischievous child and lie a lot. My mother used to say that it’s a pain to have me around and I used those dialogues in my movies also.

Who has the best humor sense in Kollywood?

I think Anjali has a good sense of humor. I noticed it after acting with her in Kalakalappu. Vijay also has a good comic timing.

Anjali has a good sense of humor

Humor is a way of relaxation for many. How do you relax?

I read, listen to music and sleep.

I read Bhagavad Gita to focus

Comedy is a serious business. How do you keep yourself focused?

I read Bhagavad Gita to focus. When I am in doubt, I read Gita to stay clear of my confusion. I am spiritual and real such books.

Future projects

The immediate movie in discussion is Siruthai Siva’s movie.

Many say that you are the next Goundamani. How do you feel?

I feel proud to be compared with a legend like Goundamani. I look up to him and feel that I have a long way to go.

Tags : Santhanam, Settai, Kalakalappu, Anjal
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