Interviewer & Text: Jyothsna
Shaan Kumar……….A new actor, entering into Tamil films through “Kadhai”, releasing next month. At a glance, we would think he is just another newcomer, one among that long list of new faces that Kollywood introduces every Friday. But, once we get to watch his performance as a writer, in fact, a Booker prize winner in the movie, we tend to change our idea slightly as his performance speaks volume on his capability and talent so much for a first time actor. He has in fact scared everyone as a psycho who tortures and terrifies his lovely wife. When we start enquiring his background, we were truly surprised and must say shocked to know that he is the most educated actor of the whole Indian film industry, as a matter of fact. Yep….Can you believe??? He has a double doctorate (PhD)…………It’s not just that….He has written a book for young and wannabe entrepreneurs which will be released next month by one of the top publishing houses of the world, Amazon.

So, how did you get into movies? Seems like you are from a different planet of entrepreneurship, and how come movies?

Shaan: There was this stage show performed by small screen actors in California and I happen to meet Mr. Abishek, quite a famous TV actor. He asked me whether I would be interested in acting in movies. I was little taken aback as I had no idea about acting, and therefore I asked for a week’s time to answer him. The next thing I did was to head straight to Hollywood College to join a crash course on acting conducted by Dan Bradley, a renowned Hollywood actor and trainer too. He taught me the basics of acting and I felt more confident after this course that I met Abishek and said, I am ready to act now. My mom was a dance lover and that might be a reason why I could dance so easily during my college days. Even without knowing what I am going to dance, I learnt all kinds of western dances like Hip-Hop, Break, etc… But then, when I got the acting opportunity and started shooting for the movie, I realized how much the dance is helpful to me. They shot 83 shots on the first day of my shoot and all of them got an OK from the director on a single take.

" They shot 83

shots on the

first day of my shoot"

" I sing very

well too"

Most of the dancers would be more interested in music too…So, how are you involved in music and what kind of music do you like? Your favorite composer?

Yes…You are right…I like all kinds of music like Custom, Aerosmith, Rock etc… I sing very well too. I like all the composers here as every one of them has a different style as they try to experiment in every one of their new projects. I just love Raja sir’s song “Janani…Janani…” I never miss to sing this song whenever and wherever I perform on stage. In general, I like songs composed on motherhood.

You sing well….You speak Tamil very well…. You have acted so emotionally well in the movie…..It’s surprising to notice that you haven’t dubbed for your character in the movie and someone else has lent their voice to you…..You would miss the chance of getting any awards because of this…..Why?

Well, that was director’s choice. My duty was only to act as how he asked me to do. I don’t interfere in anything else other than acting. I totally transform myself to an actor when I enter into the shooting spot so much that I completely forget America, my job etc. The fact that I had a very bad cold at the time when dubbing started might also be a reason why director chose not to use my voice. But, I have decided to dub in my own voice for the upcoming projects.

Your favorite actors in Hollywood and in India?

In Hollywood, I like Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington and many more… In India, my favorites are none other than Dr. Kamal Hassan who is giving a new dimension to acting in every one of his movies and of course, our superstar Rajinikanth, king of style.

So, Who do you consider as your role model? Kamal Hassan? Or you want to become like Rajini, Vijay?

So far, who ever watched my performance in “Kadhai”, has appreciated my acting. I am so happy and looking for such challenging roles in future. At the same time, I do not want to restrict myself to only such characters. As an actor, I like to experiment all types of characters and it’s the public that decide the image of any actor. I like to try action roles too, but, obviously an actor can’t keep doing the same character again and again.

"I like to try

action roles too"

Is there any character of any Tamil movie that you had wished to act in it?

Sethu….It’s a character which would never leave my thoughts.

Your favorite scene in “Kadhai”?

Climax. I was very disturbed emotionally after I watched the climax episode. I am very sure people, ladies in particular, would love the climax. But, I am not sure whether they would like my character in the climax, as I myself found it frightening. But, right from our superstar to Sathyaraj and Prakashraj, they got introduced only in such negative characters that gave them immense popularity and fame. So, I too feel very happy to act in such a negative role in my first movie.

What is your ultimate aim that you want to achieve in the Film Industry?

" Movies play a

major role in taking

culture to an individual

all over the world"

I think the film industry is considered as Global Film Industry. I do think a lot about taking our film industry to international levels, but, I am still in a very initial stage and if I speak so much now, people might start thinking differently about me. So, only my activities should speak and not me. But, then, when you watch Hollywood cinemas, you can find China having an important place in there. I wish Indian movies too must have such an important contribution to the world cinema. We do have capable and talented artists, technicians and latest technologies in film making. So, what is it that stops us from reaching Hollywood? Movies play a major role in taking culture to an individual all over the world and it’s a great honor to all of us that Tamil culture is being appreciated universally. So, I think our Tamil movies should have a great impact globally if taken to international levels.

There are talks in the industry that you have already met some top directors like Vasanth, Priya etc... Is that true? Are you acting in one of their movies?

Well, it’s true that I met them, but, I am on the verge of finalizing a new project with a new team. I will announce once everything gets confirmed.

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