Interviewer : Annadurai | Camera : Balaji | Text : Prathap | Video Editor : Jesi
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Actor/producer/director Cheran is known to speak his mind in an honest manner. His latest film Muran has received good response wherein besides acting, Cheran has also produced the venture. Catch Cheran in a candid conversation with

About Muran?

Muran is about a strange friendship strangled in a psychic relationship. It was thrilling and also challenging to work on. To produce that movie was also challenging for me and I learnt a lot from that experience. Since it was a totally different genre unexplored in Tamil cinema, we wanted to make it more interesting. Everybody cooperated and I could deliver a good movie. It has also motivated me to make more such movies.

Did you expect the movie to be successful?

Everybody works keeping success in mind. You cannot work without having success as your goal. We expected the movie to be a hit but it isn’t as successful as we thought it would be. We couldn’t satisfy the rural audience as much as we could do with the urban audience. I think we could only achieve 70% of the expected success.

Everybody works keeping

success in mind

What are your responsibilities in Muran other than as an actor?

Other than an actor I was a producer in Muran. I was also involved in enhancing the script and the story as a producer. I only facilitated the movie making process and did not involve myself in the movie using my directorial credentials.

Prasanna’s personal experience

with the role has made him talk

Prasanna’s comments on the role during an event related to Muran

I cannot comment on that. Prasanna’s personal experience with the role has made him talk like that. As a costar with him in the movie I have only encouraged him with regard to the role.

You are into acting now. But you have always been a director. What made you switch roles?

Everybody chases money and money chases everybody. It’s like a game of hide and seek. When we have enough money, we want more challenges. And when we seek challenges we tend to lose the money we earned. So in this game, money dictates everything. I cannot narrow myself into anything. When Autograph was made, if any actor agreed to do that role, I wouldn’t have been cast in that. And when the movie was successful, I veered off and concentrated on acting. Even that I am very careful in selecting my roles. I can only do what I can. For instance, I cannot be a commercial hero, like what Ajith does in Mankatha. Direction demands more attention and when my financial status is a little better, I will start focusing on direction. There is no change in that.

Everybody chases money and

money chases everybody

Audience dictates the way

movies are made

What do you think of people’s taste these days? Has it changed?

I don’t think so. They watch movies according to their moods. If they are in a mood for a serious movie, they will go and watch it. So the onus lies with the creator to check the pulse of his audience. Audience dictates the way movies are made. Besides, I do not command the fan base of Ajith or Vijay. No matter how hard I try, my movies pick up only after 10 days of their release. I am not blaming moviegoers but that is the reality.

They have their own issues and cinema is always secondary in their priority. These are the same fans that made a movie run for 100 days. But greed took over us and we started making the releases in big scale. When small movies do big scale release, they lose out because there are not many takers. Other than that, there are also issues with regard to VCD/DVD and piracy. So there are a lot of issues for a movie. Hence if there are 10 people who make it big, there are about 500 who are dying. But those 10 do not have time to think about the 500. There are also people who are smarter than these 10. So what is happening here is according to Pattukottai’s song ‘Manushana Manushan Saappiduranda’. In this scenario, I can’t be an idealist. I will have to stay home and nobody will notice me. No producer has ever approached me looking at my past credits of national awards or my movies. So movie making here is a livelihood.

No producer has ever

approached me looking at my

past credits

What is next- Acting, direction or production?

Next I am producing a movie for Nakulan where I am also acting. Despite the failures I live in the hope that I will survive. One thing is for sure. I will only produce good movies. In the race for making money, I am not willing to replicate my previous movies like Autograph and Porkaalam. There will be variety in my movies. After Nakulan’s movie, I will be acting in Vasanth’s movie. And then I plan to focus in direction.

What is your take on Balu Mahendra’s comment that directors should not don the greasepaint?

That’s his perspective. I have different take on that. If no actor is willing to take a director’s story, the director cannot quit his profession. That is when he turns to acting. There is nothing wrong in that. Nobody calls it a mistake. I am sure even Balu Mahendra doesn’t.

Discussing the issues of Directors

Council in public has no


What do you think about the issues plaguing Director’s Council?

The Directors Council is formed to fight for the rights and issues of the 2300 members we have in the council. But discussing the issues of Directors Council in public has no relevance whatsoever for anyone. It does not do any good to either the members or the general public. So such questions do not need to be asked since they are of no use to anyone. Please avoid asking such questions.

It’s being said that cinema spoils the society. What is your take on that?

It’s a blame game that people play. Do not think people are inferior enough to get spoilt by cinema. People know what to give importance and when. There are other aspects in the world that spoil the society like politics or globalization.

What is your advice for new directors?

I have nothing to advice. On the other hand, I am willing to get advice from people.

Any plans to do movies with Rajini, Kamal and Sathyaraj?

No. I do not have such plans.

Before the state government changed, you were vociferous about your views. Now you stick to cinema in your speeches. Why the change?

Experience! I can’t explain it to you, again, because of experience.

What is your take on mixing cinema and politics?

It’s because politics entered into movies, we are experiencing a decline in the making of movies. It is ruining small producers. No matter which party is influencing cinema, it’s wrong be it DMK or AIADMK. Our chief minister understands it and she is clear about it. But some producers want to identify themselves with the ruling party but their motive will not be successful. If politics takes over the movie making business once again, whatever is left will also be left to rot.

It’s because politics entered into

movies, we are experiencing a


What is your opinion on new directors and new technology?

It’s good for Tamil cinema and makes it healthy. Even if the directors are ready to direct such movies, producers are not willing to help. That is the issue here.

James Cameron was also

inspired when he did Titanic

How do you feel about movies inspired from Hollywood films?

I do not think inspiration is a bad thing. But lifting a movie scene by scene is unacceptable unless you have proper rights. Even James Cameron was inspired when he directed Titanic. So inspiration is not at all a bad thing.

Any plans to direct other language movies?

I haven’t received any such offers. I will consider such offers when they come to me.

Tags : Cheran, Prasanna, Muran, James Cameron
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