A while after his last releases in 2011, Avan Ivan and Vedi, Samar has released. 2013 will see more of the actor on the big screen. “Right now I think it is going well. I am awaiting the release of Madha Gaja Raja in April, my second release for the year. I am currently doing Pattathu Yaanai with Bhoopathy Pandian, who had directed me in Malaikottai earlier. Action King Arjun’s daughter, Aishwarya will be launched through this fi lm. I am going to try and work in different kinds of fi lms. The range is totally interesting this time. My projects look great. Last year I didn’t have even a single release. But hey, 2013 promises to be different and here I am, planning my fi rst straight Telugu fi lm, with the working title of Sukra. I am going to launch myself as a newcomer in Telugu with a new director. See, every time I work with a new director, people always ask me why. The reason is that I want to experiment and work with fresh minds to gain different experiences. A triple action fi lm is also on the cards with Sundar C.” The triple action fete comes from the initially planned triple role for the actor in Madha Gaja Raja earlier, the actor adds. Vishal looks forward to working with Sundar C. “A Sundar C fi lm is always a pure boon for the actor. It is good both for the health and the career of the actor!”
Vishal does have a dream role. “Good things are coming my way now. I have a dream role, though. I want to play a negative role, as a villain. It has become my mission now and I hope to do it by the end of 2013 or by the beginning of 2014. After Samar, I have decided that I just have to do this.”
While Samar was quite stressful, Vishal’s current project Pattathu Yaanai has been very de-stressing. “Samar was very tough, physically and mentally. The fi lm faced a lot of hurdles. A couple of sequences were very draining, mentally. Nevertheless, I was very sure that even if Samar released on any other date, it would still do well. Pattathu Yaanai so far has been a de-stressing activity. I am going to come across as a very clean entertainer through this fi lm. The body language will be good and I can relate to it. I am looking forward to this fi lm because I can connect to the masses with the body language completely. The minute the character shows his other self is when people will see the USP of the fi lm. Madha Gaja Raja is a clean family entertainer, again. Remember the fun fi lms of the 80’s like Sakala Kala Vallavan? This fi lm is in the same vein, it is pure entertainment coming straight from the heart. Sundar C has saved the best one for me!”
Vishal’slong-standing dream of working with Trisha eventually materialised with Samar. “It is not that it was a dream or anything. It was just that I was looking forward to working with her. I tried to work with her for a while, but for some reason it never happened. She is my friend and I am a fan of hers. I am so happy that she is getting so much appreciation for her role in Samar. Working with her was a delight. Comfort levels were at the peak because we have been friends for a long time. It felt a little weird in the beginning, getting into the shoes of an actor and actress but later it took off, and there was no looking back. It was very happy and positive.”
Be it the squint-eye in Avan Ivan or the head injury he suffered when shooting for MGR, it appears that Vishal pushes himself too much into things. “Yes, I do, very much. I am a psycho.” He grins at me. “The head injury I sustained while working on MGR was actually a wakeup call for me. It would have turned into a very fatal accident. I escaped unhurt. The whole unit was shocked. That’s when it struck me – it felt like I was being told to buck up and ensure I wasn’t taking too much of a risk. Stunt sequences in fi lms are always spoken about. Even in Samar, in a particular action stunt sequence, which you fi nd in the trailer, I decided to perform without the regular rope. I wanted to do something people wouldn’t have seen before. I just let myself loose.”
Vishal’s schedule for the next couple of months is packed. The actor would love to take a break thereafter – destination Himalayas. “I have been shooting non-stop. I usually take a break when I feel too worked up or stressed out. My favourite destination is the Himalayas. In the next two months, I will be wrapping up Pattathu Yaanai. I think I need a break before I commit to work again. The next two months are packed with shoots everyday without a break. I don’t go to the Himalayas for meditation and all that. I just go there. That holiday time is all for me! I switch off my phone and hang around on my own. There is no itinerary. I just land up in the airport. I book my ticket on my own – there are no managers. Nobody even knows where I am for a couple of days. Nothing stops me from doing what I want that way,” he says.
So what has he learnt from his experiences in the industry so far? “You don’t change. But people change. Success and failure can change the people around you. But I decide not to change in any case. I decide to shut my mouth and do my work, and I will get what I deserve,” he says.
The conversation takes us to a certain controversy, which is supposed to have landed the actor in trouble. His recent comment on a social networking site is alleged to have earned him the wrath of the Nadigar Sangam, which is said to have issued him a show cause notice to explain his stand. Vishal says, “I put up a post on my personal profi le page on facebook and I did not pinpoint anyone personally. I haven’t received the notice as yet, to further comment on it. I did not ask anybody or force anybody to support or express an opinion. I am a little surprised that when it came to a service tax issue the entire industry joined hands together but not for Kamal Haasan.” So does he feel actors need to be more politically correct? “I think one should always speak his/her mind whether it is on a social networking platform or wherever else one can express their viewpoint. It’s better to be frank than aim at being politically correct,” he says.
Vishal’s biggest regret in life looms large. “My biggest regret is that I did not get married in 2007. I was in love with this girl. She wasn’t an actress, though. I couldn’t get married back then because my career was just taking off and I felt it wouldn’t be mature to take such a decision at that point. I still regret not getting married. If you ask me now about when my marriage will be, I’ll just go blank. I really don’t know what to say. I haven’t shared this with anyone. Career-wise, I feel I should have practised gymnastics, which I am sure would have been a surprise element in some of my fi lms,” he adds.
There is a little surprise about this actor in his own words, for his fans. He says, “I have a split personality. What you are seeing onscreen is only one Vishal. My fans who predominantly see me onscreen do not know about my share of fears. I have a big mental block when it comes to attending fi lm functions or awards. You wouldn’t have seen my pictures in most of them. Even in the recent CCL curtain raiser, though I wanted to, I couldn’t shy away because it is a huge responsibility on me. Vishal the person and Vishal the actor are two different people. When people come to know of that, they will surely wonder how I became an actor!”
Vishal is looking forward to the upcoming CCL tournament, and speaks about his passion for cricket. “The reason we are looking forward to it is the bonding between the boys, we feel like an extended family now, and the excitement is just like what one would feel in their college and school days. The only motive all the actors share in common during CCL is to keep their profession aside and work as a team. Cricket has been one of my favourite sports. Playing in a stadium before a huge crowd is a great feeling,” he says