Vijay Sethupathi: I will take a break from playing a villain
In a masterclass at the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI), actor Vijay Sethupathi talks about his journey, acting approach and much more.
In an interactive masterclass at the ongoing 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), actor Vijay Sethupathi in conversation with actor-politician Kushboo Sundar, asked everyone not to take the conversations too seriously, after he earned applauses while entering the stage. He was there for the first-ever silent film, Gandhi Talks, to be played at IFFI 23.”I had a conversation with my daughter this morning and she asked me what I’ll speak today. I told her how tea is made. So don’t take this (conversation) as a class,” said Sethupathi, in his opening statement, adding, “It’s not a class at all. I don’t even know what to do in front of a camera. Just treat me like one of you. Let’s create and share. And if you don’t understand my language, please refer to my face.”
The actor also thanked his wife (Jessy Sethupathi) for not letting him go back to Dubai to continue his regular job, “I was just living, going with the flow. Then I fell in love during a wedding in India, got married and my wife didn’t let me return to Dubai, then cinema happened.”
“To be frank, I don’t know what method acting is. When a director is narrating a script, I wonder why he’s telling the story and why he wanted to make the story. I ask a lot of questions, stupid questions. I understand the essence, and I try to understand the director who’s telling the story. But I don’t follow any formula, he further added, when asked if he is a method or a spontaneous actor.
“Knowledge is all about people whom you interact with. I got to know some great minds who work in cinema. Who we interact with and the minds that we discuss things with are so important. They plant ideas into your head,” feels Sethupathi, who finds playing a villain fun, but doesn’t want to limit himself. “There are many pressures and restrictions. They try to stop the character from dominating the hero. I think I will take a break and instead focus on playing the protagonist and character roles,” adds the actor, who has played a villain in Atlee’s Jawan recently.
Did he always want to become an actor since childhood? “I can’t focus on anything continuously, nor do I have the consistency to keep at one thing … During my childhood, I enrolled in learning how to play Mridangam in T-Nagar, but after one week, I quit the class … That’s how I am … My intention was to become a businessman and earn a lot of money. But I ended up here,” the 96 actor answers.
Elaborating his journey from his very first film and the learning along the way, Sethupathi said, “During my first film, there was fear of making a mistake and somewhere I wanted to impress the director. Now, I focus on how to do it. I’m a much secure actor now.”
Pointing out that how everyone was suited booted at the opening ceremony and only he was different in a simple blue shirt and jeans, the 45-year-old told Khushboo, “I looked like an alien that night … But everything designer is very expensive, and I am like this way. I can’t be comfortable in a suit … But I was insecure when I was there, to be honest.”
Sethupathi made his debut with Thenmerku Paruvakaatru in 2010. Talking about his journey from his very first film and the learning along the way, Sethupathi said, “During my first film, there was fear of making a mistake and somewhere I wanted to impress the director. Now, I focus on how to do it. I’m a much secure actor now.”