Surya will make his Hindi film debut with Ram Gopal Varma’s Raktha Charitra, which also stars Vivek Oberoi. At the launch function, Surya thanked Aamir Khan for making him famous in Mumbai after playing his role in the Hindi blockbuster Ghajini.
Rakht Charitra, inspired from real life gangster Paritala Ravi (played by Vivek Oberoi), who was assassinated in January 2005, by a death squad allegedly put together by his arch rival Suri (played by Surya).
Suriya shared his part about the film.
You are now in star in kollywood, how do you about entry into Bollywood.
It is a big platform. There are legends here. Indian cinema has always been referred to as Bollywood. Even though I am comfortable in the south, I hope to be accepted here. This is a new beginning for me. I would like people to like what I have done in Raktha Charitra and accept me.
Why did you agree to debut in Bollywood with this film?
Entering Bollywood was never my dream so I didn’t think too much of what my Hindi launch film should be. I have always asked Ramu sir to do a Tamil film. He refused saying he didn’t know the language and directing a Tamil film wouldn’t be possible.
But when he narrated this script to me, I wanted to be a part of it. I was sure I wouldn’t get this chance again. And like I wanted, I’m taking Ramu down south with me — I am doing the same film in Tamil and Telugu.
This is a good film to start my Bollywood innings. I have always believed in the characters I play, be it Kaakha Kaakha, Nandha or Ghajini. These films have been character-driven. I followed the same for Rakhta Charitra.
There have been actors before, who failed to make a mark in Bollywood. Are you apprehensive?
I am not quitting south cinema. I have done Rakhta Charitra only to try my hand at a different role. I am not looking at two Hindi releases every year. But I would love to do more Hindi films so I hope people accept me here.
I cannot comment on actors who haven’t done well here. But actresses have been able to do well here. I guess they are smarter than men!
Honestly, I don’t think actors push themselves to be a part of Bollywood. I haven’t seen anyone who has tried their best. It is just timepass or they do a film with a director they want to work with, and then return to their comfort zone.
How did you prepare for the role, and overcome the language barrier?
I just followed Ramu sir’s brief. I didn’t have to sit in a jail to prepare for the character.
As far as the language goes, I used to run away from Hindi in school. I should thank our associate director Sahil, who helped me with my dialogues. He used to record my dialogues and I would listen to it the whole night before the shoot.
The advantage was that we started with the Tamil version first and then did the Hindi and Telugu versions. So that made my life easy.
What was the toughest scene?
There’s a scene when I’m in jail. I have to tell my jail inmates that I saw my mother being cut into two, I saw my sister being burnt and could recognise her only by her necklace, I couldn’t even find my brother because he was scattered all over the place. Since all this has happened in real life, I kept wondering what this person must have gone through, what his mindset would have been and how he lived with all these memories.
How was it working with Ram Gopal Varma?
He is a very level headed person. I haven’t seen anyone clearer in his head. Even as actors, we ask for another take. But he knows what he wants. He has great knowledge of technology, camera and character-shaping.
No one can be like him. No one can copy him, repeat his work or work like him. He has an amazing personality. I learnt a lot about cinema while working with him. You can ask him anything about cinema and he will have an answer.
How was it working with Vivek Oberoi?
We don’t have many scenes together — just one scene in the first part. It was amazing working with him. I had met him during the Tamil remake of Yuva. I played Ajay Devgn sir’s character in the Tamil film.
What do you like best about Bollywood?
The aesthetics, and the actors. I am eagerly waiting to see Dabangg. I loved the promos and Salman sir’s performance. I haven’t watched Peepli Live yet but I loved the promos.
Seems you met Shah Rukh Khan?
I have done ads with him.
I have taken his autograph. (My wife) Jyothika is big fan. He spoke to her and her friends. He is very nice, humble and simple.
Your film Kaaka Khaaka is being remade in Hindi. Did you want to be a part of it?
I wish. But the rights have been sold. I am glad that my good friend John Abraham is playing the role.
My next Tamil film is Ezhaam Arivu (Seventh Sense) with A Murgadoss.