Prithviraj : I can only ensure the quality of my films
Compared to last year where he had several super hits under his belt, Prithviraj has had a rather quiet 2016 at the box office. However, that’s no measure of the projects that he has in his kitty.
After completing the socio-political drama Tiyaan, the actor left for Malaysia to shoot for his upcoming Bollywood movie Naam Shabana. And now, he is in Portugal busy shooting for Roshni Dinaker’s romcom My Story, while his horror-thrilled titled Ezra will hit theatres soon.
We caught up with the actor recently to get a lowdown to know what goes through his mind during the set-to-set transitions, the extensive schedules abroad and his big budget movies in the offing.
There was a time when you would prepare for a role physically. But now with back-to-back movies, is it just about changing the looks and switching the sets?
I was never an actor who prepared for a role. Physically, yes, but you can hardly call that preparation for a character. As long as I am healthy and my body is under my command, I can continue to do that. Preparing for a role in terms of the mannerisms involved is more about trying to construct a behavioural pattern for the character. It would have you foraying into method acting, which I don’t know how to do. My preparations for films usually involve thorough comprehension of the script. That’s how I have always approached my movies — from the point I am given bound scripts.
I know currently with a lot of movie announcements doing the rounds, it might seem like I am hopping from one set to another. But I don’t. I usually make sure that I have a gap of at least 10 days between films and I use that time to get away from my previous movie.
For Anarkali, you took deep-sea diving lessons to play a diving instructor and for your upcoming movie Vimaanam, we hear you will reportedly be taking flight lessons…
Within the film, the character requires me to fly an ultra-light aircraft. But we don’t know if we would be able to shoot the scenes we want with the aircraft actually flying. As of now, it would entail at least learning the basics of piloting an aircraft.
You would also be doing a Gautham Menon movie…
I said yes to Gautham’s film almost a year ago. It will be in multiple languages — Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. My character in the film is a Malayali. So I will have some lines in Malayalam. It’s basically about four friends. It’s a phase in their lives where they all get together and discover things about themselves and each other. It’s a fun script. It’s co-written by Gautham. He had concerns if I would act in a multi-starrer. But it’s been something that I have wanted to do for a long time. It’s opening up a world of possibilities.
Having four major actors from four South Indian industries in a film opens up a possibility of releasing a movie in 2,500 screens in South India without having a Rajinikanth in it. Plus, the liberty that the filmmaker gets, in terms of the money he can spend and scale at which he can conceive, is huge. I will probably start shooting for that after My Story.
My Story is shot in Portugal and your forthcoming projects such as Detroit Crossing and Adam also will be filmed abroad. Does that put an additional pressure on you?
My film Ivide, which was set in the US, would have cost the same money, maybe just a bit more if we had shot it in India. I have believed that if you can plan properly and have a clear chart that defines your action each day, shooting abroad is not an expensive proposition. The only additional cost you would have to factor in is the travel. We don’t shoot with a typical 150-member unit when we travel abroad. There are a lot of union regulations when we shoot here that eventually translates to a crew having 150 members. When we are away from the regulations, you realise the entire work can be done with a group comprising 35 members
This year you have also tried experimenting with films such as Darwinte Parinamam, which didn’t quite hit the mark…
Would you say that content is the only way forward for Mollywood especially now that our movies have to compete with films from other languages too…