Ulagayanayagan Kamal Haasan is getting set for the release of his Vishwaroopam 2, promoting his film across all available platforms with a glee. Days before the sequel hits the screens, Only Kollywood caught up with the actor at his residence to discuss about the journey of the film and his ideas in general.
Vishwaroopam 2 is a two-parter. Did you intend to do it as a single film and then split it later?
Nope. Right from the first day, we had plans to do it as two films only. The story of Vishwaroopam is so detailed that it requires a runtime of more than 4 hours, it would be wrong if we had squeezed it into a single film.
How did you select the cast for the whole series?
I wanted actors, not stars. That’s one thing I learned from K. Balachandar sir. If I had brought in well known stars, rehearsals and preparation would be a tough job. In contrast, my team was always interested in the output and kept asking me about what was coming next.
You’ve also done the stunts on your own for Vishwaroopam, putting in a huge effort. How do you manage to keep fit?
Even if I don’t exercise for 15 days, it would show up in my fitness, making it easy for injuries to occur. Training is very important to keep oneself in shape. In the olden days, stuntmen would feel ashamed to exercise in public, and put on pads before the shots. And now, we shoot in air-conditioned halls which makes it even easier for the muscles to tear. It happened for me during Uttama Villain.
Striking a combination between artistic and commercial cinema.
Ultimately, audiences have to come into the theaters. Some people make cheap adult comedies, some pick newcomers and come out successful, and then there are the veterans such as Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Satyajit Ray who make films on shoestring budgets and yet manage to accumulate the love of world cinema fans. In Hollywood, audiences are lucky enough to witness visually mammoth films that have a brain as well. I’ve just tried to do the same with Vishwaroopam, I wanted to bring in a gritty and gory thriller that has not been done in India so far. Why shouldn’t we Indian-ize a spy thriller which is a genre that has been famous in Hollywood so far, so that our audiences can connect with it? I just had to keep in mind, that we shouldn’t dilute the source.
Being a producer, actor, and director for the same film. Does the first role affect the other two?
Not exactly, you cannot change your content looking at the market factors. People in the industry are trying to come up with a formula that will bring them returns, that is not possible. There is engineering, and there is reverse engineering. Engineering an idea and then making a film is tough job, once the idea is out in the open, it is very easy for somebody to work their way back. My intent, is always towards being unique.
Vishwaroopam 2 is set for a grand release from this Friday, August 10th worldwide.