On a late Sunday afternoon, we wait at a studio in Kodambakkam to meet actor Sathya, whose Amara Kaaviyam releases today. Wielding a microphone, he is talking to journalists about the movie in a flat, weary tone; sounding neither excited nor nervous.
He has been doing this all day.
Sathya joins us in a few minutes, with a faint smile on his face. He initiates a role-reversal, and starts asking me questions. “How is work? “What kind of stories do you write?” We gently remind him that he is the interviewee and he half-heartedly steps down from his newly assumed role.
There are no Friday jitters for Sathya – he looks to be at ease. “My brother (actor Arya) is confident about the outcome of Amara Kaaviyam. It is not just about money. We all are proud that we could do this kind of movie,” explains Sathya.
Amara Kaaviyam is produced by actor Arya and directed by Jeeva Sankar.
In the film, the 30-year-old Sathya plays a class 12 student named Jeeva. He lost about 11 kilos for the role. “Two students out of 60 in every class are usually bigger than the rest. But I thought I shouldn’t look like one of them. I made an effort to look like a regular class 12 student.”
He became so involved in the movie that he acted like Jeeva for a few days on the sets of his next film Chennai Singapore. “For a particular shot, the director wanted me to turn around. And I turned my head slowly, like how Jeeva does in Amara Kaaviyam. The director pointed out that I must come out of the role.”
There was no praise from director Jeeva Sankar for Sathya when Amara Kaaviyam was being shot. “I didn’t know how I was doing. Perhaps, Sankar thought it might get into my head if he told me I was doing well. Only when I saw the trailer did I realise I had made him happy,” he says.
Sathya’s friends in the industry are pleased about the film. “Arya’s friend Nayan(thara) and my friend Simbu, they both loved the film. Simbu mentioned a few of his favourite shots from the movie. I’m glad that the film has impressed them.”
Sathya reckons that everything fell in place for Amara Kaaviyam. And Arya was determined to do his best for his younger brother. “I feel lucky. Sometimes I wonder if I deserve any of this. But then Sankar tells me I worked hard,” he shrugs. “I have always waited for this phase of my life!”
About seven years ago, director Jeeva Sankar, a good friend of Arya, visited Sathya and Arya. The friends whiled away and casually took some pictures at their terrace. Jeeva Sankar was a cinematographer then and he clicked a few pictures of Sathya too. Director Milind Rau, former associate of Mani Ratnam happened to see Sathya’s pictures and cast him in Kadhal 2 Kalyanam, which hasn’t been released yet.
Sathya was later seen in Puthagam – a movie that wasn’t received well. “I never dreamt of becoming an actor. It happened by chance. But I have taken acting seriously. And I had to wait seven years to get a project like Amara Kaaviyam.”
He has always been a movie-buff. “I watch a lot of movies, more than Arya does,” he says. “I have always discussed his movies with him. Initially, I liked everything he did, because all I saw on screen was ‘my brother’ Arya. A few years later, I grew to see him as a character.” Sathya is a sports enthusiast too and a proud PS4 addict. “I play real and virtual football,” he laughs. “Whenever we find time, my friends Simbu, Anirudh and I play PS4.”
The actor has no qualms about often being recognised as Arya’s brother. But he is peeved about the comparisons that the industry draws. “I’m often asked if I am a competitor to Arya. I find that question stupid,” he quips. “If I was a competitor to him, he wouldn’t have produced my film. Ezhu kodi rooba potu padam edukka maataaru! Why should he make me a star? And I don’t want to scale more heights than my brother. He will be happy if I become big. But I don’t see myself becoming bigger than him any day.”
The actor Sathya interview is a Silverscreen Exclusive.