Actor Prasanna talks about his new projects, and forging a bond with directors
Actor Prasanna used to write poetry as a student, and got back to it recently after seeing the state of his beloved Cauvery. Growing up in Trichy, he has fond memories of a gushing river and the celebrations along its banks. Today, those once-fertile banks are being stripped of sand and look barren. And so, he writes:
குருதி வற்றிய நரம்புகளாய்
வெட்டிக் கீறிய தழும்புகளாய்
வெள்ளம் கரைபுரண்ட நினைவுகளாய்
பிந்தை தலைமுறை சாபங்களாய்
பழம்பெருமை பேசும் பெயர்ப்பலகை
பாலங்கள் கடக்கையில் பொய் சாட்சிகளாய்
காவிரியின் வெற்றுத் தடங்கள்!
Last week, during the promotions of his recent movie, Arun Vaidyanathan’s Nibunan, a troll on Twitter took potshots at him, using his wife Sneha’s popularity. The usually modest actor replied in chaste Tamil that he considered it respect accorded to his wife; a graceful response that won him many admirers.
“I could have kept quiet, but felt he had to be told what my stand regarding women was,” says Prasanna, who recently bagged the State Award for Best Actor for Achamundu Achamundu. The actor has gotten more vocal about issues, but says that he shares them only on a suitable platform — he does not want to give fodder to trolls, which results in the original intent getting lost.
This confidence in Prasanna is reflected in his choice of movies, too. Years after he played the baddie in Mysskin’s Anjaathey, he gets back to grey with Thiruttu Payale 2, and the Telugu Jawaan. Then, there’s Mysskin’s Thupparivaalan and the much-delayed Kaalakoothu, with actor Kalaiarasan.Recently, in Dhanush’s directorial debut, Power Paandi, the actor played a son who is peeved with his father’s ways before he realises his absence. Though some felt the role was uni-dimensional, Prasanna says that it is a character that struck a chord with many. The dialogue where he tells his colleague to answer his mother’s call elicited much applause.
After a brief period when nothing interesting came his way, Prasanna believes his “time is now”. “I stepped back, analysed my career, and kept working on my physique and skills. For, when the right opportunity came, I did not want to be found wanting. More importantly, I focused on the positives instead of dwelling on the negatives.”
The experiences that came his way the past few years, says the actor, will help him in his future performances, allowing him a vast body of emotions to dip into when needed. “I will be able to show a difference facet of myself in these films.”
Twitter has also been speaking about his hit film, Kalyana Samayal Saadham, being remade as Shubh Mangal Saavdhan. “I’m very happy for the director, my namesake RS Prasanna. It did well here, and it’s going places now.”
Prasanna has struck interesting working relationships with some of his directors. For instance, Arun Vaidyanathan, who directed the actor in Achamundu Achamundu, introduced the two Prasannas; Arun teamed up with Prasanna in Nibunan. Myskkin repeats him in Thupparivaalan, and Susi Ganesan, who launched the actor with Five Star, is back directing him in Thirrutu Payale 2. “I forge bonds with people who inspire me. Getting back with Susi Sir, the man who opened the doors to the film industry for me 15 years ago, was a great feeling.”
In Thupparivaalan, he plays a Dr Watson to Vishal’s Holmes. “Mysskin gives me the liberty to sit and talk anything with him. We share a trust that binds actors and directors,” says Prasanna.
The Telugu film, which releases next month, sees the actor explore newer territories. But, what Prasanna would like to do the most is fit into every role that lands his way. Be it reel or real. “I want to be honest to the world I inhabit. I want to be known as a good actor, and also as a good human.”
The Prasanna interview is a Silverscreen exclusive.