Tamil Features

My Inspirations: SJ Suryah

A lot has changed in SJ Suryah‘s life after Iraivi. His portrayal of an alcoholic filmmaker impressed his fans and critics alike. With good words and promising new offers pouring in, Suryah is a happy man. In a conversation with Silverscreen.in, the actor-director-singer lists down his favourites. The books, movies, actors, and directors who inspire him to do better every time.

The Godfather


What a movie! It grows on you. I watched Godfather for the first time when I was an assistant director to Vasanth sir. I was told that there is a gangster movie that would change your whole perception on movies. I watched it (and boy!) it did change my outlook. What a fantastic script! It unfolds like an epic.

Thevar Magan

The closest match to The Godfather. I first watched Thevar Magan when I was young. When I was working as an assistant director, I sat up with a pen and notepad to watch this film again and took down notes. I watched it again and again, almost 5 times. The film is entertaining, engaging and moving. There is a steady sequence of events in the movie. A man returns to his village to witness some very dire state of events. His father passes  away, he has to marry a stranger and forget his longtime girlfriend. Also, he has to protect his people. The journey of the character is so convincing. The screenplay of Thevar Magan is a great textbook.


He is the ultimate icon. An unusual performer. Be it an emotional scene or an action scene, he does justice to it all. A great actor and also a great human being. Having grown up on his films, I don’t have a more apt idol to look up to. There is a reason for all the adulation he gets. His journey to this phenomenal stardom is an awe-inspiring story.

Schindler’s List

It taught me how powerful the virtue of kindness can be. I was surprised to know that Steven Spielberg, the man who is best known to Indian audience as the maker of Jurassic Park and Jaws, could pull off a film such as this. It inspires me to make different kinds of films. A director shouldn’t limit himself to a particular genre.

Robert De Niro


He can set fire to the screen with his very commanding voice and body language. He can also underplay his characters with equal finesse. My favourite movie of his is Raging Bull. He is the actor I look up to. I keep looking for his real persona in the characters he plays, and it is not to be found anywhere. He transforms himself into the roles he plays on screen.

Erich Segal


My favourite author. His novel, Love Story is what I keep in mind whenever I sit down to write a screenplay. The way he constructs the dialogues and characters, is top notch. Also great is his take on human psychology. It’s important for a writer to have a deep understanding of how his characters think. Without that, the story will be a superficial account.

My Father

R. Sammanasu, my father. An honest man who believed in working hard. He always wanted to be an actor, but it didn’t happen. So, he encouraged me to be a filmmaker and an actor. Whenever I fall in life, I think of him and the lessons that he imparted to me.