'Sarpatta Parambarai' got me 'Jana Gana Mana': Interview with GM Sunder

Actor G M Sundar
Actor G M Sundar

He played Duraikannu Vadhyar who taught boxing to Vembuli and Dancing Rose in ‘Sarpatta Parambarai.’ Meet Sundar, the canny minister in 'Jana Gana Mana'. Despite being in the industry for the last 30 years, it is only in the recent past that he has been noticed as an actor. That explains his debut in Malayalam too. Tamil actor G M Sundar is ecstatic about making a foray into Malayalam cinema with the Prithviraj starrer ‘Jana Gana Mana’.


How did you get this opportunity?

It was ‘Sarpatta Parambarai’ that paved the way for my entry into Malayalam cinema. Duraikannu Vadhyar got me a lot of accolades. Most people loved Vadhyar’s mannerisms and style. Dijo called me after watching this film. First, he explained the story backdrop. I liked my character’s evolution as a villain towards the end in the non-linear narrative. I was fortunate enough to make my Malayalam debut in a Prithviraj film in his own production company. Even my first scene with Prithvi starts with a conflict. When he saw me on the sets Prithvi asked me— “Eppadi irukku anna?”


You dubbed for yourself in the film. Was Malayalam difficult?

Apart from Malayalam, this film is getting released in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. Dijo insisted that I dub in Malayalam. Tamil dubbing got over fast but Malayalam was difficult. Dijo correctly explained my dialogues, stressed certain words and explained their meaning. So I dubbed for the first time in Malayalam. I feel happy and proud.

G M Sundar played a politician in 'Jana Gana Mana'. Posters: IMDB


As someone who studies cinema and acts, what are your observations?

At Adyar film institute, actors Naser and Archana were my classmates and Raghuvaran was my senior. That’s where I carved the actor in me. But I struggled a lot after that and also faced many taunts. When I acted in ‘Sathya’ it was a film camera but now technology has changed. Cinema has no boundaries. OTT platforms offer more opportunities for actors. Look at the South Indian cinema alone, we can see a lot of changes in the making, scale, budget and production value. That’s why the world is clapping for 'Bahubali', 'KGF' and 'Lucifer'. I am also trying to update myself as an actor like those films. That’s why I confidently act with new directors. Each film is like a new film for me. I share my experiences with struggling actors. All you need is one film to change your life.


About films that speak politics…

Politics is happening in front of us day and night, so why can’t we say that in films? I think you should also have strong politics. Actors should have political awareness. Then only can they do such kind of roles. The politics shown in PA Ranjith films are very significant in today's times. In a democratic country like ours, such films should be made. Most of our onscreen politicians display the mannerisms of real life politicians. When you wear that costume, subconsciously we ape their mannerisms.


About new projects?

I am doing a film with Ajith Kumar. It’s made by Valimai makers. Not getting any offers from Malayalam. I am hoping to get calls from the Malayalam industry after 'Jana Gana Mana'. After all Malayalam cinema is now my space as well.  

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