Have seen Mohanlal magically transform into character: Suriya

Soorarai Pottru starring Suriya in the lead role has been garnering positive reviews from the viewers and the critics alike. The movie that released on an OTT platform has already become the talking point. Meanwhile, Suriya is thrilled about the overwhelming responses that the movie is receiving. In an interview with Manorama online, Suriya opened up about up about Soorarai Potru and also praised the incredible acting prowess of Malayali super star Mohanlal. He said that Mohanlal could easily transform into characters while he requires look changes and other factors to understand the nuances of a character.

Here are the excerpts from the interview.

Was it intentional to tell an inspirational story during these unfortunate times?

I think this is the right time to tell a story like this. I believe that this movie would create optimism and inspire people to move forward. Any type of audience could easily connect with this movie. There is a rural background and a corporate background as well for this film. Besides, some portions are set in the army background. This is a pan Indian movie. The film talks about lots of people in various places. Gopinath sir, whose life is the inspiration behind this movie, said that no dream is distant and nothing is unachievable in life. We really need this kind of optimism now.

The movie shows lots of airplanes, airports and other expensive props; was it a challenge for Suriya the producer and actor?

Definitely, it was a challenge. We didn’t have any reference for this one. This must be first South Indian movie that deals with the aviation industry. We were new to the legal proceedings and other preparations as well. We are really grateful to Spice jet. The aircrafts in the location were moved around as if they were cars or scooter. It was Spice Jet that provided the aircrafts and the technicians to help us film the scenes just as they were written in the screenplay.

The aviation industry was almost stagnant due to the lockdown and you have decided to tell this story now?

That is right. We came with the story of aircrafts during a time when airplanes weren’t flying. Aviation industry is something that cannot be closed down for a longer period. People have to travel. This too shall pass; and I hope that everything gets back to normal soon.

Your long hair get up during the lockdown period was quite trending in Kerala. You tried a few looks and makeovers in the movie as well?

The long hair trend had actually begun in Kerala. I began growing my hair during the lockdown period. However, two film makers said that I could try this look in their movies. I will be donning this look in Gautham Vasudev Menon’s movie which rolls after Diwali. After that I will be seen in this look in another director’s movie as well. The makeover in this movie was in fact forced upon me. I had no options. I told Sudha (director of Soorarai Potru) that people would laugh seeing me as an eighteen year old. But, Sudha had complete faith in me. I reduced 4 kilos in 27 days by following a crash diet. More than the body weight, you could say I had reduced my muscles.

You try different looks in many of your films. You are seen in multiple looks even in the same movie. How do you manage to do this?

I always try not to be Suriya in any of my films. If that requires a change in my looks, I am ready to do it. I cannot suddenly transform into my characters. Actors like Mohanlal can transform into his character as soon as he hears ‘action’. I had seen him do that when I acted alongside him. As far as I am concerned, I need a look change and other factors to transform into a character. It wouldn’t be good if Anpuselvan and Duraisingham look the same. People should be able to place the movie even if they see only a still. Moreover, it wouldn’t be enjoyable if I look the same in all the movies.

It’s been 12 years since Vaaranam Aayiram released. Some say that Soorarai Potru’s trailer reminded them of that movie.

That is true. Even I felt so when I watched Soorarai Potru. Usually, a movie takes shape in six months. However, that was not the case with Vaaranam Aayiram. I and Goutham sir had lots of emotional investment in that movie. That movie was about Goutham sir’s father.

The filming had begun after spending around two years for preparing the screenplay. Even during the filming, we had spent quite a bit of time to change the looks and other things. It wasn’t like shooting any other movie. I felt the same when we were shooting for this movie as well. In fact, I did look back into the initial struggles in my life. There was a time when I was confused and felt helpless about what I would become in life. It was the same for the movie’s director Sudha. This movie is related to many aspects in her life as well. So, Soorai Potru too is as personally close to me as Vaaranam Aayiram.

Did you expect an OTT release?

No, none of us expected an OTT release for this movie. But, we need to get adjusted with all of these. I too had wished to see this movie on the big screen. But, it won’t happen at a time like this. Music composer GV Prakash Kumar would compose the tunes and would play on the phones to make sure that it is audible. Earlier, we used to check this using the dolby technology in the theaters. We are trying to get adjusted to everything and everyone around us. There is no option other than get used to it.

What do you have to say to your fans who couldn’t celebrate the movie in theaters?

The grand celebrations in the theaters and the fans’ love are something that I cannot forget. Those moments make us feel special and it is indeed an incredible feeling. I really miss the theater release. However, it is important for everyone to stay safe now. Those who watch the movie at their homes should send your responses and opinions to us. The only difference is that during the Diwali season the audience usually goes the theaters; however, this time we are taking our movie to their homes. I am eagerly waiting for their opinions and reviews.

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