Dhanush has his own fan following in the South but the actor has managed to carve a niche for himself with Anand L Rai's Ranjhanaa in Hindi cinema too. Besides, he is Rajnikant's son in law and his wife Aishwarya is a director in the south.
He will now be seen opposite Kajol in VIP 2 being directed by none other than his sister-in -law Soundarya. Moreover, he has a Hollywood venture coming up. The actor talks about his upcoming film VIP 2, his Hollywood venture and his kids.
You have produced as well as written the film for the first time? What is the film about?
I have produced the film with Kalaipuli S. Thanu Sir. The film is about an unemployed engineering graduate who struggles to get a job and eventually gets a job in part one. After the interval, in part two it is about how difficult things get for him to survive or climb the ladder to the top and the games that are played in the corporate world. His simple character world collides with that Vasundhara's (Kajol) high profile world.
Didn't you plan to direct the film yourself?
I needed a visionary like Soundarya and I needed her to execute the film because Vasundhara's vision is extravagant and I needed somebody like her and I trusted her completely.
Did you have Kajol in mind for Vasundhara's role from the beginning?
Both me and Soundarya thought of it after a lot of brainstorming and I said Kajol would be great. We know she is choosy but I was keen. She was sweet and agreed for a narration immediately and then she was ready to do the film barely minutes after the narration.
But she said that she found it very difficult to narrate the Tamil dialogues?
She didn't have any difficulty. She delivered the dialogues like a pro. She is humble and that's why she is saying that. She did it very easily. For the first two days, she found it (the Tamil dialogues) difficult. Anyone who does not know the language will find it difficult. In fact, even I find some of the dialogues difficult. But on the third day, she just nailed it. Fifty percent of her dialogues are in English.
Have you watched any of her films?
I have been her fan and she is India's sweetheart. Sharing screen space with her was amazing. Dilwale Dulhaniya... is legendary work. I also loved her work in Fanaa and Gupt.
When we will see you working with Anand Rai again? Have you seen portions of his Shah Rukh film?
I want to do more films but am waiting for the right script and film. I will be doing Anand Rai's next. Currently he is busy with Shah Rukh Khan's film.
What kind of bonding did you share with him?
He is my brother and his wife is my bhabhi. They treat me like a son. I love her food. It's rare to find people like them. They are the most beautiful human beings. If I am in town, she always prepares food that I like to eat. I am a vegetarian and Anand is a complete non vegetarian. She makes Rajma Chawal, Kadi rice and bhindi fry for me. They eat that too when I am invited. Bhabhi treats me like a king. I don't know what I will do to repay her.
Do you feel Bollywood has received you with open arms?
They received me with open arms and I am blessed. I couldn't have asked for better reception from the industry and audience too.
Why didn't you ask your wife Aishwarya to direct the film?
Aiswarya is completely focussing on the kids. They are eleven and seven. She made a lot of sacrifices to be with them and guide them and is a great mother. I couldn't have asked for a better mother as she is dedicated to them.
Will you ever take a break and give Aishwarya a chance to work in the future?
She loves being the mother and if you give her choice of making a film, she will choose being with the kids. She loves to do it. If she tells me to take a break, I will be more than happy. I want to spend time with the kids as I don't get much time with them. I will give her the chance more than happily. I miss being with them. I will be their friend and not a father. I believe that is how a father should be.
How was it working with Soundarya and how similar is she to Aishwarya?
She is family and my best friend. It's lot of fun. They (the sisters) are both are very similar and have amazing control over their craft and great visionaries. Aishawarya will make a great comeback and she will make a bang. They are both like twins and very Rajnikant Sirish. Their command, ability and agility is just like Rajnikant.
Will we ever see you sharing screen space with Rajnikant? How is his bonding with your children?
I am also waiting for that opportunity. He (Rajinikanth) is phenomenon as a human being and actor. He is down to earth and beautiful and very stylish and charismatic. My kids are crazy about their grandfather and he is also crazy about them. He has a great influence on any child. The way he reaches out to kids is simply unbelievable.
You have always played larger-than-life roles in the south?
It's great fun to play such roles. You can beat 10 people especially when you are angry. That image has gone up after Mari and it's a blessing. Mari 2 will continue from part one.
What do you think of making remakes?
They have always been there. It's just that now you come to know about it easily because the world has shrunk.
Do you think the success of Bahubali has redefined cinema?
It has carved a great path for all of us to follow. There is so much following and I am learning from it. It's great to know that art has no language and boundaries.
Are you open to challenge physically for a role now, since you have a lean personality?
I am lean and mean and my physical attribute is my biggest strength. I choose to be this way. I may change a little for a role but not more than this.
Tell us about your Hollywood movie The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir?
It's a different world. I feel blessed to explore different culture and techniques. I learnt a lot as a director, actor and technician while working on the film.