Kathir is a dark horse in an industry replete with stars. After a solid debut in Madha Yaanai Kootam (2013), Kathir pushed the bar with Kirumi (2015).
Playing the brother to Vijay Sethupathi’s gangster character in Vikram Vedha (2017) introduced him to a wider movie-watching public as an actor of substance. A star turn for this 27-year-old BE civil engineering graduate — who hails from Erode — was Pariyerum Perumal.
Last year, Mari Selvaraj’s low budget take on caste crisis in Tamil Nadu captivated viewers despite big hitters like Sarkar, 2.0 and Vada Chennai. Now, two days after the release of Sathru — his film with Srushti Dange and Laguparan — the actor speaks to Sundaylite on his newest avatar.
Is Sathru a formulaic cop story?
Sathru‘s lead plays a cop, but it is not a cop film. It is an action-thriller and we’ve tried to keep the plot as realistic as possible, while still making it commercially sensible. Actually, Sathru is inspired by a true incident.
Which true incident?
You may remember the shootout involving bank robbers in Velachery from a few years ago. For the screen adaptation, we imagined the emotions of the antagonist.
Do you consult anyone when choosing a script?
I consult my father to gauge his reaction to the story. I’d like to know what a person of his age thinks about it. I also ask my brother and a few of my friends from the industry — Pushkar-Gayathri, Atlee anna and Sethu anna (Vijay Sethupathi).
What are your upcoming films?
After Sathru, I have Jada, an interesting production. Only recently did I begin shooting my sequences for Thalapathy63 by Atlee. I’m looking forward to meeting Vijay anna. I have signed two more projects — an untitled film with director Prabhakaran, and the second with the producers of Jada.
Have you considered what working with Vijay would be like?
It’s a dream come true! I grew up watching his films. Sachein (2005) is one of my all time favourites. I remember watching Theri ‘first-day first-show’ back in Coimbatore, and enjoying every bit of it.
Are you still open to multi-starrers like Vikram Vedha and Thalapathy63?
I’m okay as long as my character is recognised. I judge the importance of my role thus: the film’s story arc doesn’t develop if you remove my character from the equation. And the character should remain in public memory long after the audience leaves the theatre.
Thoughts on Pariyerum Perumal?
I’m very proud I did that film. I can never deny the fact that it gave me a new identity. But things keep changing and it ought to. For a while, I was known as the actor from Madha Yaanai Koottam, then it was Kirumi and then Vikram Vedha. I hope my future films also do that.