We caught up with actor Siddharth to talk about Jigarthanda, releasing in the UAE on Thursday. Excerpts:
Q: Tell us about your character in Jigarthanda?
A: It is not my regular romantic, boy-next-door character. There are shades in the role that I haven’t attempted in my previous films. Karthik [Subbaraj] has attempted to show me in a different light and the reason you know more about the villain than the hero in the trailers is because my character has a few twists that cannot be revealed.
Q: How was it working with a young director?
A: I have worked with 15 first-time directors. Working with youngsters is second nature to me. Karthik came into this film as a successful director with a justified cult status thanks to Pizza. I enjoyed his clarity of vision. I think he is one of the most exciting young talents in Indian cinema today. And I hope he will surpass all expectations that are placed on him. Jigarthanda will be an important film this year.
Q: What about your co-actor Lakshmi Menon?
A: Lakshmi is a natural actress and a very easy co-actor to work with. Her performance in Jigarthanda reflects a maturity far beyond her young age.
Q: From your films, which character is close to your heart?
A: When you’ve done as many films as I have, you eventually realise that every film is important. What you perceive as an easy or difficult performance might be taken as the opposite when the film releases. I try my best to be unaffected and natural as an actor. Good acting is about doing exactly what the film requires with the guidance of a good director. Great performances don’t make a great film. A great film, however, has the power to make even an ordinary performance a great one.
Q: Any fond memories of Rang De Basanti?
A: Rang de Basanti is a memorable film in my filmography and I’m grateful, but beyond that, I rarely revisit my experience of making it. The one thing etched in my mind is the immense impact Aamir khan made on me. He is an inspiration. He helped me understand the merits of doing ensemble cast films in an egotistical business like ours. Jigarthanda is a result of that learning.
Q: What’s next?
A: I play a theatre actor in Vasantha Balan’s Kaaviya Thalaivan, a film set in the 1930s and 40s. My second film is the remake of Kannada cult film, Lucia, where I play a complex double role.