Dubai: Vishnu Vishal has played many roles off the screen — a cricketer, an actor, a producer — and confidently says he can be called a hero ahead of the premiere of his latest psycho-thriller Ratsasan in Dubai on Thursday.
“All these years, I was refraining from doing such heavy roles. But my performance in Kathanayakan [as hero of the story] gave me lot of confidence, though it failed in box-office.
"I accepted the name of the movie because, for the first time, I felt like a hero from that moment. That gave me the confidence to do a movie like Ratsasan,” said Vishnu Vishal.
It was a story inside a story as Vishnu Vishal was destined to play the role in Ratsasan.
Narrating the sequence of events, he said: “While working with Ram in Mundasupatti, I wanted to do another one with Ram. Then I followed it up with Ram, who said the script is getting ready.
"Then, when I came to know the script is ready, I called him again. He told me that the main character is a 40-plus guy, so it might not suit you. I felt a little disappointed.
"After one-and-half years, Ram came back to me and said no one is doing the film, as the script is a bit dark. Then I heard the script said your decision is right, as I am not a 40-plus character and it is a bit heavy for me.
"He went back again and changed the story line and got back to me in the next 10 days with a new version, which I liked very much. That’s how I got into the movie.”
According to him these changes have eventually worked to the advantage of Ratsasan.
“The character is something unique in this movie. It is not that of a regular cop – where the person will be dreaming from childhood of joining the police force.
"Actually, he did not want to become a police officer but due to circumstances, joins the force. The way he handles the crime is something new and the audience will connect with this character.”
Ratsasan has many real-life stories inter-laced in the plot. Firstly, the psycho-killer is from a real story. The scene where the director is getting shunted by actors, who are refusing to play the part is exactly what happened in the prelude to the movie.
The hero wants to be do a different profession, similar to what Vishnu Vishal is currently doing.
“I am not from any acting background, not from any film family. I always wanted to become a cricketer. This just happened. Something very similar to the movie. The character doesn’t know anything about police but becomes a policeman,” he laughs.
"After my second and third movies, which did not click, I realised I should not do something that’s too heavy. But after Kathanayakan, I am confident of pulling it off," he said.
"In the future you can see me in lot of serious roles. The hero of a movie has a lot of responsibility in the success of the film now I am choosing the scripts that gives me plenty of responsibility and intense roles.”
Vishnu Vishal, like a true sportsman, lays plenty of importance on preparation. Before Vennila Kabaddi Kuzhu he used to sit under the sun for hours to get the tan. Did he do anything special for Ratsasan?
“This character did not require too much of physical preparations as it is a simple character, but mental preparation was too much. So I felt instead of preparing in advance, it is better to get ready on the spot, especially after the discussion with Ram.”
Actor by chance
Vishal Vishnu not only became an actor by chance, he also became a producer by chance.
“During Velainu Vandutta Vellakaran, other producers backed out and didn’t want to lose the opportunity, so I jumped in. Second movie Kathanayakan, due to some problem I jumped in.
"When life is giving you half-volleys to drive so take it up. Hence third and fourth movie I took a conscious decision to produce. Production actually gave me the required confidence to play a hero. That’s a great learning course.”
In his 15-odd movies, Vishnu Vishal has not acted with the same heroine for more than once, excepting Sri Divya, in Jeeva and Maaveran Kittu.
“New pairing brings different chemistry and it is fresh on screen, “ he clarified.
On his new pairing with Amala Paul in Raatchsan: “Amala Paul has pulled it off with ease. The romance is true to the genre of the movie and deviates from the main plot, hence it has blended well. There are only 4-5 characters in the movie, so it is important that we all play the part properly.”
Of the many roles he has played — as cricketer, actor, producer, doting husband and a father — which role does he like the most.
Just like a batsman receiving a full toss, he said: “father’s role. It’s the best.”
“When my son was born, I was busy with the shoot of the film. So sometimes I would come in the wee hours and he would be sleeping and when he is awake, I am gone for work. I miss that role very much.”