1. What drew you to acting, and how did your father, Nassar, influence your decision to pursue this career?
    When I was much younger, around 13 years old, I had the opportunity to accompany my Dad to film sets and dubbing theaters. This experience ignited my passion for cinema. I aspired to be involved in the industry, either on or off the screen. As I grew older, I realised that acting would allow me to inhabit various characters and live multiple lives through one profession. This aspect intrigued me. My Dad emphasised the importance of proper training, so instead of simply trying my hand at acting, he encouraged me to study and get trained before pursuing a career in cinema.
  2. Looking back at your filmography, which role has been the most challenging and rewarding to play, and why?
    I found Mission Chapter 1 to be the most challenging project yet. It differed greatly from my first two films, where I portrayed a typical boy-next-door character. In Mission Chapter 1, I underwent significant physical transformation; I had to gain a substantial amount of weight, weighing in at under 106kgs, grow a beard, and don a turban for the role. This transformation was quite demanding. However, after the film’s release, receiving positive feedback for my portrayal of the character was immensely rewarding. The entire process of immersing myself in the role and tackling the demanding stunt sequences was a fulfilling challenge.
  3. As an actor who started young, did you face any unique challenges or advantages?
    I didn’t encounter any significant challenges or advantages in my career. From the beginning, I was determined not to rely on my father’s connections to secure opportunities in the film industry. My sole focus was on delivering my best performances and earning recognition based on my own merits, rather than riding on my father’s reputation. This clarity of purpose spared me from facing any challenges related to nepotism or undue influence.
  4. You’ve worked with established directors like Kamal Haasan. What valuable lessons have you learned from your collaborations?
    It was indeed a stroke of luck for me to have my first film produced by Kamal Sir. While I had known him primarily as a friend and actor, witnessing his prowess as a producer was truly remarkable. A particularly memorable experience was participating in workshops held in his office before the shoot of Kadaram Kondan. During these sessions, I had the privilege of performing alongside him in a small act. What stood out to me the most about Kamal Sir was his insatiable thirst for knowledge. Despite his vast experience and seasoned career, he remained eager to learn more about the intricacies of cinema. This passion and enthusiasm are qualities I aspire to emulate, and the opportunity to learn from him in such a personal setting was truly special.
  5. What genres and types of roles are you most interested in exploring in the future?
    I’m not set on a fixed path at this early stage of my career. I believe it’s the perfect time to experiment and explore various opportunities. Therefore, I’m not restricting myself to specific roles or characters; I’m open to any type of role, including those with negative shades or unconventional traits. I believe that by embracing diverse opportunities, I can continue to learn and grow as an actor.
  6. Can you tell us anything about your upcoming projects without giving away spoilers? What excites you about them?
    Currently, I’ve signed on for Pizza 4, which is part of the Pizza franchise, and I’m thrilled with how the script has turned out. Shooting is slated to begin in a couple of weeks, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. The film pays a great tribute to the entire Pizza franchise. That’s the main focus for now, along with a couple of other projects that I’m unable to discuss at the moment.
  7. Are there any directors or actors you dream of working with in the future?
    Working with director Lokesh Kanagaraj would be a dream comes true for me. Ever since his work on Maanagaram, I’ve admired his talent and vision. Collaborating with him would be an incredible opportunity, as he’s widely regarded as one of the most talked-about directors in the industry. Additionally, working under the mentorship of Kamal Sir would be a truly hypothetical dream for me. His vast experience and expertise would undoubtedly offer invaluable lessons and insights. Both scenarios represent exciting prospects that I would eagerly welcome.
  8. Do you have any aspirations to try your hand at writing, directing, or producing beyond acting?
    I would love to, but I don’t think it will happen anytime soon. However, production is something I’m considering exploring. It would likely be another venture for me alongside acting. I’m quite interested in production.
  9. The South Indian film industry is experiencing a surge in popularity globally. How do you see yourself contributing to this growth?
    I believe it’s a fantastic opportunity for South Indian cinema. Before the onset of Covid, the exposure and appreciation for Southern films were not as widespread. However, with the rise of OTT platforms, there’s been a noticeable increase in viewership and recognition for Southern cinema. Similarly, I approach my career without limiting myself to specific platforms like theaters or OTT. I’m open to exploring all avenues and embracing diverse opportunities. Whether it’s a major project on OTT like a web series or any other format, I’m eager to seize it. Such opportunities have the potential to elevate my presence globally, and I consider myself fortunate to have the chance to explore them.
  10. Do you have any plans to explore opportunities outside of Tamil cinema, perhaps in other Indian languages or internationally?
    I prioritise establishing myself in the Tamil industry and building a name for myself here. This industry is where I began my journey, so it holds a special place in my heart. At the moment, my focus is on exploring opportunities and making significant strides within the Tamil film industry.
  11. How would you describe the relationship you share with your father, both personally and professionally?
    Personally, I feel he’s the best father one could ever have. However, on screen, he portrays characters that may seem intimidating. In reality, he’s incredibly kind and caring. Despite his busy schedule with frequent travels, the moments we spend together are truly special. More than discussing cinema, our conversations revolve around life, and those moments are invaluable to me.
  12. Has your father offered any specific advice or guidance that has shaped your approach to acting?
    Professionally, I have immensely enjoyed learning from him, especially observing the diverse characters he portrays and his unyielding passion for continuous learning and exploration. One invaluable piece of advice he always imparts is to give my utmost regardless of the size or significance of the role. I have wholeheartedly embraced this guidance and diligently followed it in my career endeavors.
  13. Have you ever collaborated with your father on a project? If not, would you be interested in doing so in the future?
    In my second film, we were part of the same project, but the storyline didn’t necessitate our characters crossing paths. However, apart from that instance, I haven’t had the opportunity to act alongside him. Therefore, I’m eager to collaborate with him on a project. While I’ve witnessed his performances as an actor, I’m looking forward to experiencing his presence as a fellow co-actor. I’m enthusiastic about the prospect of working together on a project.
  14. Do you feel any pressure to live up to his legacy in the industry?
    People often talk about my father being a renowned actor, but I’ve never let that affect me or dwell on it. When it comes to acting alongside him, I view him simply as another actor. I consciously avoid putting pressure on myself to live up to any expectations associated with his legacy. Instead, I focus on giving my best performance without any external pressures. It’s essential for me to be recognised for my own abilities and merits, rather than solely in relation to my father’s reputation.
  15. What message would you like to give to aspiring actors who look up to you and your journey?
    I firmly believe that patience is crucial in the world of cinema. Despite any initial advantages, such as being a star kid, success doesn’t come overnight. It’s a challenging journey that requires perseverance and dedication. Aspiring actors must be patient and prepared for the opportunities that arise. While opportunities may come frequently, it’s essential to be ready to seize them when they do. Without patience and readiness, opportunities may pass by unnoticed.

#RAPIDFIRE

  1. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on set?
    Missing a dialogue during filming can be both funny and embarrassing. It might take six or seven takes to get it right, but its all part of the learning process in cinema.
  2. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
    I wish I could teleport, especially with the never-ending delays in our Metro construction.
  3. What’s your favourite food and why?
    I’d have to go with biryani. Nothing beats my grandma’s delicious biryani; it’s simply unbeatable.
  4. What’s your dream vacation destination?
    Japan and Switzerland.
  5. What’s one thing you can’t live without?
    I’m passionate about automobiles, so having cars in my life is essential to me. It’s a significant part of what makes life enjoyable for me.