The actor, whose film ‘Ayogya’, hits the screen tomorrow, discusses getting married to Anisha Alla Reddy, and the controversies that marred his time as president of Tamil Film Producers Council
Vishal is never too kicked about remaking a film.
In his 26-film career, the actor-producer has remade a movie only once before — Vedi (2011). Ayogya (a remake of Telugu film Temper), therefore, is only the second entry in the list.
“If I do a remake, I miss out on business in two States. I decided to be a part of Ayogya because I wanted its script to reach the masses,” says Vishal. Directed by Venkat Mohan, Ayogya is the story of a rogue cop turning over a new leaf after a particular incident.
“Ayogya argues for death penalty for rape cases. The punishment for rape is very light,” he adds.
While the Telugu original film, starring Jr. NTR, was released in 2015, the film’s Hindi adaptation Simmba, directed by Rohit Shetty and featuring Ranveer Singh, released less than six months ago.
“Ayogya is totally different. The climax sequence in my film isn’t the same as other versions of Temper,” says Vishal, adding, “It is only because of the issue that Ayogya chooses to highlight that I did the film. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have.”
Detective goes international
- Thupparivaalan 2 will be based out of the country. “Mysskin completed a recce in Azerbaijan, and he will go on another to London soon. The script is completely based out of India,” says Vishal, who will also be producing the film. Meanwhile, Vishal has also started shooting for Irumbu Thirai 2, which will be directed by a debutant, Anand.
He has not modelled his sub-inspector Karnan on Jr. NTR’s cop character from Temper. “That would be suicidal,” Vishal laughs. “[When it is a remake], it is easy preparation wise. You know from day one what your character is, and how you’re supposed to emote. But I can’t replicate Jr. NTR. I have done it in a metre that works for me,” he adds.
On the personal front, it has been an eventful year for Vishal, who got engaged to Anisha Alla in March. The 42-year-old admits he has been working without a break, and must “stop somewhere” to tie the knot.
“The wedding date is fixed for October 9. We’ve yet to decide on the location,” he says.
Vishal with Raashi Khanna in ‘Ayogya’
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It has not all been happy news. While working in Turkey, shooting for a Sundar C film, Vishal was involved in a freak accident, when an All-terrain Vehicle (ATV) he was riding, toppled. The one-tonne vehicle would have landed on his face, if not for his quick reflexes.
“I put my hand out to protect my face. The ATV landed on my forehand, and my shin took the other blow. [The scans showed] the bone is bent here in the leg,” he says, pointing to the underside of his shin. “[The injury] was completely unexpected. I thought I had broken my hand,” he adds.
The actor has no intention of stopping to take a breather. Almost immediately, he signed on to appear in Thupparivaalan 2, a sequel to his 2017 hit film, directed by Mysskin.
“We’ll start shooting for it by August 15,” he says.
But it is the crisis around Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) that keeps him more occupied.
Vishal was elected TFPC president in 2017, but the wave of dissent for his leadership led to a situation where the Tamil Nadu Government opted to intervene in its affairs. Recently, a special officer (SO), N Sekar, was appointed to head the council, effectively ousting Vishal.
On Tuesday, the Government appointed a nine-member ad hoc committee to assist the SO. Vishal doesn’t mince words when asked what he made of the developments.
Vishal with ‘Ayogya’ director Venkat Mohan
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“I wish the Government had shown more interest in curbing piracy than looking into TFPC’s affairs,” he says. Vishal is contesting the decision to appoint an SO in the Madras High Court.
Did he end up making enemies out of people?
“If I have to please everyone, I will have to sell ice cream. I can’t be TFPC president, and not take stern decisions,” he says.
When two of his ex-TFPC associates, producers RK Suresh and Udhaya, resigned, they alleged that Vishal didn’t help small films (read as: films that featured them in the lead) obtain screens.
“Their films’ content wasn’t good. That’s the only reason. I can’t demand a theatre owner to run a film for two weeks, even if there’s only four people watching it. It doesn’t matter if it is a Rajinikanth film or a newcomer’s film,” he says.
But the big films also had issues with his release regulation committee.
The problem came to a head on December 21 last year, when Maari 2, produced by and starring Dhanush, released despite TFPC’s objections, alongside films of Sivakarthikeyan, Vijay Sethupathi, Vishnu Vishal and Jayam Ravi.
“When you’re asked ‘Who are you to stop my film’s release?’, I can do nothing. My question is when you give so much time to listen to a script, and shoot a film, why not take time to release it on the right date? Just because you’ll have to pay a month’s interest, you had to rush. They all ended up eating into each other’s revenue,” he says.
With elections for TFPC likely to be called, will he run again? “I’m not sure if I will run. I can only say I never leave things unfinished,” he says.
Was it worth burning all the bridges? He concludes, “Yeah!”
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