Pinkvilla Exclusive: My wife loved me in Dreamum Wakeupum - Prithviraj
Prithviraj Sukumaran is a big name down South with around 80 movies to his credit. With Anurag Kashyap's Aiyyaa, the actor makes his foray into Bollywood. He stars opposite Rani Mukerji in the movie which is set to hit the screens on October 12th.
Pinkvilla.com caught up with this good looking actor on the sets of his second Bollywood movie, Aurangzeb, which is a Yash Raj Film. In this exclusive tête-à-tête, Prithviraj talked about Aiyyaa and his path in Bollywood so far. Read on…
How did Aiyyaa come your way?
I was shooting for a Malayalam film when I got a call from Anurag Kashyap. He asked me to listen to a script. Director Sachin Kundalkar gave me a complete narration. I loved the script and was on board. This has been a long journey for me. The film took a good one and half year to film. In that time, the film grew and what started off as a small comedy blew into a full-fledged Bollywood movie that will be showcased now. It’s great that the movie had the time to evolve. I believe the story deserves this kind of a canvas to be told.
You are a well-established actor down South. How does it feel to be debuting in Bollywood?
It feels great. I am one of those lucky few who get to debut in a new arena every five years. I first debuted in Malayalam, after five years I debuted in Tamil and then Telugu and now in Hindi. It’s great for me as an actor as I get to reinvent myself. In Bollywood, I come with a clean slate so it feels great that your debut movie has garnered such a huge buzz.
Anurag Kashyap productions are often linked with dark and offbeat cinema. In that regard, how would you describe Aiyyaa?
Aiyyaa is as far from offbeat as it can get. It’s a pure masala commercial entertainer that carries a brand of humor which is very original. It’s a very refreshing film. The subtext of a Marathi girl falling in love with a South Indian boy in a Hindi film is very unique. It is going beyond the clichés of Bollywood.
Tell us something about your character Surya in the movie?
I play a South Indian painter. He gives Meenakshi’s character a lot of impressions and she imagines him to be in a certain way. In the movie, she unravels who the real Surya is and that’s what the film is about. The film culminates with Meenakshi finding out who the real Surya is.
How was it working with Rani Mukerji?
It was great. On the sets, you got to remind yourself that she is a big star. She never gave out that kind of an aura. She is a very inclusive actor, in the sense that she made sure all the other actors in the film sets were comfortable.
The songs from Aiyyaa are a huge rage. Tell us how was it working on the hugely popular Dreamum Wakepum?
Dreamum Wakeupum is flash from Meenakshi’s imagination which gave us the liberty to not behave like the characters in the film. So, we decided to have a lot of fun and that’s what you see. Complete credit goes to Amit Trivedi (the music director), Vaibhavi Merchant (the choreographer) and Amitabh Bhattacharya (the lyricist). It’s a high energy song that you just can’t ignore.
You have a very traditional audience and fan base down South. How have they reacted to a number like Dreamum?
In fact, they love it. That one song has created such a huge buzz in the South that I am sure Aiyyaa will be as big even there.
What does your wife Supriya think about the song?
My wife loves it more than anyone else. She is a trained dancer and loves it when I dance. Personally I am not a big fan of dancing. My wife loved the song and she thought I have done a really cool job in it.
Is Bollywood now your sole focus?
My priority has always been good cinema and it remains that way. Bollywood is in a great phase right now and if you are in search of good cinema, you are more likely to find it here.
Can you describe any good memories from the sets of Aiyyaa?
A distinct memory has to be my last birthday which I spent on the sets of the movie. We were shooting on a really crowded street in Pune. I wasn’t aware if anyone knew that it was my birthday. In the evening, Rani took me to a street where everyone was gathered. They presented me with a cake on this crowded street which read ‘To my handsome heroine’! It came from the fact that the whole film has the woman lusting after the man and the whole equation was inverted here.
Are you jittery about the box office fate of the movie?
Over the years, I have developed this quality of detaching myself from the film. I, for one know that each one of my film carries my best effort. Whatever best you can do, has already been done. So once the film is out of your hands, there is nothing else one can do. I am really going to sit back, relax and enjoy what people have to say. So, there is no panic but just excitement.