Debutant actor Luthfudeen Baashaa, son of popular Tamil actor Nasser, says sharing screen space with his father in upcoming Tamil drama "Saivam", was intimidating in the beginning, but it boosted his confidence and gave him the opportunity to observe the actor in him from close quarters.
"At home you'll just see a father, but not a genius actor. However, on the sets, he was like a senior actor to me and I couldn't see my father in him. Scenes with him were at first intimidating but he made me feel confident," Luthfudeen told IANS.
"This was also the first time I observed him as an actor because all these years I had only seen him in films, never observed him much. This gave me an opportunity to learn as well," he added.
Baashaa plays a 17-year-old grandson to Nasser's character in "Saivam", directed by A.L. Vijay.
Although Nasser, a veteran actor, didn't give his son any "acting advice" for his cinematic debut, he wanted him to brush his acting skills.
"I had never told my father that I was selected for the film. It was a surprise for him and when he came to know he made me promise to enrol in an acting workshop. I underwent training under the mentorship of N.K. Sharma in Delhi," he said.
He says the training helped him "to cope with the pressure of being the son of a popular actor".
"I have to fight hard to live up to the expectations of the audience who will compare me with my father. The acting training helped me overcome that pressure," he added.
Keen to follow in his dad's footsteps, Baashaa wants to be as "professional" as his father.
"He is never late to shootings. He doesn't trouble the producers or directors and is very friendly with everybody. People like him for his professionalism and I will try to follow it in my career as well," he said.
Contrary to the trend that only sons of yesteryear heroes such as Sivakumar, Prabhu, Karthik and T. Rajendar have been successful in Tamil filmdom, Baasha believes "talent is finally the deciding factor".
"I don't think such a trend will affect my future in the industry. Everything finally boils down to talent and confidence. If as an actor I think I can survive in the industry, then I don't think anyone could stop me. The trend has been there, but I'm not worried about it," said Luthfudeen, who has a degree in design from Malaysia and a diploma in music production.
Baashaa admits acting runs in his genes, but he says he always "wanted to be a filmmaker".
In that case, why did he become an actor?
"The reason I agreed to act because I realised that even as a director I would have to handle actors. If I were an actor working under some director, it gives me an opportunity to learn the art of handling actors," he said.
"The directorial dream is still alive and I'm working towards it by making short films," said Baashaa, who agrees that he is "more passionate about direction than acting".
If career in films wouldn't have taken off, Baasha said, "I would've been a performing musician. I play the guitar and I'm part of a band".
"Saivam" is slated for a summer release. It also features child actor Sara Arjun along with a host of newcomers.