Karthik Sivakumar is amongst the leading actors of the Telugu industry and his films are celebrated by fans worldwide! The superstar who considers Mani Ratnam as his mentor, recently was a part of the blockbuster film Ponniyan Selvan: Part 1. Karthi spoke to IMDb in an exclusive interaction about his journey across films and memorable experiences from his most notable films.
Speaking of his blockbuster film Kaithi, Ponniyan Selvan: Part 1 star said, “Kaithi is definitely one of the important films in my career. It came to me as a small idea but the moment I listened to it, I knew it was a big action film. We did a lot of research to design Dilli, the main protagonist. Since he became the saviour of the cops, I think his look had to be as simple and as unassuming as possible. Through our research we knew that prisoners do not want to get noticed, so they never look the person in the eyes and speak. The sky is their only connection with nature because they’re born between walls.”
Recollecting a viral eating scene of his character Dilli in Kaithi that sparked a meme fest, Karthi further added, “I think he only had to have sambar rice for all three meals of all 10 years. And when he finally has biryani, it became an iconic scene for this film. The action of the film, the choreography, direction, music and emotional aspects made Kaithi a very memorable film and I’m so glad it turned out that way. I can say that a sequel is on the cards and hopefully we’ll start filming next year.”
Karthi revealed his thoughts on Ponniyan Selvan and how he was cast, “Ponniyan Selvan, the name itself has a huge identity of the Tamil Diaspora. People have owned this novel and resonated with its characters. The particular book has been relevant for a long time, is still having massive fandom and is a best seller with exhibitions every year. Great filmmakers have aspired to make it into a movie and it has been elusive. Finally, Mr. Mani Ratnam completed the task. I received a phone call saying that Mani sir would like to meet me and that he wants me to play a part in this movie. I walked into his office which is when he offered me the role of Vandiyathevan. Who would say no to that!? I was ready to even play a horse in Ponniyan Selvan if Mani Sir wanted me to do it. He is my guru.”
Karthi unveiled how he prepared for Ponniyan Selvan, “The moment I stepped into the film, it required a lot of reading and preparation. My character has been written by Sri Kalki Krishnamurthy and remains to be iconic. There’s a huge fan following because this character is unlike the regular ones you see in historic films. He is funny and is a huge romantic. Bringing all the elements together wasn’t an easy task because so many people have imaginations of what the character would be like. I was able to essay Vandiyathevan thanks to Mani Sir and so many dear friends who had acquainted me with the history of the character and so many insights because they’ve read the novel over and over. Filming was a completely different experience and was planned well. The pre-production was done for almost two years! We felt as though we were in the 10th century when we walked into the sets everyday and it took us back into history. There are so many fine elements in the film. The way the dialogues were written, the way we had to perform action sequences on horses and ships, the way they were dressed and the way Mani Sir brought each character alive was remarkable. Even small details as though how the jewelry was used was given so much importance. Ajay Devgn was brilliant with narration and the film was simply magical. Finally when we saw the film with Rahman Sir’s background scores, I felt it was an entirely new cinematic experience and I am so fortunate to be a part of it. I’m sure everyone is waiting for the sequel which will be released next summer.