Udhayanidhi Stalin on upcoming projects, politics and Hansika
Manithan, produced by Udhayanidhi Stalin under his production banner Red Giant Movies, released this Friday - April 29.
Manithan is directed by I Ahmed (of Vaamanan and Endrendrum Punnagai fame) and stars Stalin, Hansika and Prakash Raj among others. The film is a Tamil remake of the Hindi film, Jolly LLB starring Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani.
Newsable caught up with the producer-actor. Here are excerpts from the conversation -
Udhaynidhi said, "Unlike Jolly LLB, which was a courtroom comedy, Manithan will be an emotional courtroom drama with all the elements of a commercial film. We wanted to suit the movie to Tamil audiences. Yes, it is a remake but we have changed a lot of things to suit Tamil audiences."
Regarding his co-workers:
He considers Hansika very lucky for him. He said, "Hansika is perhaps my luckiest heroine. I don't know where she gets her energy. If we happen to work together again, be it the sequel or another project, it will be a hat trick. Compared to the Hindi version, Hansika has been given more screen space in the film owing to the importance of her role."
On Red Giant Movies and upcoming projects:
Udhaynidhi agrees that Red Giant Movies has started doing better since his foray into acting. "Definitely. I have got my market now. I have been concentrating more in acting than production. I have a lot of workload on my table now. "
On working for other banners, He said, "I will be willing to work on other production films as well if I get to work with a good director. "
"In fact, I shall soon be working outside my banner for the first time on a Thenandal Films production. We are yet to finalise the director," he said.
On his acting range:
"My wife, Kiruthigha, has done her debut directorial in Vanakkam Chennai. She is working on a couple of scripts which demands the protagonist to give a very emotional performance. I told her, that and all I can't do ya, let's go for a big hero for these (laughs). I have been trying comedy more than anything else in my stint as an actor. I have just about started experimenting." he said.
With regards to the ongoing theatre controversy and the Nadigar Sangam body:
In an ongoing controversy which has taxes and profit-sharing margins at its heart, some theatres in Chengalpet, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur areas did not screen the recently released Ilayathalapathy Vijay's Theri.
Following that, the Producers Council body had declared that henceforth big releases would only release in those theatres which had screened the film.
Udhayanidhi made it clear that Manithan will release in every theatre.
"I never approached the Producers Council for anything regarding entertainment tax issue. Of course, it's totally a political vendetta. But Vijay sir is a big star with a huge fan base and big releases. They can afford to sacrifice a few screens. Sorry, I cannot afford to lose screens. We will need as many screens for a wider reach of our audiences." Udhayanidhi said.
On politics around the dinner table:
Hailing from a political family background - father M K Stalin, grandfather DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, the politics is unavoidable. But Udhayanidhi doesn't comment on it.
"Yes, at home, when with family, I do discuss politics, but not in public. I am concentrating on films and filmmaking which takes a lot of my time. About the forthcoming legislative assembly elections, all I can say is that May 16 is the polling date. May 19, the results will be out. The people are smart and they know what to do." he said.