Sivakarthikeyan: If I don’t accept my failures, you won’t accept my victories - Post

Sivakarthikeyan: If I don’t accept my failures, you won’t accept my victories


The business of cinema runs on analysis, calculations, and making peace with Murphy’s Law. This has become even more crucial in this post-pandemic, post-OTT era. And when a factor as influential as stardom enters the picture, the stakes are sky-high, and even the on-screen and off-screen reputation of a star matters. So when you see Sivakarthikeyan break notions that other stars consider sacrosanct for business — like accepting the failure of a film (Siva’s last film Prince failed in Tamil Nadu) — you can’t help but admire the star’s self-confidence.

With Maaveeran, his film with Mandeladirector Madonne Ashwin, releasing on July 14, Sivakarthikeyan answers questions at a press conference with a smile and genuine warmth.


What did you like about ‘Mandela’ so much that you wished to work with Madonne Ashwin?

Mandela told the story of simple people and their issues, and Madonne also weaved a political satire out of that story. It had both entertainment as well as social responsibility. It was also the kind of film even my daughter could watch and enjoy; though she’s too young to understand politics, the film was entertaining to her.

In the trailer of ‘Maaveeran’, we see you play a comic book artist but we also get a hint of some supernatural element in play. Is this a superhero film?

No, it’s not a superhero film. I play a comic artist named Sathya, and the name of a comic he draws is called ‘Maaveeran’. Through this story, we tell why he is later known as Maaveeran. We can’t reveal much about the fantasy element but yes there is some relationship between what he draws and what happens to him. We had to be very conscious about the trailer cut because we can’t reveal too much but at the same time convey that there’s an interesting concept.

It also seems as if the film is making a social commentary. Is that right?

No, we are not preaching any message through this film; like Mandela, this will be another socially responsible film. Mandela was more about the individual’s responsibility in society whereas Maaveeran is about the system’s responsibility.

You have always spoken about wanting to push your boundaries and you have spoken about how the climax of ‘Don’ demanded a lot from you. What was challenging in ‘Maaveeran’?

Action sequences. There are four stunt sequences in this film and the technicians have designed them in their own unique fashion; because there’s also the element of fantasy, I had to get used to it. Earlier, I used to be tensed while doing action sequences, but now, especially after Maaveeran, I have taken a liking for it and I want to put more effort.

Many young actors are now looking at you as a role model. Is that a pressure when choosing scripts or do you look at it as a validation for the career you’ve had?

Cinema itself is an opinion-based field — it’s about likes and dislikes — and so when people say things like that, I take it as responsibility and it does motivate me. Young actors noticing and liking my work is like getting a promotion to the next stage.

With script selection, I look at films as a process. We don’t wait to see how the previous film did before signing the next project; we choose our line-ups based on the stories and their settings.

Sivalkarthikeyan and Saritha in a still from ‘Maaveeran’

Sivalkarthikeyan and Saritha in a still from ‘Maaveeran’
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Who is the ‘Maaveeran’ in your life?

My father. He worked as a Jail Superintendent at Tiruchi Jail and he was a very sincere professional. He was strict and he held his jail with an iron fist. It’s surprising that even today, 20 years after his death, many continue to speak about him in interviews. He was a workaholic; we all came second to his work, and he died during his shift from a heart attack.

What are your upcoming projects?

We are planning to release Ayalaanfor Deepavali. I am currently shooting for my film with Rajkumar Periasamy, produced by RKFI. We just finished shooting some 30-35 days for the film in Kashmir.

There were some rumours about your Bollywood debut…

At an event, Adivi Sesh had asked me if my film with Rajkumar will release in Hindi and I said that RKFI and Sony Pictures are planning to do that. So people misunderstood what he later said about that.

And we hear you’ve also heard a script from Adivi Sesh. Is that true?

Yes, he’s a really good storyteller. I told him to let me know if he has anything interesting and he said he’ll get back to me in a couple of months.

At the trailer launch, you spoke frankly about ‘Prince’ failing in Tamil Nadu. Isn’t that risky considering how it might affect other aspects of the business?

It’ll affect the business of a film only if I say that during the theatrical run. And if I don’t accept my failures, you won’t accept my victories.

AU Bureau
Author: AU Bureau

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