Hero VIJAY SETHUPATHI’s IRAIVI is his third film with maverick director Karthik Subbaraj. The duo share a warm camaraderie having worked together in short films long before they became big names in Cinema. In a chat with us, Vijay Sethupathi reveals why he respects the Pizza and Jigarthanda director and why he liked working in Iraivi.

I love the way Karthik has written Iraivi - Vijay Sethupathi

Sethupathi admits that when Karthik approached him for Iraivi, he accepted first and read the script later. He explains why, “It wasn’t just blind faith. As a cinema person, one learns early on, how to judge people and their mastery over their craft, by observing their working style and presentation. I’ve worked with Karthik for so many years, I understand his filmmaking style completely. So when I said yes to him, I did so knowing his keen script sense and the way he handles cinema. Not only him, all the directors I’ve worked with like Nalan etc, all of them have a unique story telling style which I enjoy. So I had full faith in Karthik’s craft when I accepted Iraivi.”

And going by how much he enjoyed working on sets, his confidence was well placed it would seem. This is their 3rd feature film together, both having grown in stature since Pizza, and his respect for Karthik has only grown, “You know, I just love Karthik for the way he has written Iraivi. He’s written it in a way in which allows the actors to carry the script forward to the next level. I respect the value of what he has conveyed in Iraivi and the magic that he created with his fine screenplay sense. He is one director who lets his actors be and gives them time and space. If you are not getting the right mood or conveying the right expression, he will tell you to take time off and do it later. He will talk to you separately and discuss the issue. He knows the worth of each actor and values them all.”

I love the way Karthik has written Iraivi - Vijay Sethupathi

So was there any pressure, keeping in mind audience expectations from the duo? “See, one can never correctly gauge how audiences are going to react. We had pressure, but it wasn’t pressure to live upto expectations. Rather, it was pressure to do justice to the script we had and to deliver it rightly to the audiences with our performances,” says Sethupathi.

Working with long time pal Bobby Simhaa and director turned actor SJ Suryah along with three heroines, was good fun. “There was no negative energy on sets. Despite the large star cast, everyone gave the other artist the space required for their performance. Many times I was in a scene with nothing much to do. But we were comfortable letting the other artists do their jobs. Working like that was a learning. I’m paired with Anjali and she’s a consummate artist who can just devour a scene with her performance. She’s always hungry to do a good scene right. Watching SJ Suryah was a great learning experience. Leaving his starry past behind, he came to the sets like a newcomer, with no attitude. Karthik knew exactly what he wanted from us but he would allow us to brainstorm and improvise when needed.”

I love the way Karthik has written Iraivi - Vijay Sethupathi

Sethupathi plays Michael and says, the story is that of a common man. Anjali is his wife. So why should audiences choose to watch Iraivi we ask him. “Come if you want to see Karthik’s next work, or any of the artistes associated with the film. If not that, then just come and watch it to see the film’s take on the life of the common man. We are not trying to give a message, but we assure you it won’t be boring and will be something you can relate to,” he signs off.

The film has music by Santhosh Narayanan and is produced by Thirukumaran Entertainment.