Karthi says Mani Ratnam scolded him for reading too much "Ponniyin Selvan"
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Karthi says Mani Ratnam scolded him for reading too much "Ponniyin Selvan"

Looks like the director didn't appreciate his efforts
Looks like the director didn't appreciate his efforts

28 Apr – Karthi recently admitted that he was so immersed in the book version of his role as the Chola Army commander Vallavarayan Vandiyathevan in "Ponniyin Selvan" that he was scolded by director Mani Ratnam.

Sharing the story to the media recently, the actor, who is currently promoting Part 2 of the movie, stated that he not only read Kalki's "Ponniyin Selvan" but also other related books to get an idea on how to play the role.

"For me the difficulty was, it was a 3,000-odd pages book, which was compressed to 300 pages for a script. For example, Vandiyathevan met Kundavai multiple times before they spoke to each other. But in the movie, they meet only once."

"All that transpired in the book in those multiple meetings had to be told in that one meeting. So, unless you read the book and take in all that Vandiyathevan carries through, you cannot represent the right Vandiyathevan. I had to go back to the book and not just stick to the script. I used to read the scene from the book once and then the script, before coming for the shoot," said Karthi.

Karthi plays Vandiyathevan in the movies
Karthi plays Vandiyathevan in the movies

The actor stated that he was so obsessed in working the character through his readings that it created a problem with the director.

"If I raise my voice about anything, the first thing Mani sir would say, 'is this from the book or the script?'. He also used to say, 'stop reading the book and stick to the script'," he shared.

Despite that, Karthi admitted that he still did it, as he felt the need to understand the character further from the eyes of a common man.

"For example, in 'Silappathikaram', which was written in the 4th century, Kovalan and Kannagi travel from Poompuhar to Madurai in search of a livelihood. They cross a river and there's an account there where it says people pray to the river before they cross it, as rivers were the source of life. That one thing stuck to my mind and when we were shooting a river-crossing scene, I told Mani sir about it and he made me pray too. There were a lot of references from the street in poetry as well," he said.


"Ponniyin Selvan: Part Two" is in cinemas in Malaysia on 28 April

Related Movies:
Ponniyin Selvan: Part One (Tamil) (30 Sep 2022)
Ponniyin Selvan: Part Two (Tamil) (28 Apr 2023)
Baahubali (Tamil) (10 Jul 2015)

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