‘Mr Local’ is a laugh-riot, says Sivakarthikeyan

Chennai: “Mr Local is a laugh-riot. We have not tried to convey any message,” says actor Sivakarthikeyan.

The movie, directed by Siva Manasula Sakthi and OKOK fame M Rajesh, will hit the screens 17 May. Bankrolled by Studio Green, it has Nayanthara playing the heroine.

Speaking to News Today, Sivakarthikeyan says, “I always wanted to work in Rajesh’s film. When I was shooting for Seema Raja, he narrated the story of Mr Local. I was impressed and readily agreed to do it.”

Denying rumours that it is a remake of the Rajinikanth starrer Mannan, Sivakarthikeyan says, “The crux of the movie is about ego clash between a middle-class youth and a rich and affluent woman.”

Excerpts from his interview:

Q: Why did you choose to do Mr Local?
A: I am a great fan of M Rajesh’s films. I remember dubbing for a small portion in Siva Manasula Sakthi long back. Since then I wanted to be part of his film. And when I ventured to acting, it was Rajesh who helped bring together the Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam team. After the success of the film, my urge to join hands with him increased. It has come true finally with Mr Local. He was very cool on the sets and knows the pulse of the audience. His brand of comedy always appealed to them. Interestingly, Mr Local has no TASMAC scenes. It will be a fun-filled film without any big message.

Q: On working with Nayanthara for second time…
A: We had very little scenes together in Velaikkaran and the audience also felt the same. However, Mr Local will feature both of us all through the film. It is basically the ego clash between both characters. I play a middle-class youth, who is called by the people around him as Mr Local. Nayanthara dons the role of a rich woman, who runs a company that produces television serial in various south Indian languages. The encounters between us make the movie. She is a wonderful actress. Her performance has added more strength to the film. It was a pleasure working with her.

Q: Was it a conscious decision to do a full-fledged comedy film after Velaikkaran and Seema Raja?
A: It just happened. I know comedy is my strength. After serious outings in Velaikkaran and Seema Raja, the audience wanted me to do a laugh-riot. Mr Local happened at the right time. I share the screen with Yogi Babu, Robo Shankar, Sathish and Thambi Ramiah in Mr Local.

Q: Are you comfortable working in multiple films simultaneously?
A: Until recently, I chose to do one movie at a time. After learning a few lessons, I want to explore the possibility of doing two at the same time. I think the effort and the days to shoot for them will be the same. I have movies lined up in different genres. After Mr Local, I am acting in Hero, being directed by Irumbu Thirai fame Mithran, a sci-fi thriller with director Ravikumar and a family drama, helmed by Pandiraj for Sun Pictures. After completing them, I would shoot for director Vignesh Sivn’s untitled project for Lyca Productions.

Q: How do you manage production amidst your busy schedule?
A: I see it as an opportunity to bring to light fresh talents. My maiden venture Kaana was widely acclaimed. My second production venture Nenjamundu Nermaiundu Odu Raja is complete. The film is written and directed by Karthik Venugopalan. Rio Raj and Shirin Kanchwala play the lead pair with RJ Vigneshkanth, Nanjil Sampath and Radha Ravi in the supporting cast.

Q: On the controversy surrounding your vote in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections?
A: I have my voter ID and I voted in the same polling booth as in the last few elections. I wonder how my name was not there in the list now. I spoke to officials there and I cast my vote using my voter ID. I was shocked as to why people say it a bogus vote. It was my duty to exercise my franchise and I fulfilled my democratic duty with a valid document.

M BHARAT KUMAR