Noted Tamil director and occasional actor Mysskin is awaiting the release of Psycho, a slasher film with Udhayanidhi Stalin and Aditi Rao Hydari and Nithya Menen. He is, undoubtedly, one of the few directors in Kollywood who dares to take the road less travelled. Mysskin met Firstpost for an interview recently to discuss Psycho, working with acclaimed composer Ilayaraja and how he believes the audience consuming Tamil cinema has changed in the past few years.
Edited excerpts below.
You seem busier as an actor than a director since the release of 2017's Thupparivaalan.
It just happened as I was writing the script of Psycho and becoming an actor was not planned. I was forced to do Nandalala in 2010 because the actors I approached turned down the film. Later I acted in three films for other directors like Savarakkaththi, Super Deluxe and Suttu Pidikka Utharavu . The roles were exciting and the directors were very close friends. I was actually flooded with offers after Super Deluxe, but have now put acting on the hold to concentrate on direction " my passion and my core area.
How did Psycho happen?
I'm a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock and in a way Psycho is an homage to the master. I have been reading up and doing research on psychopaths. Then I decided to do a film on what goes through the mind of a psycho and the circumstances that push him into becoming one. The basic theme is how love and humanity can transform the most evil person.
Can you tell us more about the casting of this film?
I chose Udhayanidhi as he fits into my protagonist's role. He plays visually challenged person and has done a neat job. The moment I contacted Aditi and narrated the description of her character over the phone, she agreed. She plays a pivotal role as a radio rockey and is fabulous. As far as Nithya is concerned, she is an acting machine.
The trailer of Psycho went viral and despite having no dialogues, it was able to hold the viewers' attention.
I'm so happy that it caught the attention of the viewers. Psycho is an eerie suspense thriller with lots of psychological factors at play, but I can't reveal anything more.
Tell us about collaborating with Ilayaraja for Psycho's music.
We are coming together for the third time after Nandalala and Onaiyum Aatukuttiyum. I have loved Ilayaraja's music since my childhood. He has done an outstanding job in Psycho and the music is in total sync with the theme of the film.
Is it a very violent film? CBFC has given it an 'A' certificate.
Yes, my tag line for Psycho is 'the most violent film ever made in India'. I would say it is a "chopper film". The censors have given it an 'A' certificate without any visual cuts, but has muted in four places due to "excessive use of foul language". The run time is 2 hours and 17 minutes.
You were in London a few weeks ago shooting with Vishal for Thupparivaalan 2. How is that shaping out?
It's another investigative story or further Sherlockian adventures of Kaniyan Poongundran the character played by Vishal. The film should be ready by the end of the year, as we will have to go back to UK for the second schedule of the film.
How do you think the audience has changed in the past few years?
The audiences are craving for good content which is different and enjoyable as they are exposed to host of entertainment platforms. I believe cinema will always be driven by fresh new stories and storytelling acts as a catalyst that brings in audiences. A film like Psycho is story driven, and I'm hoping that the audiences will enjoy and make the film a success. I want my films to be remembered but at the same time it should be commercially successful to keep me going in my endeavour to make good cinema.