When the trailer and songs of Sudha Kongara’s Soorarai Pottru were released online this year, Tamil film viewers remembered exactly what they had been missing about Suriya in his recent big-budget outings: the intensity in his eyes, and a certain lightness of craft usually visible when the actor becomes one with his characters. Remember Nandha, Pithamagan and Vaaranam Aayiram? The last time one probably saw this in all its raw appeal was a decade ago in Ram Gopal Varma’s Rakta Charitra 2 (2010), where the actor played Yeturi Suryanarayana Reddy.
The 45-year-old, who plays Nedumaaran Rajangam (Maara) in the film which is inspired by the life of Air Deccan founder Captain G.R. Gopinath (Retd), says that acting in Kongara’s movie took him into another zone.
“I think that when you believe in a character, you bring in your emotions and that makes all the difference. It becomes a character that lingers in people’s minds,” says the actor over an hour-long phone call from his home in Chennai, where he has been busy with online promotional activities ahead of the film’s release this week.
Speaking to Suriya has always been a revelation, for once he gets comfortable, he offers you a peek into his usually reticent self, but it feels like he has become even more philosophical after Covid-19 and the lockdown that followed.
“We have all become very restless, and unable to express what we feel. Everything is locked deep inside our hearts and minds,” he says.
But speak he has to, to promote Soorarai Pottru, which he also has co-produced with Guneet Monga. The film, which the Tamil industry expected would become the actor’s top money spinner in theatres, is releasing on Amazon Prime Video.
The past two years have shown people a side of Suriya they never knew existed. Earlier, he came across as the quiet sort who’d walk away from trouble, or try to work around an issue. But recently, he made news for taking three issues head-on. One of them was the OTT...