Actor Sayyeshaa is on a roll. After setting the screens on fire in her debut film, the pretty young actress is now part of two big projects: Junga with Vijay Sethupathi and an untitled film with Karthi. Also recently, the Vanamagan girl has signed a film with Arya in the lead that has been interestingly titled as Gajinikanth. Excerpts from an exclusive chat with the actor.
Right from Vanamagan to your Bollywood debut Shivaay, your films have always been star vehicles. Was that planned?
I don’t think one can plan anything. I must say God has been very kind that I have got so many wonderful opportunities. Fortunately, I have gotten big debuts and I got recognised. All the opportunities I have received have come based on my earlier work. I am just blessed.
While Vanamagan didn’t click at the box-office, that has not deterred your career from moving ahead. You’re part of two interesting projects with Vijay Sethupathi and Karthi.
It was very unfortunate that Vanamagan wasn’t received well at the box office. We got thirty more screens after the first weekend. But the strike happened and unforeseen situations unfolded. But Vanamagan gave me the platform to perform and I got my subsequent projects due to that film. Whether it is Gokul sir or Pandiaraj sir, they had seen me in Vanamagan and thought I was good enough to take me on board.
Tell us about your roles in these films.
Both Junga and the film with Karthi are extremely different. Junga has me in a very westernised and glamourous role whereas other one sees me in a de-glam avatar. That is something I haven’t done before. All of my roles earlier have seen me in western looks but this film is very Indian, which is who I am at heart. I am very simple and homely. Pandiaraj sir’s film has given the chance to show that I can be both.
As a young actor, how was it to work with two of the happening stars of Kollywood?
Vijay Sethupathi sir is a phenomenal actor. I learn a lot from the scenes I do with him. He is always there with some good advice. Also, I think my Tamil has probably improved thanks to him, as he speaks to me a lot in the language. He is extremely humble and I am very happy that I got to share screen space with him.
On the other hand, Karthi is very astute in his judgement. He is very into the film and he makes sure everything is going right. I think that is a great quality. He has no airs that he is a star. This actually applies to all stars I have worked with. I still have to shoot for the film and I am looking forward to it.
The film with Karthi also has Priya Bhavani Shankar on board. Did you have any qualms about sharing space with another heroine at an early stage in your career.
Until now, I wasn’t offered films that had other multiple heroines. My role in the film is very good; I have been paired against Karthi. Priya’s role is very different from my character, thus there was no comparison. I am sure she will be great in her part and I look forward to seeing her on set as well. When the film releases, I hope they like the film as a whole. That is paramount.
One of the things you are famous for is your dance moves. Apart from films, even your Instagram videos are very popular. You started learning dance when you were nine, right?
More than training and anything, dancing comes from my heart. I have received a lot of love from people for my dancing. Fortunately, it helps me in films as well. It has given me something different from a lot of other people, like an identity. Maybe someday, I get to do a dance film; be a dancer on screen.
Commercial roles or performance-oriented roles. What is your pick?
I think that you can perform in commercial movies as well. I am someone who loves watching commercial films. I clap when the hero beats up a hundred people. I love Ajith sir and Vijay sir. I am very commercial at heart. I would love to do all kinds of cinema. The main thing I look for is a good script and a good director. Whether it is an off-beat or a commercial movie, it has to take me forward. It has to have the scope for me to do something meaningful in the film.
However, I don’t want to be associated with films that are not respectful, with vulgarity for example. I want to have a respectful career, so that when I look back years later I can be proud of what I have done.