The Vineeth Sreenivasan Interview: I love the instant rush I get from a live audience

Juggling his work and life, the multi-talented Vineeth Sreenivasan takes some time off to talk to Deepa Antony over brunch opening-up about his latest release Aravindante Adhithikal, his future plans, and family.

 Singer, actor, writer, director, producer- you name it, he has done it. With two of his songs, ‘jimikki kammal’ from Velipaadinte pusthakam and ‘manikya malaraya poovi’ from Oru Adaar Love Story, going viral, Vineeth Srinivasan, the undisputed ‘all-rounder’ of his generation, has had a wonderful year so far. He is now gearing up for his latest release ‘Aravindante Adhithikal’ where he acts alongside Sreenivasan, the legend and his father.

  • Three releases and two very hit songs. The year has been wonderful so far!
  • (Laughs) Thank you, thank you. But you see, I had little to do with the songs being such a phenomenal hit. Infact, I kept postponing the recording of ‘jimikki kammal’ because my son was just born and I wanted to spend some time with him. But Shaan (Rahman) insisted that I record it. He said he wouldn’t record the song till I showed up. Now looking back, I can’t imagine not being able to sing the song! It was such a blessing that the song reached the crowd it did! About ‘manikya malaraya poovi’, it got all the attention more because of the kids (Priya and Roshan Abdul). And, they are very good! 
  • When did you know that the song was going to be a hit?
  • That it would be this big a hit? We had no idea! Of course, the movie had big names, Lalu uncle (Lal Jose) was directing Lal uncle (Mohanlal). It had to have got attention. Right when Shaan (Rahman) sent me the song I knew it was going to do well. But with the way it was accepted, I am very very happy that I got to sing it!
  • The trailer of ‘Aravindante Adhithikal’ looks interesting. Tell us something more about it.
  • This is one movie I had fun shooting! The story revolves around a guest house at Mookambika, Kollur. It has some good situational comedy written in and it was absolute fun shooting it. I enjoyed every second of it.

 

  • How was it acting with your father (Sreenivasan) in a throughout role after Makante Achan?
  • I’ve acted with him in ‘Traffic’ and all, but not in a throughout role since ‘Makante Achan’. See, during Makante Achan I was hardly experienced. It was 8-9 years back and I was tensed about my acting all throughout the shoot. But this time I enjoyed shooting. Achan and I had some very good combination scenes that I think both of us enjoyed immensely.
  • Is your father critical of your work? How is your equation with him?
  • The truth is we hardly get to spend time together. You see, I live in Chennai with my wife and son while Achan lives near Chottanikkara, Kochi with Dhyan and Amma. He is usually very busy with his farming and work and so am I. But during Aravindate Adhithikal we got to spend a lot of time together after quite some time. So that was a wonderful take-away from this film. I think even he liked that we could spend a lot of time together.
  • This could be a cliché question, but you take up so many roles in film-making-acting, directing, producing- when did you know what you wanted to do?
  • I think I was studying in +1 when I saw Dil Chahta Hai. I remember that day in all clarity. I watched the movie at Sathyam Cinemas in Studio 5 in Chennai. It was such a revelation! The movie was smart, urban and fresh. I felt like I watched a movie like never before and I didn’t exactly know what about the movie actually appealed to me. But the moment I came out of the theatre I looked to check the director’s name. Not the big stars- Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan or Akshaye khanna- I was interested in Farhan Akhtar. I’ve only always worried about the movies I direct. Every other thing, acting, singing, etc, have happened in its own time. Even the writing came because it was convenient that way to direct my own movies.

 

  • Juggling with all these roles, how was it directing your film while acting in it in Jacobinte swargarajyam?
  • Oh, that’s not for me! I know a lot of people do it, direct and act at the same time. But since Jacobinte Swargarajyam I’ve realized I neither have the talent or skill to pull that off. Initially I had plans to act the lead in Jacobinte Swargarajyam, but I’m so glad I didn’t do it. I need to focus when I work. So, directing while acting is something I plan to never do again.
  • You have this huge fan following. A lot of the new directors look up to you. Why is it that you don’t have a ‘fan’s association’?
  • Look, I think I read somewhere about Fahad (Faasil) saying that boys around 17-22 need to concentrate on creating a life for them. I was so happy reading that because I share his opinion. Every day I get tons of messages on Whatsapp from kids who love our work. If they say they’re working and yet they want to pursue cinema I encourage them. If they are students, I ask them to rather finish their studies before anything else. I really think for kids between 17 and 22 creating a backup is most important than anything else.
  • So, after a phenomenal year so far, what’s the plan ahead?
  • Hope to take 2 years off to concentrate on my music and travel. I have been making plans to travel with my family and do couple of stage shows. I’m not thinking about anything else at the moment. My son is 10 months old and I plan to spend some time with my family and catch up on travelling. I love doing stage shows, so that will happen from time to time. I love the instant rush I get from a live audience. Apart from that, it’ll be just a lot of traveling.

 

We sign off the conversation wishing him to continue the winning streak with his latest release, Aravindante Adhithikal.Here’s also hoping that Vineeth Sreenivasan comes back from his break with a richer and more vibrant creative streak, with lots and lots of interesting stories!


 

CONVERSATION byDeepa Antony

27 Apr 2018 | 10:24 AM