How did Arindum Ariyamalum happen?
It happened because of Terrorist. It was Gemini Colour Labs that produced Terrorist. When I came back from Mumbai after Asoka, they asked me if I could remake a Telugu film called Allari. I didn’t want my first film to be a remake but, when it is difficult for a new filmmaker to get a producer, I thought I shouldn’t ruin the chance. So, I made my first film, Kurumbu, in 2002-03.
I had the script of Arindum Ariyamalum with me, but no big hero wanted to star in it. Nobody wanted to produce a film that had a father-son sentiment. Producers told me it would work with a mother and son, not a father and son. Even after I decided to have Prakash Raj play the father and Arya as the son, nobody touched the script.
As I believed in myself, my friends and I decided to start a production house of our own -- SJ Films – and made the film.
How did you zero in on Arya?
I met him at a theatre where he was doing the publicity for Ullam Ketkume. It was his eyes that attracted me. That is why I started Arindum Ariyamalum with a shot of his eyes. He also didn’t look like a typical hero. He looked very unconventional, which appealed to me.
Pattiyal is completely different from your last film. Was it a conscious decision to make such a film?
It was a very conscious decision. I wanted my third film to be completely different. My second was a surprise, so I wanted my third to be a surprise too.