Karthi Sivakumar’s latest movie Kaashmora is a dark, fantasy film written and directed by Gokul who had started the preparation for the movie a year ago. Karthi has taken up the role of Kaashmora, a character who is divulged in black-magic and Raj Nayak, a youngster and a suspense role for which the audience have to wait till 28th December. Nayantara taking up the role of a princess is sharing the screen with Sri Divya who also takes up a major role in the film. The movie does not have any low-points and is fully packed with humour and action sequence. Having been to Kochi for the movie promotion, SouthLive had a conversation with Karthi.
You said you faced a lot of challenges in the movie, were you able to give your 100% in the movie?
It was not easy to shoot large horse sequences in Chennai, because of the unavailability of horses and adequate space in Chennai. We didn’t have budgets to bring horses from Rajasthan, because sturdy, best horses for a war-like movie are available only in Rajasthan. deciding to act with the accessible horses in Chennai, a lot of training was required to tame the horses available here. I trained with these horses for 10-12 days. It was impossible to take chariot riding shots and all the more difficult was doing the period character. Kaashmora was easily compared to Baahubali and Shivaji sir’s movies, it was tough to meet the justification if a comparison was made. During dubbing when I saw the movie, I was quite happy. When Baahubali was out, I thought why our village could not bring such a movie. We are happy to pull out a movie with a lot of graphic works. I am thankful to Rajamouli sir to help us understand the importance of local talent. At some places that we shot, when I saw those scenes on screen, I could not recognise those locations. I really have to thank the technical team. If the graphics did not come out well, the movie would be a complete flop.
You are very handsome and talented, having a lot of fans in Kerala, can we expect you in a Malayalam film? Can we expect a movie next year?
I will do it. First of all I do not know Malayalam. But if a good story comes up I really want to do a movie. As a good story came up, I did a Telugu movie with Nagarjuna sir. A movie with a beautiful friendship. In fact, me and Dulquer, were supposed to do a movie, last December but I didn’t have dates and Dulquer’s dates were not matching up and it was also time to wind up the shooting of Kaashmora. But hopefully soon, I would love to do a movie. Malayalam film industry is great in making different scripts, from 80s to even now, totally different concepts. With a good scrpit I will surely take up a Malayalam project. Not sure when as I have already signed a contract for four movies next year.
When can we expect Surya-Karthi together on screen?
We need a good story. There should be a very good director to execute the story because there would be high expectations. Last year we planned on doing a movie together. But it never happened.
With Kaashmora hoping to be a benchmark in your career what more are you planning for?
Next year, one of my movies will be coming and in maybe 7 or 8 days the shooting will be done for the same. Always I cannot do a different character, when I get a different story thread, I would be able to deliver a different role. But definitely, with Mani sir the movie will be very different. I don’t look like myself in the film i have taken to be fighter pilot. Doing my research about the movie I understand the amount of sacrifice they put in to their jobs. I read a lot of book about fighter pilots. I am glad I could play a fighter pilot in the film and I am scared if I can do justice to the role.
The name Kaashmora is evil, negative, so what about you in the film?
Good and bad, both are depicted in the film. I think the negative shade is always interesting. For all actors playing a negative role is interesting. Like how Prithviraj while doing negative shades in Tamil movies, being too deep in his character presentation. Rajeev sir has become a class actor doing many negative roles.
If you get a negative character like that of Aravind Swamy in ‘Thani Oruvan’, will you accept the role?
Maybe 10 years later only. I will take up hero roles itself now. It is difficult to get hero and play hero roles. Maybe later after a lot of experimentation I might think about it. If I am the hero and the villain then its all right by me. I don’t want to get to the negative zone too soon.
How risky was this character for you compared to all the other characters that you have had in your acting career?
Kaashmora is really tough because the same character has three different shades with a lot of humour as well as indepth mystery. The Director kept telling me that I concentrated on Raj Nayak because Raj Nayak dresses and looks very particular, the make up changes the character entirely though it was easy to take the role but it is difficult to deliver Kaashmora’a role said him to me. These two characters are very challenging. We have to shoot one character, which has a completely different behaviour, cut the scene, put make up which would take another 5 hours while others are waiting for me and then get into the next character. The language, body language everything differs. The experience was really good. We didn’t have motion capture in the film. Motion capture was much more expensive and had to be brought in from Australia. We didn’t have such high budget. How we did it was, we recorded my voice for the entire scene after which each character would act separately based on the voice. the trolley men had to push five times. Chariot horses were special, we thought of shooting it in Bulgaria but we didn’t have enough budgets. Training the horses in our own place, the horses practised for 10 days with chariots and then me practicing with the horses, all this build up to the challenges though it was fun. Like when we watch the grand visuals of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ we get high, we have tried to bring in that effect to Kaashmora though it is only for 30 minutes. We had the chance to do everything, a grand song, two large action sequences and there was enough scope for performance, the way how Raj Nayak reacts to the happenings.
Having a flight to Hyderabad, as he had to be in time for a family gathering, celebrating his father’s 75th birthday, he left with the hopes that Kaashmora would in turn be a benchmark to his acting career.