Actor-filmmaker Ananth Mahadevan, whose performance in Kamal Haasan-starrer Tamil drama "Papanasam" impressed critics and audiences alike, says his role in upcoming thriller "Vishwaroopam 2" will prove his versatility.
"Post the release of 'Papanasam', everybody has been asking me if I'll do more Tamil films. I'd love to but I'm eagerly looking forward to the release of 'Vishwaroopam 2', in which I play a character with grey shades. It will showcase my range as an actor," Mahadevan told.
"These two roles are two extremes. In 'Vishwaroopam 2', I play a sly, conniving bureaucrat, whereas in 'Papanasam', I'm the father who doesn't know where to look for his missing son. I want audiences to see the different kind of roles I can portray," he said.
Known for his work predominantly in Bollywood, Ananth thanks Kamal for introducing him in southern cinema.
"Kamal is totally responsible for this. Post 'Vishwaroopam 2', he had even offered me a role in 'Uttama Villain', which I couldn't take up because I was busy with another project. And even when 'Papanasam' was offered, I was busy but they were kind enough to adjust the dates for me," he said.
Though "Vishwaroopam 2" was his southern debut, Ananth almost did Mani Ratnam's "Thiruda Thiruda".
"I was signed for the project. They even got my costumes ready, but I don't know why I was replaced by S.P. Balasubrahmanyam at the last minute. Since then, whenever I've met Ratnam, I assured him I'm not a bad actor. I hope he watches 'Papanasam'," he said.
His performance in Jeethu Joseph-directed "Papanasam", a remake of Malayalam blockbuster "Drishyam", has been getting rave reviews.
Some even said he matched Kamal's performance in the climax, which has won Ananth a lot of appreciation from Tamil audiences on social media.
"I'd be lying if I say I'm not on cloud nine. I worked extremely hard for that scene and started preparing my lines even before we started shooting," said Ananth, who doesn't like to be prompted dialogues on sets.
"I was hell bent that I'd not take prompting on the sets. In fact, when my co-stars were being prompted by the assistant directors, I was very disturbed because it was eating into my concentration and focus. Prompting is like going to a church where you're made to repeat everything the pastor says," he said.
But Ananth doesn't like to take full credit for the climax scene and says it was a collaborative effort with Kamal.
"Having an actor like Kamal Haasan in front, emoting in front of him actually helped me. We mutually helped each other to get the best out of us for the scene. If people have felt both matched each other's performance, I think it's because of the wavelength we share," he said.