Wanted: A hero with thousand faces

Actor Surya recently said in an interview that during the release of 'Singam' he was keen on doing a film with director Hari, especially after 'Aadhavan' and 'Rakta Charitram'. While he did explain that this was to get a fresh choice of roles and treat audiences with a completely different Suriya, they are perhaps a few more reasons that one can think of.

Grapevine has it that he wanted to join director Hari again after '7am Arivu', (touted to be a sci-fi thriller) with AR Murugadoss and 'Maatran' (dual-role) with KV Anand.
While yesteryear actors used to stick to one particular genre throughout their careers, some of the known Ktown stars seem to be determined to try everything.

Case in point, Dhanush — another successful actor who can attract all kinds of audiences. After 'Aadukalam', which won him the National Award, he went on to do mass entertainers like 'Mapillai' and 'Venghai', while 'Erandam Ulagam', directed by his brother Selvaraghavan, a romantic film, is also taking shape.
Other heroes trying exploring variety of roles are Arya, Vishal, Jayam Ravi and even 'Pasanga' Vimal. So what kicked off the trend?
“Typecasting apparently resonates with ‘short-lived’ these days,” says actor Vishal and adds, “We’re not making movies for home theatres, so we should keep surprising our audiences.”
Vishal’s latest film, 'Avan Ivan', has earned him the status of a capable hero while it has had lucrative returns as well. His next movie, directed by Prabhu Deva, is expected to be yet another commercial flick.
“If one continues to act in similar kind of movies, he may be at the peak for sometime. But in the long run, it’s only variety in scripts, roles, etc., that will help an actor reign with the masses,” advises director Rajesh.
His films — 'Siva Manasula Sakthi' and 'Boss Engira Baskaran', both lighthearted comic films with Jiiva and Arya as lead heroes respectively, have had different scripts.

Producer RB Choudary points out another angle.
“People have become smart, and look for details. So there is a big responsibility for an actor to satisfy all kinds of audiences. He also needs to convince the director that he suits the story,” he says. RB Choudary’s Super Good Films has produced more than 75 movies and he has introduced several directors in the industry.
For director Vetrimaaran however, the outcome of a film depends on the tie-up with successful directors in every genre. Vetrimaaran elaborates, “If you see recent and upcoming movies of Surya, Dhanush and even Jiiva for that matter, they have a good line up of accomplished directors. They go to director Hari because they know well that he’ll surely give them a hit movie.”
Whether these efforts will help the stars stabilise their space in the market as commercial heroes is debatable. Take for instance, actors Jiiva and Karthi, who seem to have now chosen mass entertainers, had also done serious films like Ram and Paruthiveeran respectively. Vishal explains the concept of balance.
“For producers, cinema is a business and for so long, only commercial movies have reached the majority of audiences. But for an actor, a blend of both would be ideal.”

Director Vasanth concurs. “There have always been two kinds of heroes even in Hollywood — actors and heroes. Just appearing on the screen itself is enough for heroes, while actors were revered for their acting. Apart from these two, there is also, the ‘actor-hero’. Surya and Vikram definitely come under this category. Even Rajini has acted in movies like Annamalai, which had a good story line.”
He points out that when a big hero acts in a small film with a strong storyline, it can become a hit. The best example to illustrate this concept is the success of the recently released, Deivya Thirumagal. “It’s a welcome trend where a new breed of actors try all genres,” he says.
Well, even after decades of resigning supreme in the industry, Superstar Rajinikanth had to work extra hard for 'Enthiran'. These young heroes seem to have gotten the hint.

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