‘Kamal Haasan demands extra from his actors’

Debarati Palit Singh
Monday, 23 July 2018

Pooja Kumar, who is starring in Vishwaroop 2 alongwith the veteran actor, explains that while signing a film, she is basically looking for an opportunity to perform and learn something new

Indo-American actress Pooja Kumar, who was part of Kamal Haasan’s directorial and starrer Vishwaroop, is also a part of its sequel, Vishwaroop 2. The actress says that it’s a dream for any actor to work with the veteran actor-filmmaker. “He is such a wonderful human being. He actually demands extra from his actors while working. He wants you to be in love with the character he has built and that happens because over the years, he has created such fantastic characters in his films. So, I did not question him and just followed his instructions,” says Pooja, who plays an important role in the film.

Vishwaroop 2 is the sequel to Kamal’s bilingual action spy thriller which released in 2013. The Hindi version of this bilingual will be presented by Rohit Shetty and Reliance Entertainment, while the Tamil version and Telugu dubbed version are produced by Raajkamal Films International for Aascar Films Pvt Ltd. Talking about her character, the actress says that she plays a girl who gets married to a Kathak dancer in New York. “But she slowly discovers that he is an undercover agent working in the army. As she discovers the truth about her husband, she confronts life and death situation on an everyday basis. As for the nuances of the character, she is a naive girl who is self absorbed and avoids confrontation,” says Pooja. 

She says that being a part of the film taught her a lot of things. “It’s all because of this character who was working for a greater good and for the country. He changed me and I was able to take away a lot from movie and not just my character.” 

Did she have any inhibitions before signing the film considering it’s a Kamal Haasan film and the focus is on his character? Pooja says that she does not approach any of her roles with this mindset. “When I sign a film, I am basically looking for an opportunity to perform and learn something new. When I was offered this role, I realised that I would get loads of opportunities. There was so much that I could do. I did not think about my screen presence or the end result because you work hard but you don’t know how your character will end up on the editing table,” she says, adding, “That’s how things work in our profession. The focus should be on the character, the impact it will make, how you can make it fun and interesting.” 

As an actor, she wants the audience to fall in love with the role she is playing. “We can be modern or naive but at the end of the day, we all want to be loved by the audience,” adds the actress. Pooja has balanced her career in Hollywood and Indian films. She has worked in Hollywood projects like Man on a Ledge, Brawl in Cell Block 99, Bollywood Hero, (starring opposite SNL star Chris Kattan), Flavors, Hiding Divya, Park Sharks etc and South Indian films like Uthama Villain, Meen Kuzhambum Mann Paanaiyum, Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum, PSV Garuda Vega and others. 

She says that she signs a project depending on her availability and what she can offer to it. 

“Balancing a career in Hollywood and Indian films is not easy because of the distance. In addition to that, the working conditions and climate are different. But we are artists, so we will travel wherever we get work,” she explains, adding, “Earlier while signing a project, I would only look at my character but now I take into account the director and the script. I look at the person who is making the project. Because, as an actor, you work so hard on it. You only want to invest your time where you feel you can give your 100 per cent.”

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