Amithash Pradhan takes us behind the scenes of his new crime thriller, Paramporul

The actor talks about his intense prep for the role and a surprise studio session with music director Yuvan Shankar Raja 
Poster of Paramporul
Poster of Paramporul

Amul Baby is all grown up. You might remember the name from Amithash Pradhan’s breakout role as the villain in Dhanush’s Velaiyilla Pattathari, back in 2014. Nine years later, Amithash, now 32, will star in his first lead role alongside Sarathkumar in the crime thriller, Paramporul, which hits the big screen today. Over a candid chat ahead of the release, the actor tells us that this is a bucket list item checked off his list, and not just as an actor but on the music front as well, as he makes his debut as a playback singer with music director Yuvan Shankar Raja.

Playback debut
“I was bugging Yuvan sir, saying that I wanted to see him work and be a part of the process,” he recalls. So when he got a text one afternoon from the music director, asking him to sing a few lines, it was entirely out of the blue. “I sent him a voice note, was told to come to the studio that evening and then found out I was singing Sippara Rippara alongside Shankar Mahadevan! His scale and pitch is super high, so that scared me.” Two hours later, he stepped out of the studio, on a high. The only moment that supersedes this one, we’re told, was seeing Yuvan and Anirudh come together to shoot the promo song for the film. “Both had concerts to fly out to the next day so it took a lot to make that shoot happen, but when it did, it was magic,” Amithash recalls.

<em>Amithash Pradhan</em>
Amithash Pradhan

Getting into character
Quite the opposite of his co-star Sarathkumar who plays the role of a cop in this film centred around idol smuggling, Amithash who comes from a theatre background, tells us that he relies heavily on preparation. “I got an acting coach (Jayakumar) to come home and we spent a week where I would just walk around my house 50-60 times a day just to get Aadhi’s (his character) walk right,” he shares. Aadhi, we find out, is a struggling youngster who commits thefts to make ends meet, when one day he crosses paths with an eccentric police officer. Unlike most Kollywood lead roles that require bulking up, Amitash was asked by director Aravind Raj to skip on weight training entirely. “So I just did lots of cardio, yoga and HIIT,” he says. Interestingly, to stay in character, he also adopted some rituals during the four months on set. “I used a specific perfume that I didn’t change till we wrapped shooting, I curated a whole Spotify playlist that set a specific mood for me to listen to just before I stepped out of my caravan (think Anirudh to Rahman to Eminem), there was even a specific way I would have my sandwich cut,” he reveals.

‘Kidnapping’ Yuvan
Despite 80 per cent of the film being shot at night, in locations like mill factories, and fight sequences aplenty, Amithash tells us that the sets were always lively because of co-star Sarathkumar who kept everyone in splits. “If you came to the spot as a visitor, you would probably wonder whether we were shooting a crime drama or a comedy,” he says with a laugh. “What I learned from Sarath sir was flow and how to let go. He was so spontaneous so I got to be spontaneous in response,” he recalls. Did we mention the two actors went so far as to ‘kidnap’ Yuvan Shankar Raja for the film’s social media promo?

Paramporul releases on September 1.

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