GV Prakash Kumar: I am about to hit the bullseye in my career
The actor-musician speaks about his recently released films, Selfie and Ayngaran, and how he believes he has matured as an actor and musician
GV Prakash Kumar believes he's entering a purple patch in his acting career. Since December, he has had four releases — Bachelor, Jail, Selfie, and Ayngaran — each distinct from the other in terms of treatment, character, and content. Yet, all of these films, as well as those coming up for the actor, can be categorised as 'serious' films. "I'm doing films like how a Research & Development team operates," explains Prakash, pointing out that he started off by doing a series of comedy films. "Then came the performance-based films, and now I am just particular about the concept dealt with and how the screenplay is written." It's similar to how he does music, he shares. "We try something and we better ourselves based on how it works. I am still in the process of figuring out my space. I have been getting good responses of late and I think I will hit the bullseye soon," he says, confidently.
His recent releases have been intense emotionally and Prakash says that being part of them isn't easy at all. "It does affect me because some scenes get heavy. In Selfie, for example, after shooting the scene in which he breaks down to his father, I took more than four hours to snap out of it. Jail's interval block scene too affected me for a whole day." Does he want to do something lighter next? It all depends, he says. "I haven't yet met an evolved comedy director who knows how to connect to the new-age audience. When that happens, I will do comedy again."
Both Selfie and this week's release, Ayngaran, possess a similarity in their central conflict: the engineering backdrop. Prakash dismisses this as just a coincidence. While in Selfie, he played an engineering student who gets into the world of an illegal college admission racket, Ayngaran's protagonist has a noble pursuit. "He wants to get patents for his inventions. He is a well-read student who isn't morally skewed, unlike Selfie's Kanal, who was just a money-minded businessman," says Prakash.
Though Selfie showed promise, it sank without trace. However, Prakash has his eyes set on a bigger objective. "I want to be a bankable hero and so, I want to ensure that the producer makes profits. The lack of attention for Selfie might be due to its release during RRR's run, but it turned out to be financially profitable. The low-budget film made three to four times the investment. Bachelor, which got a lot of attention, too became a profitable film. I want to ensure profitability as only this, I believe, will help me scale up as a hero," he shares.
Does he not fear being typecast as the go-to actor for the 'toxic, college student' role? Prakash says that though he will break such notions, it isn't necessarily a problem. "For instance, there was a time when Fahadh Faasil was consistently doing toxic roles. So, it's a phase. Moreover, it is not easy to play such roles." Prakash says that this set of films has given him the opportunity to experiment and try newer methods of acting. "I have started to get into the modern school of acting with films like Bachelor and Selfie. I am trying to do a subtler type of acting that operates within a set meter. People earlier were looking at me as a boy-next-door, and now, with these intense characters, it's a bit different. I want to keep stepping out of being typecast," he says.
When it comes to GV Prakash, the composer, he isn't sure what the plan is. However, he's confident that he has matured. The maturity is especially visible in the background scores of recent films like Selfie and Ayngaran. Prakash says that after Soorarai Pottru and Asuran, he has taken a leap as a composer. "Now, I am doing the Hindi remake of Soorarai Pottru with Akshay Kumar and a project in Telugu with Ravi Teja. I am on a high, and I don't know where it is taking me," he says.
He finds working in other languages to be exciting. "Even as an actor, I hope to work in other languages. The exposure it offers and the newer environments I get to work in are aspects I look forward to. Actors need that fresh air to deliver something new," he says. This is another reason why he believes in the recent trend of OTT releases and pan-Indian films.
Prakash hopes that his exciting streak of productivity will continue with his upcoming films. "I have a lot of films coming up but I am really looking forward to two of them in particular: Seenu Ramasamy's Idiyin Muzhakkam, and Kalvan, in which I star alongside Bharathiraaja."