Suriya’s latest release Etharkkum Thunindhavan is receiving a lot of love from the audience. But amidst the overwhelming responses from cinegoers, it is the reactions from his kids that has made the film and its success even more special for Suriya. The actor watched Etharkkum Thunindhavan in the theatre with his son Dev and daughter Diya.
“They considered Etharkkum Thunindhavan equivalent to Jai Bhim and Soorarai Pottru because it had an important conversation happening. They couldn’t write it off as yet another action film. They weren’t like – ‘Oh, we have seen you do this before’ or ‘We have seen you being an angry young man before,” Suriya said, adding, “With this film, I was very happy that my daughter and I had a good conversation on it. My son was able to dissect it and say – ‘I didn’t expect the hero to go through this’ or ‘I didn’t expect the climax to be like this.’ So, I was happy that despite ET being a commercial film, my 11-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter were able to sit next to me and watch it. I am happy that they were able to learn something from it.”
Etharkkum Thunindhavan is a Pandiraj directorial. The film is Suriya’s first theatrical release in almost three years. Before Etharkkum Thunindhavan, Suriya featured in Jai Bhim (2021) and Soorarai Pottru (2020). Both the films, which had a direct-to-OTT release, were bankrolled by the actor.
During the Twitter Spaces session, Suriya also opened up on what prompted him to become a film producer. “I thought certain films were not being made – for instance, women-centric movies or films that our kids can watch. Why should our kids watch only an animation film or a Marvel film or a DC film? Why can’t we create regional content for our kids? Why cannot we talk about the young world? All these questions made me a producer,” he said.
As the conversation continued, we asked Suriya if he thinks it is important for an actor to be socially responsible.
“I think it is so important to be a person who can bring in change. I think it has to be a part of your life as well as your work. That is how I see it. When a film is made on a certain topic or when a director or a writer approaches you with a script that can start a discussion, which gives you a feeling or an intuition that it is important, you jump at it. I think it is very important to talk about social politics and what is happening around you. It is important to raise the bar also — in terms of the content, aesthetics or the way people watch a film. Apart from entertaining them (the audience), it is important to make them aware. This film medium is a very important medium. So, if you are only a star that wants to talk about Rs 100 crore or Rs 200 crore business of your film, you might not be able to become a part of such gems or such important films. So, post 20 years of being in the industry, I think you want to give back to society, want to do important films and be a part of important conversations. That’s it,” the actor said.
But is there a difference between Suriya – The Actor and Suriya – The Producer? “Somewhere the lines will merge,” he concluded.
Suriya and the team of Etharkkum Thunindhavan spoke to indianexpress.com during a Twitter Spaces session organised by Sun Pictures.