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Ashok Selvan Interview: Tamil industry is going through a major change; we will see a different cinema next year

Actor Ashok Selvan, who will be next seen in Pon Ondru Kanden, talks about comedy being his comfort zone, debut in web series with Gangs- Kuruthi Punal, changing dynamics of the industry and more

Ashok Selvan Interview: Tamil industry is going through a major change; we will see a different cinema next year
Ashok Selvan

Last Updated: 12.27 PM, Apr 12, 2024


While compliments and criticisms are part of an actor’s life, it is more commendable when one takes time and space to acknowledge each one that comes their way. Ashok Selvan is one of them. The actor, who has earned a prominent name in the industry and is currently in a phase of success after delivering hits like Por Thozhil and Blue Star, is one such personality who takes time out to receive and respond to the feedback that comes his way.

“I make it a point (to do this). In the past, I was unaware of how to handle compliments. But a good friend of mine advised me to begin with a 'thank you' since someone is taking time off to talk about my work and appreciate it. And from there on, whenever somebody makes the effort to compliment me on social media or in person, I return it with the same effort. It also made me feel good for not ignoring them. I reply to most of the comments I see. I am debating whether I should leave social media, but for as long as I am there, I will keep doing this ,” Ashok Selvan says.

On Pon Ondru Kanden


The actor will be seen next in Pon Ondru Kanden, which is a light-hearted romantic comedy that also stars Aishwarya Lekshmi and Vasanth Ravi. He has collaborated for the first time with the actors as well as director Priya V Kamakshi. Of the three actors, Ashok Selvan has had the most experience with headlining romantic comedies. 

He says, “When I started out, I wanted to try out all genres, just to grow as an actor and get out of my comfort zone. I also figured out that I enjoyed doing comedy and to do that, the main point is to be in the present. To be in the moment, you shouldn’t be too worried about what is going to happen. You need to be light. I was even telling Vasanth Ravi (who usually does intense films) to be in the moment. We had a good time together. He is a sincere and dedicated actor. I was even telling him that he has a voice like that of the late Raghuvaran sir and he should sometimes play a villain in my films.” 

Ashok Selvan points out that there is an absence of light-hearted films in recent days and being a fan of Kanda Naal Mudhal (2005) and Yuvan Shankar Raja prodded him to take up Pon Ondru Kanden.

On Blue Star and success

Ashok Selvan’s Blue Star, which was released earlier in January, made Tamil cinema open its success account this year. The actor, who has always stressed the fact that one cannot set out to make a hit film, talks about commercially as well as critically successful films. “We set out to have a good time and be honest with the material we had. Subsequently, it was well received and became commercially viable, giving me a boost to pursue such projects. I can experiment more. It is important for films to do well commercially, because that makes it easy to make more like-minded films. In all honesty, Blue Star is one of the best shooting experiences I have ever had.”

Be it Blue Star, which featured Keerthi Pandian, Shanthanu Bhagyaraj, Prithvi, or Pon Ondru Kanden, the films have multiple leads. Talking about this, Ashok Selvan says, “The story is at the forefront and I am only concerned if the roles are played by good actors. Only with them will the scenes come out well. Vasanth Ravi has critically acclaimed films like Rocky and Aishwarya Lekshmi has done good films in Malayalam. And they are good actors, so the audience has some trust in the project. There might be actors who do not want to act in multi-lead films, but as far as I am concerned, I only see if my role and the story are well-written and good.”

When it comes to deciding scripts, Ashok Selvan says that he prefers to read them over narration. “I used to hear narrations earlier, but I figured out that some people are good narrators and you can get carried away. But when you read a script, it is direct and plain. There is no sugar coating. There can be great scripts with bad narrators and vice versa. It was hard to judge so now I make sure I read the script,” he says. 

So, what makes him choose a script? It must move him, give him quips, and pique his interest to find out about the climax. “The second point is if the role excites me to try it out. Somewhere, it is tricky to judge if people would like it or not. Like (Charlie) Chaplin would say, audiences are multi-headed monsters. We need to also gauge the audiences in advance and I think somewhere my experience is also helping me.”

On Gangs- Kuruthi Punal

Ashok Selvan will also be making his series debut with the upcoming Prime Video's Gangs- Kuruthi Punal. In a gangster drama, the actor says the experience of long-format storytelling is very new to him. Ashok Selvan says that one of the longest projects he has been shooting for is a long process. “I am getting used to it and the team is very inspiring. It also feels very new, because by this time, I would have finished a couple of films. But this is very ambitious project made on a large scale. It is very different and I am getting to understand it more,” he adds.

Speaking about the successful streak Malayalam cinema has been having off late, Ashok Selvan is confident that Tamil cinema too has had such phases before and is capable of churning out successful films. “Our people have a different set of expectations and we are in the middle ground of Telugu and Malayalam cinema. I think our industry is going through a major change in terms of new writers. We will be having many explorations and I believe that from next year on we will have different cinemas. I think we are on track and we are going to have a refreshing tone soon.”

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