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Ashok Selvan: Por Thozhil taught me that I should always follow my gut feeling | Exclusive

The actor opens up on his career, choice of films and his latest outing, the super hit movie Por Thozhil, which is dropping on SonyLIV on August 11

Ashok Selvan: Por Thozhil taught me that I should always follow my gut feeling | Exclusive

Ashok Selvan

Last Updated: 10.40 PM, Aug 06, 2023


Ashok Selvan, who is basking in the super success of the crime drama Por Thozhil, is elated that people are appreciating good content. The film's performance at the box office has reinstated his belief that well-made movies will always receive love and support from the audience.  

In an exclusive interaction with OTTplay, the actor gets candid about the movie, his acting career, the responsibility that lies on the shoulders of heroes, dealing with successes and failures, and more...


He doesn't mince his words when he talks about the magnitude of success Por Thozhil garnered. "This was unexpected," he begins, adding, "I knew we made a good film and was anticipating a good number at the box office. However, what the movie made is 10 times more than my expectations."

So, what has this unprecedented success taught him? He says, "It taught me that I should always believe in my gut feeling and that there will always be people who stand by you when you are part of a good project. I believe that Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal and Nitham Oru Vaanam which were released last year were good films. But it didn't perform as I expected."

A still from Por Thozhil
A still from Por Thozhil

Ashok says that Por Thozhil has instilled the required confidence in him and that it will help him choose different and ambitious projects fearlessly.   

Did he have any apprehensions about Sarath Kumar, who also played the lead role in the movie, dominating him in terms of presence with his vast experience? "Absolutely not," he asserts. "When I read the script, I knew that someone of his calibre should play that role. Moreover, I'm not someone who is worried about others dominating me in a scene. I should be able to pull off my character convincingly. He comes across as a rough and tough person in the story whereas I play the role of an experienced cop. It was fun to work with him; he was such a sport."

Por  Thozhil can be referred to as a multi-starrer. He has an interesting take on being part of a two-hero film and playing a solo hero. "For a Tamil hero, the responsibility to attract the audience is huge. Your market plays a vital role. I have felt that when you are a solo hero, you are carrying the entire movie on your shoulders. I had a different experience when I did the Malayalam film Marakkar. I played the antagonist's role, and I had zero pressure. The movie wasn't dependent on my image or market. I only had to focus on my role. It was truly liberating. The point is to focus on your character, no matter what," he states. 

Ashok feels that there is a significant change in the manner in which he is approaching success these days. He explains, "The way I celebrated my first major success Thegidi nine years ago was different from how I approached Por Thozil's reception. I hail from a middle-class family, and receiving so much attention all of a sudden was overwhelming for me in the beginning. I was on top of the world, partying and spending money lavishly. But what happened later taught me many things. I began approaching success in a different way after a few films of mine witnessed setbacks."  

Ashok with Sarath Kumar in Por Thozhil
Ashok with Sarath Kumar in Por Thozhil

Flops and successes, he adds, are tricky scenarios. "Success gives you an illusion that you have achieved something huge. However, the fact is every film is a litmus test. They say you are as good as your last film. I don't know if I'm handling successes and failures in the right way. But I know I'm dealing with them better than how I used to do a decade ago," he smiles.

On the improvement in his ability in judging scripts, he says that he believes in doing those movies which he enjoys watching. "I don't want to take the audience for granted. I come from a family where going out for a movie would put a dent in our monthly budget. So, I do consider the audience while reading a script," he says.

Having completed more than a decade as an actor, Ashok says that he has evolved quite a lot when it comes to understanding a director's vision. He says, "I'm more confident now and am not worried about how the audience would perceive me in certain kinds of roles. This has helped me to concentrate more on my characters. It's an ongoing process and I know I have miles to go."

He has been playing the boy-next-door roles in most of the films. Has he felt that it's time he should attempt action-oriented roles? "Definitely," pat comes the reply. "I'm looking at doing one next year. I have never attempted action and I'm curious to know how it would suit me."

Ashok is excited over a few small Tamil films winning big at the box office this year. "It's fantastic. I have observed that people have become choosy like never before. They need strong reasons to step out and watch a film. The industry has been pushed to a level where decent or good films won't work anymore. Films have to be extraordinary to attract moviegoers. Well, it's a good pressure to have. Great content will continue to win the hearts of people." he signs off.

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