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Exclusive! Harish Uthaman: I'm anxious to know about my part in the next installments of the universe which Lokesh has created in Vikram

The actor has been on a roll this year with back-to-back success

Exclusive! Harish Uthaman: I'm anxious to know about my part in the next installments of the universe which Lokesh has created in Vikram

Harish Uthaman

  • Thinkal Menon

Last Updated: 03.36 PM, Jul 09, 2022

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It's seldom that actors who are mostly offered villain roles and characters with grey shades get to play something which are least expected from them. Harish Uthaman, who was a little upset about landing similar characters a couple of years ago, is now delighted with the reception his unpredictable role in the web series Suzhal has ben receiving.

The project which was released in Amazon Prime Video a couple of weeks ago has been regarded as the best series from Tamil by critics and film lovers alike. In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, an elated Harish opens up about his current overwhelmed feeling, the notable roles he got to play this year and his future plans. Excerpts...

How thrilled are you with appreciation garnering from several quarters like never before?

I'm super excited. The character I played in the series isn't a regular one; the responses, too, have been unpredictable. I feel proud of the character I essayed in Suzhal. I immediately agreed to be part of the project when I was narrated about the twist in my role. I loved the complexities in the character, and I feel gratified now when people say that I have completely justified it with my acting. People have mostly seen me as a strong person or as a villain; it looks like they are now glad to have witnessed an unseen version of me.

What was your immediate reaction when you got to know the suspense associated with your character?

It was a huge surprise for me. I would say one of the big highlights of the series is the final revelation related to my character. I was happy to have depicted a role like this which has been penned by Pushkar and Gayatri. The directors Bramma and Anucharan have executed it in such an intriguing manner that people enjoy the transformation of my role.

Harish Uthaman
Harish Uthaman

We discussed a lot with regard to shaping up my character and portraying the complexity in him in the most sensitive manner. The crucial dialogue which Kathir's character utters is the reflection of our judgmental society. While watching Suzhal at a press show, I could notice people empathizing for my character during the twist, and it was so satisfying.  

You are on a roll this year with back-to-back successes. Bheeshma Parvam in Malayalam, Vikram in Tamil and now Suzhal has become a huge hit on OTT. How important is commercial success for actors?

Well, I'm glad that these projects hit the right chord with the audience. Commercial success is something which we can't predict, we just follow our gut feeling after listening to the narration. Success like these help us understand what works and what doesn't. It is crucial not just for actors, but for everyone associated with a film.  

With the humongous success of Vikram, all eyes are now on the sequel to Kaithi in which you have a big role to play. How excited are you and what are you looking forward to with regard to the development of your character Adaikalam in it?

I'm equally excited as the audience. Both Kaithi 2 and Vikram 2 will surely happen and am super kicked about it. Post Kaithi, wherever I used to go for shooting, be in Hyderabad, Chennai or Kerala, people would ask me about Adaikalam and the reason behind his enmity with Dilli (played by Karthi).

I can't wait to know how Adaikalam's journey would be in the two sequels that are much awaited by the audience. Vikram 2 will be huge in every way, and the thought of being a part of the project which features many great actors is making me nervous. I'm quite anxious to know about my part in the big franchise director Lokesh has created.

Do you strive to strike a balance when it comes to signing projects in different languages?

Not really. What finally matters is the excitement in a character. A year before the lockdown, I started realizing that I'm bored of being offered similar characters. I began saying no to cop roles which are more or less similar to what I had already essayed before. I had to reject some big offers, too. But I realized that things started changing gradually. I would tell a few writers that I'm ready to do interesting characters without taking remuneration.

 It was really tough to break the image, but I could see the difference after repeatedly saying no to typecast roles. Kuttram Kuttrame, Bheeshma Parvam and Suzhal had intriguing characters and I could feel the difference while playing them. I will keep saying no to roles that do not excite me. I have a huge penchant for village-based rustic roles like some of the characters in Thevar Magan, Subramaniyapuram, Nadodigal, and so on. I'm hopeful of landing similar roles soon.

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