Pavel Navageethan talks in detail about his tryst with acting, the criteria in which he chooses films and why he is ready to wait for his second directoral project
Actor-turned-filmmaker Pavel Navageethan, who made his debut with Pa Ranjith's Madras, is on a roll with back-to-back projects premiering on OTT platforms in a span of one month. While Thittam Irandu, in which he played a killer, was released on SonyLIV, Navarasa and Boomika, which had him essaying contrasting roles, were dropped on Netflix. With the recent Telugu release Sridevi Soda Center marking his Tollywood debut, the actor says he is on cloud nine. He has Valimai and Taanaakaran, too, ready for release.
In a chat with OTTplay, he opens up on his foray into filmdom with the ambition to become a filmmaker, successful and acclaimed movies like Vada Chennai and Peranbu in which he was part of, his sophomore directorial project, upcoming films on which he has pinned high hopes on, and why being an artist offers endless happiness when compared to other jobs...
Three Tamil films on digital platforms in a span of one month, including the much-hyped Navarasa. How did that materialize?
I don't know how any artists are lucky enough to get such an opportunity. I feel my efforts over the years are finally bearing fruit. Thittam Irandu, as a film, was appreciated and I was happy; I had tried Kumbakonam dialect in the film. I had done a lot of homework for my role in Boomika and I'm content with the way people are noticing it. It was through Rathindran Prasad, the director of Boomika, that I got the opportunity to work in Navarasa. Inmai, the segment in which I played the role, had him at the helm. He said he can't think of another actor to play my role, which was highly motivating, to say the least.
What are the criteria with which you choose characters?
I strongly believe that an actor should be part of successful films irrespective of his or her screen time in it. The efforts you put in a film will go wasted if the project goes unnoticed. I ensure that the films I choose to work have high chances of clicking at the box office or impressing the critics. It is not that easy to land interesting roles. After playing the character, Viji, in Madras, I received offers from many to portray a similar character. I said no to all such offers. I would like to experiment humour on screen. Until Magalir Mattum happened, many didn't know that I could pull off emotional scenes. Similarly, Peranbu discovered another dimension of me. I choose projects in such a way that several years later, my grandchild should be proud of what I have done.
You made your entry into filmdom with an ambition to direct a film. When can we expect your second directorial project?
I was overwhelmed with the response my directorial debut, V1 Murder Case, received on Amazon Prime Video. I'm not in a hurry to direct another film. I want to touch another genre next and I will start the project only if the story pushes me to make it. It doesn't matter even it takes many years.
You also tried hands at dubbing for a few projects. What made you do that?
When I was approached to dub for the protagonist in Zee5's Auto Shankar, I felt it was a good offer. Later, I dubbed for Nerkonda Paarvai, which fetched me a role in the same team's Valimai. I took up the offer to dub for the Tamil version of Jallikattu as I found it interesting. I'm choosy when it comes to dubbing offers, too.
What are your upcoming projects?
I have Valimai and Taanaakaran up for release. Unfortunately, I'm not at liberty to talk much about these movies. I'm in search of doing something different and challenging. The reason I love my profession is that it offers ample scope to explore new things and new places apart from the opportunity to get into the shoes of some of the characters who you are familiar with and a few you aren't familiar with. That's the beauty of being an artist.