Ganesh played financier Mukesh, a character with shades of grey in Vijay's commercial cocktail
The year seems to have begun on a great note for Ganesh Venkatram. The actor made his first onscreen appearance in Vijay's commercial potboiler Varisu, where he played financier Mukesh, a character with shades of grey. He is currently working on an untitled project with Bhavana and has signed his next with Sai Dhanshika. This apart, he also has Sabari, Un Parvaiyil and Red Sandalwood lined up for release. The actor, who is currently on a break from the shooting schedule of his film with Bhavana, opens up to OTTplay about how 2023 looks for him.
Throwing light on the film, Ganesh says, "We just wrapped up a long schedule in Kodaikanal. It's a fun horror film. Though I have already been part of horror films like Nayagi, I would call this one a hybrid genre. Bhavana is quite a spontaneous actress and it's great working with her. She told me on the set that she has completed 20 years in the film industry. In fact, the entire team is quite lovely." The untitled project is directed by Jayadev, who had earlier helmed the 2018 thriller Pattinapakkam. The film also marks Bhavana's comeback in Tamil after a span of over a decade.
When quizzed if Varisu has been a gamechanger of sorts for Ganesh and the actor couldn't agree more. "I am glad that the year kicked off with Varisu. The film's performance has surpassed expectations. At a time when family subjects had become few and far between in Tamil cinema, it was good to see a family drama and action entertainer doing well. Varisu not only had a great reach across Tamil audiences, but Telugu as well. The film had all the ingredients for a commercial potboiler and it feels good to be part of a film made on such a large scale. Thousands of people watching you on a 70mm screen is the ultimate high for any actor.
Ask Ganesh how times he watched the film and pat comes the reply. "Oh.. multiple times. I have lost the count. Samaira is a huge fan of Vijay and we made many trips to the theatre."
Ganesh says that the film also helped break the stereotype of him as a gentleman onscreen. "The pandemic seemed to have put a reset button on all our careers. I, too, sort of wanted to start afresh. I had always played a gentleman in Tamil films and the image sort of stuck after my participation in Bigg Boss. But in Telugu, I have experimented with my characters and done negative roles as well. Maybe that's why it was a tad easier for Vamsi to see me in a negative role. When people began praising my performance, and said that all that hard work has finally paid off, I felt good.The film made people see me in a different light.
The actor had penned a long letter on his social media handle after Varisu, and had also shared his experience working with Vijay. "Vijay sir is a sweetheart and an amazing actor. The way he bonded with my family, especially Samaira, was amazing. Vijay sir never uses his phone on the set. He advised me to do the same and asked me to observe the goings-on in the set even if it was not my turn for the shoot. That helped me stay focussed and I am continuing the practice in my next projects, too."
Ganesh also has in kitty a slew of projects- psychological thriller Sabari with Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, action entertainer Red Sandalwood and Un Paarvaiyil, the adaptation of the Spanish horror thriller Julia's Eyes. "They are all in different stages of production. The post production work for Red Sandalwood is going on. As for Sabari, I am yet to dub for my portions. Un Paarvaiyil, too, will be released shortly."
In the meantime, Ganesh has signed his next project with Sai Dhanshika. It will be a drama like Jai Bhim and where both our characters are trying to help victims of travesty of justice. We will be shooting in remote villages in Telangana. The film will be released in Telugu and Tamil."