Saudi Vellakka director Tharun Moorthy says the film wouldn’t have happened if not for Devi Varma and Lukman Avaran
Saudi Vellakka director Tharun Moorthy has proved that he doesn’t need stars to make his films run in theatres. In fact, the filmmaker in an exclusive chat with OTTplay says that his mantra is to ensure that the characters he has written are strong on paper and that they don’t need a prominent actor to play them.
Be it his debut directorial Operation Java or Saudi Vellakka, Tharun has had a bunch of character artistes playing against their archetype in roles that they are remembered for.
Ask him what stems his conviction for the actors he has cast in his films and the filmmaker says, “I think it has a lot to do with my theatre background – how we were trained and the circumstances that we had to deal with. More than casting an actor to ensure that the film is safe, I have always believed you should cast actors so that the characters they play are in good hands. I only want my actors to ensure that their characters are convincing. That’s all I have done in Saudi Vellakka.”
The director, however, reveals that he had approached a few noted actors for Lukman’s part in Saudi Vellakka, which is streaming on Sony LIV. “But their major concern was their screen time,” he says. “I wanted an actor who could understand the importance of the character in this film and Lukman got that clearly. I told him he will be doing a cameo but the movie belongs to the characters essayed by Devi Varma and Lukman. If both of them weren’t there, this movie wouldn’t have happened. I am fortunate that I have an actor like him, who understands what’s required for a movie, in my friends circle.”
Tharun reiterates that he and his team put in a lot of effort to ensure that the script of the movie has enough depth. “If the characters that we have written are weak, then we would look at prominent actors to make sure that the movie is safe. But I know that my characters are strong. My script will always be strong on paper. That’s the kind of effort we put in before going into production,” he concludes.