With his unconventional looks, Sardar Satya made a mark for himself as an actor in his Kannada debut film Aa Dinagalu (Those Days, 2007).
Thereafter, he went on to act in dozens of movies but with very little success until his latest Tamil venture Viduthalai Part 1 (Liberation Part 1, 2023), directed by Vetrimaaran.
He credits the director for this lifetime of an opportunity and also dubs it his “rebirth as an actor”.
In an exclusive interview with South First, Sardar Satya talks about his journey as an actor and television producer, his role in Viduthalai Part 1 and upcoming ventures.
Viduthalai Part 2 shooting
Satya says he shot Viduthalai Part 1 in 148 days. However, the entire process of the film took at least two years before it hit the screens.
“I will be heading for the shooting of Viduthalai Part 2 this month-end. While more than 50 percent of the shoot for the second part is already over, my role as a police officer — one of the pivotal roles — has at least another 80 days of shoot,” he explained.
“It’s a rebirth given to me by Vetrimaaran. Ever since the release of Viduthalai Part 1, I have been getting a lot of calls and opportunities, including from the Kannada film industry. However, I’m preparing myself for the sequel. Here, it will be finally revealed as to why my character is both good and bad,” he added.
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Vetrimaaran’s magical touch
Sardar Satya noted that the output of his character in Viduthalai Part 1 is because of everyone’s cooperation.
“It is simply due to the magical touch of Vetrimaaran. Moreover, he is a good actor, too. He understands the pulse of an actor and gets what he exactly wants from an actor, as per his directorial vision.”
Satya believes that Vetrimaaran’s sensibility helps an actor perform brilliantly.
“He is a dream to work with as he facilitates his actors to work accordingly. Any great actor would love to work under him. Vetrimaaran doesn’t hesitate to ask his actors, be it me or Vijay Sethupathi, for a retake until he is satisfied with the output,” he pointed out.
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The actor elucidated that Vetrimaaran, unlike other filmmakers, asks actors to not let go of any good projects. “It is quite the opposite of what other filmmakers would do — put restrictions from signing another project. He would ask us to let him know and he would schedule shooting accordingly,” Sarday Satya added.
The actor recently completed the shooting of a Kannada film titled Psychic. The makers are planning to release it in Tamil and Telugu, too.
Speaking about his role, Satya said: “My role in Psychic has dual shades and is about a psycho killer. Right now, the movie is in the post-production stage. My first responsibility is Viduthalai Part 2.”
Sardar Satya along with his better half Nirmala Channappa produced over 1,500 episodes of multiple TV programmes under his production house Sai Nirmala Productions. “Padmavathi” and “Kannadada Kogile” are among the popular TV programmes that have been produced by the banner.
The actor says he has two dreams. “One is to be a good (quality) actor. I’m not talking about becoming a star. I just want to give my best to every role — be it a protagonist or an antagonist. The other dream is to produce content-based movies that propagate humanity and have social messages.”
The actor-producer is bankrolling a Tamil movie featuring Samuthirakani in the lead.
“My wife Nirmala, who is also an artist, will play the female lead in it. The movie is directed by Manimaaran, the co-director of Vetrimaaran.,” he said.
Love for culture and language
A native of Chamarajanagar in Karnataka, Sardar Satya knows and speaks Tamil really well.
“I can speak Tamil fluently and I can speak four other languages — Telugu, Malayalam, English and my mother tongue Kannada. I could do so because I love and respect different cultures, which makes it easy for me to learn different languages. I believe that when we love doing something, it automatically becomes easy to perform,” he said.
The actor ran from pillar to post in his initial days looking for work.
“Now, that I am part of a blockbuster project doesn’t mean that I am restricted to only certain characters and roles. As an actor, I’m open to all kinds of roles,” Sardar Satya signed off.