He hails from a leading political family in Tamil Nadu but is also an actor and producer. Udhayanidhi Stalin is gearing up for the release of his 13th film as the lead actor while juggling his political career expertly.
His father, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, watches every single movie of his.
From rom-coms to serious films, he proved to the audience that he can deliver. Given that his movies have been hits, it says a lot about his growing fan following as well.
Now, Udhayanidhi is trying to ensure that all his films cater to a family audience. In an exclusive chat with South First, the down-to-earth actor and MLA of Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni constituency shares about his new film and what’s next.
Q. Your last film Nenjuku Needhi was good but otherwise, some of your past films haven’t done that well…
A. Actually, director Mysskin’s Psycho did well at the box office. I have been looking out for challenging roles.
When a director comes to narrate a script, I first ask them if there is something new in it for me. I am bored of rom-coms now.
Q. How did Kalaga Thalaivan come about?
A. I was looking for a challenging script. I like director Magizh Thirumeni’s work.
I had missed out on Magizh’s Thadam and I really loved that script. This movie is a thriller and I think it’s the most violent film I have done.
Q. So, is this film better than Thadam?
A. I really like this film but I still think Thadam is a better film.
(Laughs) We started this film but because of Covid lockdowns and my political work, it got delayed.
In between, I finished shooting for Nenjuku Needhi, released it and came back to complete this film.
Q. You are up against Aarav in this film!
A. Yes, and he looks huge on screen compared to me (laughs).
He did a terrific job in this movie. I told Magizh I should have done that role because he looks so stylish on screen.
Kind yet Fierce, meet #Thiru in cinemas near you tomorrow. #KalagaThalaivanFromTomorrow @Udhaystalin #MagizhThirumeni @AgerwalNidhhi @Aravoffl @KalaiActor @anganaroy_10 @ArrolCorelli @MShenbagamoort3 #RArjunDurai @kalaignartv_off @SonyMusicSouth @teamaimpr @CtcMediaboy pic.twitter.com/ilxBcWZDCN
— Red Giant Movies (@RedGiantMovies_) November 17, 2022
Q. Have your parents seen Kalaga Thalaivan?
A. My parents saw the film on Wednesday and my father said the first half is brilliant and the second half is good. My mother liked it too.
In fact, I was shocked that my mother liked the romance portions (laughs). It’s a very mature romance between Nidhhi Agerwal and me.
Q. Have you become conscious of how you project yourself on screen now that you are a politician? Don’t you want to play a villain on screen?
A. I do tell my directors that I don’t want certain aspects like excessive violence or double-meaning dialogues. But I don’t force them to change the script.
As for playing a villain, I don’t think anyone sees me as that so no one has offered me such a role.
One of the reasons I liked Thadam was because it had a dual role and one of the brothers had shades of grey. That really attracted me.
Q. Politician, actor, producer – how are you juggling the three now?
A. As a politician-MLA, I am dedicated to the people.
During the Covid lockdowns, I focused completely on my political work and then shooting resumed.
I have teams to manage all the different aspects but I started becoming choosy about the scripts because I wanted to focus on the party work.
I thought director Mari Selvaraj’s Maamannan would be my last film but when Kamal Haasan sir offered me a project, I could not say no. That will definitely be my last film for now.
I am an MLA and DMK Youth Wing Secretary. So, I need to focus on the party work and the people.