Suriya’s latest release, Etharkkum Thunindhavan, has received widespread acclaim from audiences. But amidst the overwhelming reactions from movie buffs, it’s his children’s reactions that made the film and its success even more special for Suriya. The actor watched Etharkkum Thunindhavan at the theater with his son Dev and daughter Diya.
“They considered Etharkkum Thunindhavan to be on par with Jai Bhim and Soorarai Pottru because an important conversation took place there. They couldn’t write it off as another action movie. They didn’t say, “Oh, we’ve seen you do it before” or “We’ve seen you before as an angry young man,” Suriya said, adding, “With this film, I was very happy that my daughter and I had a good conversation about it. My son was able to dissect it and say, “I didn’t expect the hero to go through that” or “I didn’t expect the climax to be like this.” So I was glad that, even though ET a commercial film, my 11-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter could sit next to me and watch it. I’m glad they were able to learn something from it.”
Etharkkum Thunindhavan is a Pandiraj directed film. The film is Suriya’s first theatrical release in almost three years. Before Etharkkum Thunindhavan, Suriya starred in Jai Bhim (2021) and Soorarai Pottru (2020). Both films released directly on OTT were funded by the actor.
During the Twitter Spaces session, Suriya also spoke about what prompted him to become a film producer. “I thought certain films weren’t being made at all – for example, films that are about women or films that our children can see. Why should our kids only watch an animated movie or a Marvel movie or a DC movie? Why can’t we create regional content for our kids? Why can’t we talk about the young world? All of these questions made me a producer,” he said.
As the conversation continued, we asked Suriya if he thought it was important for an actor to be socially responsible.
“I think it’s so important to be a person who can make a difference. I think it has to be a part of your life as well as your work. That’s how I see it. When a film is being made about a certain topic, or when a director or writer comes up to you with a script that can start a discussion, that gives you a feeling or an intuition that is important, you jump at it . I think it’s very important to talk about social policy and what’s happening around you. It’s important to raise the bar too – in terms of content, aesthetics or the way people see a film. Aside from entertaining them (the audience), it’s important to get their attention. This film medium is a very important medium. So if you are the only star who wants to talk about Rs 100 crore or Rs 200 crore business of your film, you may not be able to be a part of such jewels or such important films. After 20 years in the industry I think you want to give back to society, make important films and be part of important conversations. That’s it,” the actor said.
But is there a difference between Suriya – The Actor and Suriya – The Producer? “Somewhere the lines will merge,” he concluded.
Suriya and the Etharkkum Thunindhavan team spoke to indianexpress.com during a Twitter Spaces session organized by Sun Pictures.