For more than three years, I'd been part of a complex and frustrating dance as my nonfiction, fact-based material was translated from book to movie by scriptwriters whose visions, goals and sensibilities often were quite different from mine.
I did four movies where I gained, like, fifty pounds. I had curly hair, and I had all of this facial hair. I had put on all this weight for these movies, and I did four or five of them back-to-back. Then I cut the weight and I got fit again. I cut my beard and I took away the mustache, and people were like, 'What are you doing?'
As an actor, the ambition is to play interesting characters. And in the indie genre world, the budgets are low. That allows me, as an actor, not to have a financial value behind my name, to justify me being in these bigger parts for these types of movies.
To be fair, I don't think it's a plague to say I have the misfortune of making movies for a living.
I really like suspenseful movies and movies that make you think.
I really like 'The Three Kings' DVD. I love that movie and all the extra footage and documentaries.
I joined the Madras Christian College but dropped out after three months. Telugu music director Ramesh Naidu asked me to assist him, and I did so for over a year. I did think of rejoining college, but by then, I was discovering the musician in me. I worked with Illaya Raja and Raj Koti and soon shifted to commercials. This led to movie offers.
Music is the only passion I shamelessly indulge in. However, for recreation I enjoy watching movies. 'Wizard of Oz' was the first film I ever saw, followed by the 'Bond' movies. I also watch a lot of World cinema through DVDs mostly brought by one of my best friends who's now based in Toronto.
Compared with other Indian film composers, I only write about six movies a year. Others write up to 60.
The demand in India is to have a hit, which becomes a promotion for the movie and makes people come to the theater. You have five songs and different promotions based on those. But when I do Western films, the need for originality is greater. Then I become very conscious about the writing.