Press Release by Amala Paul,
I am writing out of my great disappointment, as I have been thrown out of an ongoing movie, tentatively titled as ‘VSP33’, stating a simple statement by the production that ‘I am not production-friendly’.
This statement has put me in great introspection whether I have been supportive or unsupportive to the production houses in my career?
This accusation has never been laid upon me during my decade-long career by any of my colleagues, peers, or acquaintances in the film fraternity. I can recall, rather vividly, I have in fact lent my support to all my production houses whenever such a situation arose.
For example, for the movie Bhaskar Oru Rascal I had to let go of a part of my agreed salary and in fact, had to lend money to the producer when he couldn’t meet his financial obligations at the time of the movie’s release. Also, I chose to never file a legal complaint asking to settle my salary or loan, rather I decided to let go of it, as I am aware that the producer had made a loss.
When it comes to another upcoming release of mine ‘Adho Andha Paravai Poley’, my accommodation was in a humble village home. An alternative and a better accommodation in the city would have incurred loss of time and money to the already strict-budgeted movie. We shot heavy action scenes extensively for multiple days and nights in a row. Even after suffering a ligament tear I shot for 5 more hours than agreed upon earlier, just to not let the money spent for the location and crew go for a waste. On the last day of shoot I bore the expenses of one full day’s shoot so that the quality of the film is not compromised.
For Aadai – I agreed to work with the production on a lower salary cum profit share basis and finished the entire film just with the advance amount. Until now, I have only pushed the production to prioritise in bringing the movie at it’s best form and put my needs as the last priority. Even though it is tough on my side, financially, I am focusing on doing only one movie at a time in order to quench my quest to make quality cinema.
I am in Bombay now purchasing clothes and working on the styling for VSP33 bearing the cost of my travel and accommodation by myself, as Chandaraa production always mewls about their budget issues. Out of the blue the producer, Mr. Rathienavelu Kumar, sends me a message stating that he doesn’t want me in the film as my demands and terms doesn’t suit Chandaraa Arts’ project. Only to discover that he is referring to the demand of an accommodation in Ooty. Anyhow, he never bothered to call me before making his conclusions and hastily decided to throw me out of an ongoing project.
This brouhaha doesn’t make sense to me. The only thing that sounds vaguely plausible is that he took this decision after the release of ‘Aadai” teaser.
It’s just a patriarchal, egoistic, traditional mindset of Chandaraa Arts Production that this is happening right after the release of Aadai teaser and my image is being sabotaged with multiple baseless rumours that are mischievously being floated around in the industry.
I am an actor with a ‘give-it-all’ attitude. I strive to do justice to my roles and I will continue doing so for the years to come. It is disappointing that these pseudo cinema punters write off an actor’s emotional investment as though it means nothing; don’t even get me started on the physical and financial efforts that are put in by an actor right from the word ‘go’.
TamilNadu deserves good cinema and that will only happen when this large set of traditional, patriarchal production houses change their mindset. Gone are the days where only run-of-the-mill films basked in the limelight. Today, there’s been a paradigm shift and content has come out victorious passing multiple litmus tests and blazing furnaces. It’s time someone stood up and I am ready to face this behemoth issue that’s plaguing us, just as David did Goliath.
Truthfully Yours, Amala Paul
P.S. No harm is intended to you Vijay Sethupathi. I am a huge fan and I was excitedly looking forward to be working with you. This is a statement written out of my grave disappointment and to address the rumours that are being spread around by Chandaraa Productions about my unprofessional conduct.