To know the Tamil superstar Vijay Sethupathi even remotely is to feel his goodness. He exudes a kind of humility and warmth that actors normally cannot muster. For this good guy to play the dark evil villain in Master was not easy.
Vijay shared his experience of playing the baddie in Master with me. “My director Lokesh Kanagraj and I had to be very careful about not making my character Bhavani’s evil look attractive. I believe it is cinema’s responsibility to not glorify evil.”
Sethupathi who plays an out-and-out villain for the first time says it’s about tapping the dark side of one’s personality. “Whether it is good or evil, it is all within all of us. It’s up to us to tap which side of our personality we want to show. I can tell you with confidence that I am not a basically good guy. But I want to be a good guy.”
What became especially worrisome was the villain’s brutality with children.
Says Sethupathi softly. “The idea of killing two kids in Master really worried me. I didn’t want to make the violence anything but disturbing for the audience. The director and I had several discussions on this. We decided not to show the actual killings of the children. We wanted to show how evil the man is.”
Villainy, says Vijay Sethupathi, is cathartic for him. “When I play a violent character it is like cleaning my house and throwing all the dirt outside.”