Dhanush recalls: “(As a 16-year-old) I was forced into acting by my father. I was not qualified to be an actor and my heart was into so many other things. I never expected I could come this far. It does surprise me.”
He made his acting debut in 2002 Tamil film Thulluvatho Ilamai, directed by his father Kasthuri Raja.
His second film, Kadhal Kondein, which released a year later, was helmed by his brother Selvaraghavan.
“I was like raw iron. My father and my brother moulded me and I still don’t know what they identified in me which I couldn’t figure out myself. People who identify their calling are lucky. In my case, I consider myself blessed because my calling identified me,” Dhanush said.
Dhanush has since evolved not just as an actor but has successfully donned multiple hats as a writer, singer and director as well.
Coming from a family of writers and directors, he says it was natural he took a liking to writing.
“I have been writing for over a decade but initially most of my work was immature. I learnt the craft as I started working with different directors. It was in 2010-11 that I took writing seriously and focused on full-length scripts, screenplays and dialogues,” he said.
Dhanush’s passion for writing eventually paved the way for him to direct Power Paandi, which released earlier this year and did wonders at the box office.
Talking about his style of writing, he said he draws a lot of inspiration from real-life events.
“Most scenes in the first part of VIP were based on events which I saw and read about. I like the kind of writing that’s easily relatable, emotionally rooted and that’s something which easily connects with the masses. I also like to spread positivity and love through my writing in my films,” he said.
Asked who inspires him as a writer, Dhanush said: “I’m a huge fan of Rajkumar Hirani. His films send out so much positivity. It makes us believe life is positive and full of hope. Maybe that’s why you don’t find villains in his movies. The world needs positivity and Rajuji is doing his bit my spreading it through his movies.”
You could sense Dhanush really means he wants to send out positivity when he talks about the mixed reactions to VIP 2, which was criticized by a section of critics.
He views the mixed response from a positive standpoint.
“Power Paandi received rousing response from critics and audiences alike. When I could accept it, I should also have the maturity to accept the mixed reactions for VIP 2. The critics can be right sometimes and the audiences can also be right on some occasions. We need to learn to accept both,” he said.
With a bevy of Tamil projects such as Enai Noki Paayum Thota, Maari 2 and Vada Chennai in his kitty, Dhanush is looking forward to his Bollywood reunion with Anand L. Rai next year.
In 2013, Dhanush made his Hindi debut with Rai’s Raanjhanaa, which even earned him the best debut Filmfare award.
Talking about his Bollywood sojourn, he said: “I don’t plan my career and let things happen organically. I let things fall in place and then do it with all my heart. You should meet the right people at the right time. That’s how Bollywood happened.”
Did he also wait for things to fall in place for the Hollywood project The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir?
“I had turned down three Hollywood projects before this one. I was floored by the script of this film. I play a street-magician, and it’s another film that spreads a lot of positivity,” he said.