Director Rajesh M, who has worked with actor-comedian Santhanam in five of his back-to-back films, says he missed collaborating with him in forthcoming Tamil comedy “Kadavul Irukan Kumaru”.

“All of us, including G.V. Prakash and RJ Balaji missed him a lot. He’s a very dear friend and when he expressed interest to graduate to hero roles after playing a comedian for over a decade, I respected his decision. Moreover, I felt he can’t handle playing a hero and a comedian at the same time,” Rajesh told IANS.

Santhanam, who is now busy as a hero with four projects, played a key role in three of the biggest hits in Rajesh’s career.

Asked if he has any plans of collaborating with hero Santhanam, he said: “He was ready to play the comedian’s part in ‘Kadavul Irukan Kumaru’, but I felt he deserves to be treated as a hero, especially after creating a certain image. He has proved himself as a hero commercially, and I will definitely work with soon.”

Known for mostly playing the hero’s friend in Rajesh’s film so far, Santhanam’s place has been filled by RJ Balaji in “Kadavul Irukan Kumaru”.

Rajesh, however, doesn’t see Balaji as a replacement to Santhanam.

“Balaji was not roped in as a replacement to Santhanam. I really liked Balaji’s role in ‘Naanum Rowdy Dhaan’, and I believe ‘Kadavul Irukan Kumaru’ will take him to the next level,” he said.

Talking about the film, Rajesh clarified that it is not entirely a road movie.

“I was aware that if I make a full-length road film, I’ll be limiting the audience base of my film. However, there’s a road episode in the film and it features a spectacular chase sequence too. With ‘Kadavul Irukan Kumaru’, I believe I have tapped into a new commercial space. If it clicks, it will usher in a new kind of films,” he explained.

Composer-turned-actor G.V Prakash Kumar plays the lead in “Kadavul Irukan Kumaru”, and Rajesh is all praise for the promising talent.

“His performance in ‘Trisha Illana Nayanthara’ caught my attention and I decided to work with him. I was convinced he would be apt for my script and he also expressed interest to collaborate when I narrated it to him,” he said.

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