My first shot: call it lucky charm, my movies have some reference to light, says SJ Suryah

I am a former student of Loyola College, and during my college days, I used to frequent shooting sites in the hopes of getting landing offers. During one of those days, I had the opportunity to act in Nethiyadi.

The team was shooting in Kovur, near Porur, it was a place that was happening in those days, and that's where I made my first shot as a junior artist. It was the scene where Pandiarajan and Amala come to town to light the kuthuvilakku to build a five-star hotel. I even had a dialogue on the scene - ‘Vishayam theriyadha? Idhula dhaan Tiruvannamalai deepathaye yethi vechangalam. Call it coincidence or my lucky charm, I have some scenes or songs related to light in all my films. Later, Mr. Vasanth also renamed me Suryah.

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Acting was always part of the plan, but directing was not. But when Vaali It happened, it was special for me. The first shot I composed for the movie was the one where the phone rings inside a house; we filmed it in the upper angle and deployed it to show Ajith together with him. We filmed it in a bungalow on Boat Club Road. We had made all the arrangements and just the day before we started filming, the owner of the house told me that he could not rent it the next day because some of his relatives were visiting him. I was terrified, and no amount of cheating worked. He had planned everything to the smallest detail and was very worried. I even told him that I would book a five-star hotel the next day for his family, but he didn't move.

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Finally, I said: ‘Lord, naalaikku neenga kadhava thorakkum bodhu, ethirla irukkara marathula orutharu thonguvaru. Adhu naan dhaan. I was stunned, thinking of yaaruya ivan, thookula thonguvengran, and understood how much it meant for me to shoot there the next day. He was a man with a good heart and agreed to let us roll, not for money, but only because he understood how our team had worked so hard and had so much hope put into the movie. He didn't ask me who the hero was or what company was producing the movie. He still has a special place in my heart.