My Female Avatar Is Not Vulgar Or Suggestive: Sivakarthikeyan 

Remo has generated enough hype to be declared a hit even before its release next Friday.

5 min read
Hindi Female

Tamil standup-comedian-turned- actor Sivakarthikeyan, who made his screen debut with the hit Marina in 2012, has established himself among the front runners of Tamil cinema in no time. His new film Remo, where he impersonates a woman, has generated enough hype to be declared a hit even before its release next Friday.

We caught up with Sivakarthikeyan on what it means to play a woman.


Just days away from release, how does it feel?

Sivakarthikeyan: I feel nervous because I haven’t played a woman before. We made sure that my female avatar was not in the least vulgar or suggestive. When the director Bakkiyaraj Kannan came to me, we were very sure I won’t do things that other actors playing women are made to do, like opening my dress and all that . The maximum disrobing I was willing to do on screen was to remove my wig.

Is that safe enough?

S: Yes, I wanted this character to be cute, not sexy. Everyone should love her for being naughty. My role model while playing this woman was Jerry Seinfeld, who does so many impersonations and all are endearing.

So what was your ultimate aim while playing a woman in Remo?

S: I don’t want audiences to remember this woman in Remo as someone a male actor played. I want her to be seen as an individual personality whom everyone likes. Hence we created a woman completely devoid of vulgarity and hopefully possessing lots of dignity and grace.

Remo has generated enough hype to be declared a hit even before its release next Friday.
Sivakarthikeyan plays a man who disguises himself as a nurse in Remo.

In fact your Remo act reminded me of Kamal Haasan in Avvai Shanmughi.

S: That’s a huge compliment. I hope I can live up to such expectations.


Sound designer Resul Pookutty says you decided to speak in your own voice and not get an actual woman to speak for you.

S: That’s right. I am not actually a woman in the film. The audience will know from the start that this guy is disguised as a woman. So we were not very keen on using an actual feminine voice. That wouldn’t have been fair. I thought if a woman speaks for me, the audience will disconnect from the character.

So you dubbed your own lines as a woman?

S: Yes. Resul Sir helped me get the intonations right. It was very tough, specially when my heroine gets to know I am a woman.

Remo has generated enough hype to be declared a hit even before its release next Friday.
Sivakarthikeyan says his impersonation of a woman in Remo has nothing vulgar about it.

Have you modelled your look on any female friend or relative?

S: No, it’s from the imagination. We tried close to eight looks, with different dresses, wigs and make-up. Finally, we zeroed in on the look that you see in the film. As I said, we wanted the female to be cute. Not vulgar. The face and hand and chest had to be very smooth.

So you had to wax your body?

S: Yes, and believe me it was the most painful experience of my life. I used to take four-and-a-half hours every day to get ready and two-and-half hours after shooting to get out of the make-up. I worked 15 hours a day. But all the pain is finally worth it. Because we all feel the nurse I play in Remo will be a friend to young girls, daughter to older women and an aunty to kids.


What have you taken away from the film?

S: A lot of respect for women. From dressing up to getting waxed… I wept when I had to be waxed. It hurt. I also had to stop gyming for six months and lost nine kilos, so that when I wore the dress my shoulders didn’t protrude. I didn’t want to look macho. Only then could I get into the female clothes. As it is, I am tall.

Quite a challenge to look like a woman?

S: I saw it as a chance to create a new character. I wasn’t stressed about it. Every day was a learning experience. I am lucky and blessed to get this role.

Remo has generated enough hype to be declared a hit even before its release next Friday.
Keerthy Suresh stars with Sivakarthikeyan in Remo.

So what will you do if after Remo you are offered more female roles?

S: Ha! Maybe do male leads in Tamil and female leads in Telugu and other languages. What do you think, Sir?

Perfect. What are the release plans?

S: We are releasing in Tamil on October 7. But we are holding back the dubbed Telugu version for a later release, as there are several big Telugu films on that day. And we’re also looking at a Hindi version.

You think it will work in Hindi?

S: Sir, forget about me playing a woman. Remo is about love. And love works in every language. It’s about love, how women think of it and how it actually is. My character of the nurse also offers gyan on how a woman should choose a partner. I hope at least some girls take away some gyan from the film.


Remo has generated enough hype to be declared a hit even before its release next Friday.
Sivakarthikeyan in a still from the film. 

Interestingly, all your nine Tamil films so far have been hits.

S: In Tamil cinema I’ve the audience’s blessings. They’ve loved most of my films so far. My films are very simple and close to the younger audience. It started when I did a film called Ethir Neechal. Also , kids love the songs that I sing. In fact we’ve a very important child character in Remo, and a song about kids.We plan to pitch the film to children.

Have you zeroed in on your next project?

S: I am starting a new film on the day after Remo releases. It is being made by Mohan Raja. For the first time I’ll have a serious role in a film that raises a social issue.

So this is aimed at a slightly older audience?

S: No, actually the message in this film too is for children. It’s a motivational film. The director’s last film Thani Oruvan was also very inspiring.

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Topics:  Tamil Cinema   Sivakarthikeyan 

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