Director Mani Nagaraj says composer-actor GV Prakash Kumar didn't struggle as an actor in the forthcoming Tamil campus thriller Pencil, which was originally supposed to mark his acting debut.
"On the sets, it took him just 4-5 days to get a hang of things but he never showed any signs of struggle to act. I think he found it really comfortable to act because he was apt for the role, which is why I approached him in the first place," Nagaraj told IANS.
Prakash initially was hesitant to act. It took some persuasion to finally make him don the greasepaint.
"I've known him for a long time. I wanted a new face for the film because the role demanded it. When I approached Prakash, he wasn't really interested because he was happy composing music. But I explained to him how he was perfect for the role, be it appearance wise or age wise," he said.
Predominantly shot in a school campus, the film throws the spotlight on commercialization of education system, with a thriller backdrop.
The debutant director admits shooting in a school campus was very challenging.
"The challenge was to ensure the audiences don't get bored watching the same building and students in school uniform throughout the film. And we achieved that with the help of visuals. We didn't use even one lengthy shot, instead we used as many multiple shots and also kept each scene as short as possible," he said.
The film's ensemble cast also helped Nagaraj overcome the challenge of monotony in the visuals.
"With the help of the multi-starrer cast featuring VTV Ganesh, Urvashi and Rahman, we could shift scenes between the lead cast and the supporting cast. We also included some humour to cater to everybody," he added.
Pencil was supposed to release last year, but the long delay has worked in the director's favour.
"I might have lost three years on this project. However, in this interim, Prakash's market has grown phenomenally thanks to his back-to-back hits. We had signed Sri Divya right after her first Tamil release. She's also quite popular now. I think this long wait was worth it from the commercial standpoint," he said.