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Pyaar Prema Kaadhal (PPK) is Kollywood’s new romantic success story. Directed by Elan and starring Harish Kalyan and Raiza in the lead roles, this Yuvan Shankar Raja musical is a hit among the youth and the college crowd. After a modest opening on Friday, the film grew quickly over the weekend and is still holding strong at the TN box-office. After toughing it out in the eight years since his debut film Sindhu Samaveli, Harish is understandably thrilled with his newfound success.

“Success has been a long-time dream. I’ve been around for quite some time. Some of my films got good reviews but couldn’t strike the right note at the box-office. Now I can’t express the feeling of PPK having worked in such a big way. It’s like a vindication for all my efforts. Along with the resulting happiness and excitement, this success also acts as motivation for me to do even better in my upcoming films. It’s very important for my career,” he said.

Harish and the film’s crew watched many shows of the film over the weekend. “We went to all kinds of theatres – from Kolathur Ganga to Sathyam to the massive Devi Paradise. The response was great and we kept craving that feeling. The crowd’s applause is actually like a happy drug. I thank the youth for their acceptance of our film. I want to keep watching it with them a few more times.”

Praising Raiza for her convincing debut performance, Harish spoke about the chemistry he shared with her.

“With a lot of hard work and conscious effort, Raiza pulled off her part well. She comes from a modelling background, and cinema was a new avenue for her. I feel that she is blessed and lucky to get this sort of debut success, which is far-reaching and universal with respect to its audience appeal. I’m happy for her and she deserves all the positive reviews and comments that she is getting,” he said.

He also detailed the work that went into the film’s intimate sequences. “We had prior workshops and rehearsals where we focused on getting the emotions right. We didn’t want the intimate scenes to look too choreographed and artificial. These scenes were a key factor in deciding whether our chemistry would click on screen. They were tricky and challenging, but we made it mutually comfortable for each other and didn’t have any hesitation or doubts before the camera. It feels good that our pairing has clicked. If we get a good director and an appropriate script, we could definitely pair up again.”

So will Harish eventually get into the mass masala action entertainer space like other young Tamil heroes before him or will he stick to playing romantic roles?

“For now, I intend to travel within the romance genre with some variations in my characters, and make sure that it doesn’t become repetitive for the viewers. A good love story set against a college backdrop is something that I really want to do. I don’t see anything wrong with the inclusion of some heroic elements and action scenes, but I definitely won’t be doing full-blown commercial action masala films anytime soon.”

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Harish picks Minnale, Kadhalan and his all-time favourite Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya as the Tamil romance films he loves. “I also enjoyed the love stories made in the early stages of SRK’s career. His mannerisms and style were something I wanted to incorporate in my work too.”

Harish, a self-confessed STR fan, shared the advice that his idol gave him. “STR anna saw the film on Saturday. He told me that I’ve nailed it. He is extremely happy for me as he knows all the effort that I’ve put in over the years. He liked Elan’s direction and felt that Yuvan sir’s music was ‘marana mass’. He also advised me to not forget the path that I’ve taken to get here, and to stay rooted. I’m very happy with the feedback from all my industry well-wishers and friends.”

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