Exclusive! Ace stylist Neeraja Kona talks about styling Vijay in ‘Mersal’ and working with director Atlee

Directed by Atlee, Mersal will have Vijay in three different roles – a village head, a doctor and a magician.

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Vijay’s ‘Mersal’ is currently the focal point in Tamil film circles with the release just one day away. Making the Diwali festivities more exciting, ‘Mersal’ is hitting the screens tomorrow, October 18th, 2017 worldwide and will be the most watched out for film in South Indian film circles. Directed by Atlee, ‘Mersal’ will have actor Vijay in three different roles – a village head, a doctor and a magician. As shown in the teasers, Thalapathy Vijay seems to have essayed all the roles effortlessly and with poise. But one character that seems to stand out amongst the three is the village head. Set in the 70s, Vijay is seen sporting a traditional ‘Veshti’, rudraksha and a stylish moustache. Much is being talked about Vijay’s look as the village head and the credit needs to go to the person who designed that look – stylist Neeraja Kona. We got in touch with Neeraja and she revealed few interesting things about the film and actor Vijay.

In an exclusive chat with Pinkvilla South, Neeraja kona speaks about Vijay and Nithya’s look in ‘Mersal’, director Atlee and her experience of working on the film. Here are few excerpts from the interview:

You are working with Vijay for the first time. How was it working with him?

Vijay is the most down to earth person I have ever met. I was so nervous and excited initially to work with him, and all my apprehensions were gone the minute I met him. He treats everyone, from a light boy to the director, equally. He knows how to strike the balance between stardom and the actor in him while on sets. He feels he is part of the team and not bigger than anyone on the team. That’s a brilliant thing about him. And that makes him so special.

We did couple of look tests with proper setup and with lots of patience, Vijay sir tried everything we wanted him to. When we were trying everything, and checking the looks on him, not once did he object to it. He is someone whose voice doesn’t go up at all. He is so cool, calm and composed all the time.

Nithya Menen’s look in Mersal is amazing and is catching everyone’s attention.

This will be one of the best looks of Nithya in her career. She carries her sarees so well. Given the role of a head-strong women in the film, the look was supposed to portray that and hence we used the bindi, the kajal and other things. And Nithya carried it off amazingly well. Her role needed to have a combination of North and South in the film.

Vijay and Nithya Menen in ‘Mersal’

 

SJ Suryah looks stylish in Mersal and fans of the actor seem very excited.

His look didn’t have to look like a villain but it was his nature that had to be fierce. SJ Suryah is just brillaint. We had to do two looks for SJ Suryah – a younger one and an older one. He carried it off both of these with a lot of style and effortlessly. And I think it comes naturally to him. His character will be the major highlight in ‘Mersal’. We tried a three-layered jacked and few other things which he probably would have never tried in any other film. And on the contrary, off the camera, SJ Suryah sir is so not like that. He is just normally dressed. The credit needs to go to Atlee, for designing his character like that.

Vijay’s moustache – Whose idea was it?

The idea was a bit of everybody. When started doing the look tests, everyone started chipping in with ideas. All that helped and that’s how the final look was decided.

My Twitter is going crazy with the kind of pictures I’m getting tagged by fans who are posting with the moustache look of Vijay. And it’s not just the moustache. Fans are dressing up in the ‘veshti’ and the colourful shirt, which is the look of Vijay sir in ‘Mersal’. It is so cool actually.

Vijay in ‘Mersal’

Director Atlee – Tell us about your experience of working with him:

I watched ‘Raja Rani’ and was completely floored by the film. And I didn’t know that it was Atlee who had directed it till the time I watched the film. The movie had such an impact on me that I called up Samantha and told her, if she ever gets to work with him, I need to be on that film. And when she was working with him on ‘Theri’, I was pregnant and couldn’t do it. And when I came back from the US after my delivery, the first film I got was this. I couldn’t have asked for a better combination of Atlee and Vijay. Atlee is someone who believes that age doesn’t matter. It is amazing how much knowledge this person has. He is a complete package. There is something about him and I’m sure he will go very long way.

Neeraja Kona with ‘Mersal’ director Atlee

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