Many of you are aware of Santhanam’s role in the film Siruthai. He played a thief called Kaatu Poochi in it. The character became immensely popular as did Karthi’s dialogue in the film ‘Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiyaa?”
However, not many know that the Kaatu Poochi character that Santhanam played in Siruthai was actually based on a real-life person.
The actor himself disclosed this fact during an award ceremony.
Santhanam said, “When Karthi and I turned up for the first day of Siruthai’s shooting, he looked like a devotee and I looked like a shopkeeper, owning a stall outside a temple. We had an innocent look on our faces, with our hair neatly combed and sacred ash on our foreheads. The director was stunned. It was then that he chided us. He said, ‘You guys are playing thieves in this film. I don’t need you to look this innocent. I need you to get your body language right.’
“So, both of us set out to look for thieves to learn their body language. We roamed for a couple of days before I finally found a guy called Kaatu Poochi. I roamed around with him for a few days to observe his actions and then returned to the sets to begin work on the project. We chose to retain his name for the character in the film.
“A few months later, I had the cops knocking on my door in connection with an investigation. They told my dad that I was into stealing mobiles. Apparently, Mr Kaatu Poochi, who, after having stolen a sovereign of gold and a few mobiles, had been caught by the cops. And at the station, during interrogation, he had named me as one of his friends.”
Santhanam said, “I had a tough time convincing my dad that I was not into stealing mobiles, thanks to Mr Kaatu Poochi. I don’t know if he is in prison or outside, but I wish to dedicate this award to him.”