Actor, Producer, Director
P. Samuthirakani is an Indian film actor of Sri Lankan descent and director who predominantly works in the Tamil film industry besides appearing in a number of Malayalam films. He worked as an assistant to director K Balachander. His 2009 directorial Naadodigalwas a runaway hit, which was later remade in three languages. He has acted in several films as well and is best known for his performances in Subramaniapuram, Easan (both directed by M Sasikumar), Saattai and Oppam. He won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2016 for Visaranai.
Samuthirakani studied B.Sc.(Mathematics), in Rajapalayam Rajus College, and Bachelor of Law from Ambedkar Law College, Chennai.Samuthirakani entered cinema with dreams of making it as an actor. “People said I don’t have the looks or the physique for it. I was unfazed. ‘Insults are a part of life,’ I told myself and persevered. So when did he finally get a chance to don the greasepaint? “Pandiarajan’s Padikkira Vayasu in which I had just a line to say! And to squeeze myself into the scene I had to cringe and crawl before the assistant director!” Not a tinge of self-pity! “Why at all? Slights can’t hold me back.”
In 1997, he joined as an assistant director under K Vijayan. Samuthirakani who always used to keep himself busy with work was noticed by Iyakkunar Sigaram K Balachander and was roped in as assistant director for his 100th film Parthaale Paravasam. He also got the chance to work as Balachander’s assistant in mega-serial Anni telecasted by Jaya TV. The director recalls that the work experience he gained under his mentor Balachander helped him in many ways while shooting Arasi and Selvi, the mega-serial telecasted in Sun TV, which were massive hits among housewives.