T. Jeba Jones and S Rajarathnam of J4 Studios are producing a film titled ‘Mr. Zoo Keeper’, which is directed by J. Suresh, featuring ‘Cook with Comali’ fame Pugazh in the lead. A commercial entertainer, the story of this movie revolves around an ordinary man’s attempt to save a tiger. Yuvan Shankar Raja has composed music for this film.

With the film gearing up for release soon, the audio launch and press meet was held in Chennai on Wednesday (February 7), with actor Soori taking part as the chief guest. Here are some excerpts from the event.

Producer T. Jeba Jones said, “This marks the seventh film in my production. Started on a modest budget, ‘Mr. Zoo Keeper’ has now become a grand venture. We have successfully captured the essence of the film by featuring a real tiger, a spectacle never before witnessed in Tamil film industry in the recent decades. Anticipation builds as the film is set to hit the screens soon. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to my dear friend Rajarathnam for his unwavering support throughout this journey.”

Producer Rajarathnam said, “Jones expressed immense confidence as he narrated the story. Initially, there was apprehension about filming with a real tiger. But everything went well. The budget ended up being twice as much as we had initially planned. However, witnessing the final outcome of director Suresh’s efforts was truly gratifying. He dedicated himself to the project wholeheartedly, treating it as his own production. This film marks Pugazh’s debut as a lead actor, and it turned out exceptionally well. I extend my gratitude to actress Shirin Kanchwala and all the technicians for their invaluable support. A special mention goes to actor Soori for his presence and warm greetings.”

Actor Muthukaalai said, “I express my gratitude to the producer and director for including me in the film’s trailer. In this movie, I share a special connection with a cat rather than a tiger, which made my experience comfortable. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this remarkable film. I extend my heartfelt wishes for its resounding success.”

Actor Vijay Seeyon said, “I am grateful to director Suresh for giving me this wonderful opportunity. While auditioning, the director inquired if I had the courage to confront a live tiger. Without hesitation, I assured him that I would take on the challenge. A lifelong cinematic aspiration has finally materialized for me. Working alongside actor Pugazh was like a breeze, and he provided unwavering support throughout the filming process. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone involved.”

Choreographer Radhika said, “I thank Karthik sir for providing me with this wonderful opportunity. Director Suresh encountered numerous challenges while making this film. Working with a tiger during the shooting was a unique and thrilling experience. Witnessing the growth of actor Pugazh has been a delight, and it brings me immense happiness to see him evolve into a hero. I would like to express my gratitude to actor Soori for gracing this occasion and congratulating Pugazh and our entire team. I am a huge fan of his. The film has turned out exceptionally well, and I extend my thanks to both the producers. May the film achieve great success.”

Mr. Thomson said, ‘I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have gathered here to show their support for actor Pugazh. Over the past five years, Pugazh has faced numerous challenges and struggled relentlessly. There were countless days when he patiently waited at Prasad Lab, hoping for opportunities to come his way. His perseverance has paid off today. His success is a testament to his determination. Let us all wish the film great success.”

Actress Shirin Kanchwala said, “I am very happy to act in this film. My thanks to the producers and director for trusting me. Congratulations to Pugazh. I have a very good character in this movie. Thank you for your support.”

Director Suresh said, “I thank the producers very much. Soori possesses an extraordinary level of humility that is truly remarkable. This humility will undoubtedly lead him to achieve great things. Yuvan is the backbone of this film, and we have shared a friendly bond for 25 years. I narrated the story to Yuvan first and he liked it. Then I saw Pugazh’s exceptional performance on a TV show. After narrating the story to him, he expressed enthusiasm to be part of it. But finding a producer for the film proved to be a challenge. That’s when I met Jones, who immediately showed interest in kick-starting the project. And that’s how the film came to be. Pugazh wholeheartedly dedicated himself to the film, actively participating in every discussion. He even acted alongside a tiger throughout the entire movie. This experience will undoubtedly serve as a significant breakthrough for Pugazh, and the film has turned out exceptionally well. Shooting with a tiger was an incredible and unforgettable experience. Shirin, who has already gained fame as heroine, has performed very well in ‘Mr. Zoo Keeper.’ Tanveer’s brilliant cinematography has truly enhanced the overall quality of the movie. This film is a heartwarming production that avoids any form of obscenity. I extend my thanks to all of you who will undoubtedly appreciate the film.”

Actor Pugazh said, “My heartiest thanks to actor Soori for gracing this occasion. My humble thanks to Thomson sir for introducing me. Reflecting on the past, I had worked tirelessly in this very place at Prasad Lab, performing tasks such as washing cars, cleaning leftovers, and various other tasks in order to earn a living. However, today, I am overwhelmed with emotions as a movie featuring me in the lead role is having its audio launch at the same venue. The renowned Yuvan Shankar Raja has composed for this film. I had the opportunity to act alongside the actual tiger in this film. I am immensely grateful to the producers for their great support. I would also like to extend thank Shirin who believed in the story. Every individual involved in the film has put in tremendous effort. I express my gratitude to Radhika Master, the Stunt Master, and everyone else involved. I am truly grateful to Yuvan sir for composing music for me. Once again, I would like to thank everyone. The film has turned out exceptionally well. Thank you for watching and supporting the film.”

Actor Soori said, ‘I thank all those who have supported this film. The entire movie was filmed in the forest, which is no easy task. I personally understand the challenges of shooting in such a dense and unpredictable environment, as I have previously acted in a film that was shot in the forest for a duration of three years.

Many people often complain about tigers entering their living spaces and causing havoc, but the truth is that we have encroached upon their natural habitat, posing a threat to their existence. This film effectively conveys a beautiful message regarding this issue.

I am overjoyed to witness the growth and success of Pugazh, and I sincerely wish him continued triumphs in his career. The presence of Yuvan Shankar Raja sir is a significant strength for all movies, including my own film Garudan. He continues to dominate the industry and will undoubtedly do so in the future. I extend my heartfelt thanks to him.

Pugazh is a multi-talented individual, and it is delightful to see him becoming a favourite among households and families. His comedic timing is impeccable. I pray that he maintains his stature in the industry for many years to come and achieves even greater success.

Director Suresh is exceptionally talented, and I offer my congratulations to him. I sincerely hope that the film achieves tremendous success. My best wishes to the whole team.”