He was a man without a moustache or a beard — nothing like the Pappan Sir of Philips And The Monkey Pen, or the SI George of Honey Bee or Jayakrishnan of Escape From Uganda. Vijay Babu was a serious media person, a marketing guy working for different television networks in different parts of the country and abroad, as well as an entrepreneur. In his 16 years in the media, he has headed Asianet from the Middle East, become the COO for Asianet Sithara in Hyderabad, and was the vice president for Soorya. When he felt that there was nothing more left for him to do in his field — which he calls as a creative block — he stepped out and walked into the world of cinema — one he had always watched from near and far... And fell in love with it. Vijay Babu became a producer, and now, he’s an ace actor.
“I have closely interacted with the film industry, mostly buying movies for Soorya TV, in my days as a vice president. My day-to-day interactions made me an integral part of the industry. A lot of movies happened through me, because I would recommend to buy its satellite rights not based on the stars acting in it but on the basis of the script,” says Vijay Babu. Some of those interactions brought him offers to act.
It was V.K. Prakash who first put his face in front of a camera. “I acted as Vijay Babu in 3 Kings.” Next, his friend Aashiq Abu came and cast him in a comical role — as Benny in 22 Female Kottayam. “It was an image breaker because I am a serious person in life and he made me do a joker’s role!” he laughs. But his first shot came alright and he knew he was on the right track.
Vijay first became a ‘weekend actor’, before quitting his job to pursue acting more seriously. One of the roles that came his way then was in Lal Jose’s Ayalum Njanum Thammil. The director later called him and asked if he was interested to act again in his movie, but this time as the central character. “I weighed 95 kilos and looked like a panni kutty (piglet). He said I should reduce my weight and grow a moustache and beard, and that he would shoot the movie in one-and-a-half years.”
Vijay continued acting in the months that followed. His next role is in the film 'Peruchazhi' with Mohanlal, a man he adores a lot. And for Lal Jose, Vijay has shed 20 kilos, and is now ready to be a hero....