When he talked to Kerala Chronicle before the release of Eeda, Shane had come across as a very likable, genuine, good-looking, curly-haired, dimpled boy whose words tended to tumble over each other in their haste to express his passion for cinema. It is a little over a year since Eeda released, and Shane is all set for the release of the film Ishq opposite Ann Sheetal. The same refreshing demeanor and ready smile punctuate his words, but they no more rush out. The boy has evolved as an actor and his answers are now slow and well thought-out, but real. Like how he frankly admits to being nervous about the audience response to Ishq.
In the movie, Shane plays Sachi, a techie who represents the youth of today – their dreams, aspirations and approach to love. The film depicts the realistic ups and downs in the relationship between a pair of lovers and a married couple, against the backdrop of a social issue. Shane adds, “The lovers here have their own individualistic viewpoints and reactions.” All through the conversation with Shane, one aspect is very clear – the actor lays a high premium on being real in his reel and real lives. Ishq, he says, is a story that is genuine and more aligned to reality. “Sachi is not the epitome of goodness, but has flaws which are not justified or glossed over in any way,” he states. He also feels that the audience is now more welcoming of realistic scripts. The film has been made in a thriller format.
Eeda, Kismath, C/O Saira Banu, Parava and Kumbalangi Nights are films that stay in the minds of the audience for the depth that Shane plumbed into for his characters. Shane’s intense roles have brought him wide appreciation. “Most of the time, my roles have selected me. I do not consciously decide on taking up only certain kinds of roles. I like playing all kinds of roles. My biggest criterion is that my role has something extra that makes it stand apart from the run of the mill. Normal characterisations bore me!”
Photo – Anandapadmanabhan
Shane in a comic role – that would be different, right? He laughs. “Yes, it is something I have not attempted before. Kumbalangi would be the most light-hearted role I have done. I want to attempt comic roles if I get a chance.” He feels each role, irrespective of screen space, is a lesson learnt. He explains, “Whatever the project, all my films have taught me about different styles of filmmaking from various well-known directors which, I feel, is a blessing.”
Yes, he is blessed. In a short span of time, Shane has managed to carve a very special niche for himself in the industry. Shane candidly informs that he has never planned anything in his life other than being very serious about the medium of cinema. “Right now, I am aware of the faith that the audience have placed in me and I do not take that added responsibility lightly! I do not want to let them down.” He pauses a moment and says, “I strongly believe that the universe has guided me so far and will do so in future, too.”
Speaking of guidance, Shane takes his professional decisions all by himself. He does consult his mother and his sisters and seeks their opinion about his scripts to get a second opinion. Most of his characters have been close to his age group and so, a thought emerges. Which character was the closest to his real life? Shane thinks a moment before answering, “I cannot pinpoint one character. Bobby of Kumbalangi Nights was very chill and laidback, who has shades of me. My character in C/O Saira Banu was passionate about photography and had a special relationship with his mother, who again had shades of me. So, each character had a little bit of me in them,” he frankly says.
Director and actor Nadirshah had showered lavish praise on him for his role in Kumbalangi Nights. Shane very shyly says, “I really do not know how to handle praise and I am happy about the encouraging words that have come from such a talented person, who was also my father’s friend. It eggs me to reach higher.”
At the current rate, there seems to be no stopping the young actor whose life has changed. Kumbalangi Nights fortified his place in the industry, but he maintains that his personal life is still the same. “It is the people who perceive me differently, but I am the same. Yes, some aspects have changed. I still go out with my friends, but find an increasing lack of time to spend with them due to my projects and script-reading sessions,” he dimples.
Travel is a huge passion outside of work. Here again he emphasises “unknown, new destinations”. Music is an integral part of his life – almost like breathing. He adds, “Even on the sets, I have this pocket music player which I always listen to. I listen to all kinds of songs and feel music has helped maintain the rhythm in my life.”
Not many people are aware that Shane was offered a Bollywood film, which he could not accept because of his commitment to Kumbalangi Nights. “No regrets there at all,” he says philosophising, “What is meant for me will come back to me! The universe will give me another chance if it is destined for me.”
His upcoming films include Valiya Perunnal directed by Dimel, in which he plays a cinematic dancer for which he learnt dance from an expert in Chennai. He throws in, “I had participated in a super dancer show when I was younger, so dancing is something I enjoy.” He also has Veyil, an untitled film and many other projects in the offing. Quite a busy bee, Shane is.