Self ‘made’ actor: John kalippilanu

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | PRIYA SREEKUMAR
Published Aug 2, 2016, 12:10 am IST
Updated Aug 2, 2016, 7:09 am IST
John Kaippallil will be seen in a negative role in Ann Maria Kalippilanu
John Kaippallil
 John Kaippallil

What do you need in an industry known to be exacting and unforgiving; where one misstep or wrong debut can sound the death knell? Oodles of determination, the ability to be patient and willingness to fight it out till the end. John Kaippallil is seeing his dreams turn into reality after a wait for six long years through a good role in the film Ann Maria Kalippilaanu. In the interim, the Mechanical engineer shifted base to Kochi, worked at the Cochin Shipyard and did modelling.

The offer of AMK has John all excited. Though director Midhun Manuel Thomas is his friend, John had to go through two auditions to land the role of the main villain David, a PT Instructor. John says, “This was a role which was supposed to be done by award-winning actor Sudev Nair so I could comprehend the importance of the role in the film.

 

Midhun very frankly told me in the beginning itself that I would have to go through an audition and only if he thought I was apt for the role, would he cast me.” John considers Midhun as his mentor besides being a friend.   Some in the audience would recount John’s character Imtiaz in the film Thattathin Marayathu. He also played the role of Ajith’s subordinate Jebin Joseph in the Tamil film Yennai Arindhaal . John cherishes his close friendship with Vineeth Sreenivasan.

Recounting his journey, the strapping John explains, “I had always wanted to be in films and so after my engineering, I came to Kochi and joined the Cochin Shipyard because I knew film offers did not come on a platter. I did not know anything about drama or dance but knew that I had a good physique which could help me be a model. So I did modelling assignments besides my job.” John got a lot of modelling work besides walking the ramp at major Fashion weeks in Kochi, Chennai, Coimbatore and Hyderabad.

The path to tinsel town from modelling has not been a leisurely stroll through the park.  John had to completely overhaul himself to gain a ticket to filmdom. John explains, “I was also auditioning for roles in between but was told that I did not have a Mallu physique but that my six pack and build was more suited for Telugu or Tamil films. At that point I had also reached my saturation point in modelling so I decided to stop going to the gym. I enrolled at the Lokadharmi theatre and started kickboxing and kalari to ensure a leaner build. Mollywood requires certain kind of physique and it hurts when people said I would be better off in Telugu where as I want to do films in my mother tongue.” He has also signed for a Tamil project starring Vikram besides considering other Malayalam projects.

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