Even though he has acted in several films, it was the sitcom Marimayam aired on Mazhavil Manorama that made Niyas Backer popular among audience. In fact, the paucity of opportunities in the film world was the factor which prompted the actor to focus on mini screen. Luckily, he could make a comeback with Jayasurya-starrer Fukri, which gave him the first full-length movie role in his career which started with Bharathan’s Venkalam in 1993.
“I along with my brother (actor-mimicry artiste) Kalabhavan Nawas used to visit the location of Venkalam. We knew Bharathettan who was also from Vadakkanchery, native place of our father. He used to assign us to do some skits at the artiste’s camp of Venkalam. That was how I got a small role in the film, with one dialogue. It was a mid shot. Along with that I got some more scenes in which no one could identify my presence,” he laughs. “But as it was my first film, I could easily recognise my presence in each and every shot. Later, I acted in his Chamayam also. But it is now in Fukri that I am essaying a ful-length role for the first time,” says an excited Niyaz. The actor points out that it was just because of director Siddique that he got the role.
“Though it was my wish to act in his film, I did not go and ask him a chance. He was staying at the neighbourhood of my mother’s ancestral house. As I did not want to use that relation for a role, I did not approach him. But my performance in Marimayam and Cinema Chirima helped me bag this role. It was production controller A.D. Sreekumar who informed me that Siddique sir was planning to cast me in Fukri. Later, I understood that I had to allot around 60 days for the shoot. That became a big problem because every month I need around 15 days for the shoot of Marimayam and Kunnamkulathangadi. I told it to Siddique sir and requested for a small role which could be shot in less than 15 days, but surprisingly, he called the production controller and arranged my shoot in such a way that it did not affect my other commitments. I do not think that other director would stick to an artiste like me for a particular role. Later he told me, ‘Niyaz has not yet got a good opportunity to showcase your talent’,” he recollects.
“I had struggled a lot to get this kind of role. I had said ‘no’ to many TV shows, for films. Though my roles in Ishtam to Ordinary became famous, I did not get enough films. But on reaching the peak of struggle, I started doing shows. Now I am getting films and I want to do good ones like this. As of now, some films are under discussion and I cannot reveal more on it,” signs off Niyaz.