Call it beginner’s luck or just being at the right place at the right time. Whatever be the reason, Texas-based Giju John sure has all his stars aligned the right way. How else can you explain his debut in the Prithviraj-Rahman starrer Ranam-Detriot Crossing when he was least expecting it? Giju grew up wanting to be a musician or in his words a ‘popstar’. Music was all that he dreamt of and he even learnt classical music. Later, that passion branched out to include dance. He learnt salsa and the other Latin American dances, even turning into a professional salsa dancer before acting and dancing in a Latin-Indo dance genre music video. “That was my first exposure as an actor in front of the camera and I thoroughly enjoyed acting,” he says. With that exposure, he decided to take up acting a little more seriously. Wait; there is another chapter that has been left out. Giju is also a producer as he reveals, “I have produced a number of Indie films including a Hindi web series for Netflix.” It was this stint as a
producer that finally paved the way for him to turn into an actor.
Giju continues, “One of the key assistant producers for the web series was working for Ranam and he informed me that there were two roles that I could try my hand at. I was apprised of the brief and also told that the shoot would be held in the US. By that time I had decided to take up acting and luckily for me, the director Nirmal Sahadev and I had some mutual friends. So I asked Nirmal if I could audition for the role of a cop. Nirmal warned me that if I was not up to the mark, he would have no qualms in telling me so.”
Luckily for Giju, Nirmal liked the audition and so did Prithviraj and he was in. Giju plays an investigative officer Ahmad Sid who comes to Detroit to investigate the drug cartel. He also happens to be Isha Talwar’s ex-love. Giju has a prominent role to play in the film.
Working in Ranam was an amazing experience for Giju who had watched Malayalam films and counted the late Rajesh Pillai as a very close friend since they were childhood buddies. He also understood the mechanics of shooting a film in the US.
“The whole shoot was streamlined and nowhere was there any problem of a crowd obstructing the shooting, which ensured that creative spaces were respected,” he explains. Though he did not have too many combination scenes with Prithviraj or Rahman, what he took away was a wealth of learning experience. “I got to see them perform and see how they approached cinema. Nirmal too was a revelation in terms of being a professional who got things done,” he says. He cites an example, “There is this shooting that happens inside a train and there were a lot of restrictions viz a viz getting the required permissions but the team managed and make it happen. The good part was that as an actor I got to observe and learn. As a producer, I learnt the difficulties of making a big budget film,” he says. By the way, Giju has a full-time job as an engineer in Intel and is pursuing other film offers....