In love with acting
Very few have been able to carve a niche among the clan of supporting actors in Malayalam cinema where they have been an integral part of the movies as their characters work as adhesives in building up the story line. Saiju Kurup is one among them.
Sounding happy at the other end about the positive reactions to his character in the recently-released Theevandi, s receiving, Saiju says he is overwhelmed. It has been 13 years since he made his acting debut with Hariharan’s Mayookham and the actor has no qualms about the way his career has shaped up over the years. In fact, he feels that the slow and steady growth has helped him understand cinema and the actor in him. In Theevandi, Saiju portrayed Vijith, the brother-in-law of Bineesh (played by Tovino Thomas) and he says the recognition came because it was ‘very well placed’.
“The credit for the success of Theevandi goes to Fellini. Despite being a debutant director, he has treated the story very well. Each character has something to contribute to the story. I am glad that I could pull off the character according to the director’s expectation,” he states.
The actor, who is eagerly waiting for his upcoming release Padayottam that will hit the screens this weekend, reveals he had no inhibitions working with a newcomer. “Actually, I am more comfortable to work with debutants because I am much more relaxed with a new team. They are very much open to discussions and improvisations. Though the approach is same while working with senior directors, the feeling of being prompt makes me cautious and stressed out. Each movie is an experience that has helped me grow.”
The journey has been gratifying so far. “I think the positive aspect of supporting roles is that you get to do a wide range of characters. Be it the double role in Hotel California or the funny goon Arakkal Abu in Aadu series,” he laughs.
Saiju surprises by saying that he had no plans of becoming an actor when he signed up for Mayookham. “For me, acting was just a job that could give me financial security. However, it changed slowly and I started thinking about the criteria based on which the directors were approaching me. I started realising that I was getting involved in acting and that I have developed a liking to it. I can now say that cinema has become my passion and I love acting. Or else I wouldn’t have sustained 13 years in the industry.”
Currently shooting for Dileep-starrer B.Unnikrishnan movie, he recalls his metamorphosis, “Earlier, I used to be bothered only about my character. However, with time, I have started to ponder about the relevance of my character in the story and if it has a substance, I take up the role even if it is a minor one.