Ganapathi is a very familiar artiste to the Malayali audience. Perhaps, he is remembered more for the scene from Vinodayathra, in which he sings the song Paalum pazhavum kaikalilenthi, which ruptured laughter in theatres. As a child artiste, Ganapathi went on to do meaty roles in movies like Chithrasalabhangalude Veedu, Pranchiyettan and the Saint, Black Butterfly etc. His graceful performances and smile have earned him a special place in audience’s hearts.
The recent release Vallikudilile Vellakkaran marked Ganapathi’s debut as hero. The movie, directed by Duglus Alfred, has him playing the lead role of Sam Joseph, and garnered good response. “The thread of the movie attracted me. When Duglus and scriptwriter Jijo came to narrate the story, I got the feeling that the movie would be a feel good family entertainer. More than being the hero, I wanted to do a good character. After listening to the script, we talked to Lal uncle and Balu about their roles and they were happy. It’s a small movie that will make you happy,” says Ganapathi.
He’s very much elated at the response he’s getting. “Finally, I am freed from the image of boy who sings Paalum pazhavum kaikalilenthi,” he laughs. “Many people complimented me saying that I’ve delivered a mature performance. People have been watching my performance for the past 10 years. It feels really good when they recognise me as a mature actor. I got accolades from the media, too, which is really a plus factor.” Considering the fact that Ganapathi has been in the movies for more than a decade, it’s natural that many think his debut as hero should have happened earlier. However, he’s very much happy with his career so far. “I think it’s a natural and steady process. I became a hero at the age of 23, which isn’t bad, right? I was fortunate to be part of some good movies and I got stable breakthroughs. I debuted as a child artiste, did some character roles and turned a hero; that’s the positive thing I see in my career. My career was not confined to being a child artiste. I was able to sustain.”
For now, Ganapathi’s priority is to do good characters and he says he’s in no hurry to take up projects. His next release will be Jeethu Joseph’s Mr and Mrs Rowdy. “I play the character of Asif Aboobaker, one of the five main characters in the movie. It’s a fun-packed movie with the second half dealing with a lot of current issues. I was initially scared as Jeethu sir is a senior director who has delivered blockbusters with superstars. But he is super friendly and the way he treats us has helped a lot in executing the character well. The characterisation is pucca and every character has its importance.”
Ganapathi’s future plans include a dream project, which is set to be directed by his brother Chidambaram. He was an assistant to major directors like Jayaraj and Rajeev Ravi. “It’s a challenging story and character. The movie will be a realistic thriller. We hope to start the shooting by next year,” he signs off....