It’s a special year for Anson Paul. His Christmas release Aadu 2, in which he plays the villainous Anali Sabu, is running to packed houses. Kala Viplavam Pranayam that will see him as a guy-next-door is gearing up for release and his Tamil rom-com with Oviya is nearing completion. But the best of all is Abrahaminte Santhathikal, in which he acts as megastar Mammootty’s brother.
Letting out an excited laugh, Anson says, “It was on New Year’s day that I met Mammookka for the first time. During the audio launch, when he called me on to the dais, it was my fanboy moment. The goosebumps lasted the whole day! For a person who grew up watching his movies and admiring his charisma, it was the best gift in the universe.” Only later did he know that it was Mammootty who suggested him for the role of his brother. The movie has Maria John playing Anson’s love interest.
Going by his makeover, Anson is no longer the sophisticated, charming guy we are used to. Sporting long hair and rugged beard, he was unrecognisable in Aadu 2. In Kala… too, he maintains the hair and beard. “But both characters are poles apart. Anali Sabu is a ruthless ruffian whereas in Kala…, I play a village simpleton for the first time. As the name suggests, there is art, politics and romance. It’s a light-hearted movie about a middle class guy,” he says. The movie has him romancing Gayathri Suresh.
When actor-producer Vijay Babu offered him Anali Sabu, Anson didn’t have to think twice.
“I was told that I was an antagonist and had to dance, but an Aadu fan myself, I immediately accepted it. Like all the characters who have a background, Sabu too has one. The name Anali, came from his habit of spitting, like the snake. He doesn’t have many dialogues. So, I had to work on my look and body language. My inspiration came from Attakathi Dinesh’s Kabali act, how he carried off the role without much dialogues.”
As he puts it, “It’s kind of fun breaking the image. If you can’t prove that you’d pull off any type of character, what’s the point in being an actor?”
His penchant for perfection is evident from how he insisted on dubbing by sporting the costumes of Anali Sabu and chewing paan. During the making of Solo, a jetlagged Anson hurriedly finished the dubbing in Malayalam and Tamil. But later, when he introspected and realised that he wasn’t ‘in character’, he requested a re-dub and went for it. “What’s the use if you can’t do justice to your character in all realms,” he asks.
Speaking from the sets of Abrahaminte Santhathikal, Anson says his body is all tired from shooting the fight scene. “But my spirit is not. I am always on the sets as a student, assisting the director and learning from legends. I haven’t committed to any other movie now. Whatever I do, I want to put my heart, soul and body into it.”
He won’t reveal much about his look or role. Hope there are more surprises in store....