“Yes… now I can proudly say that I am an actor,” when he says this, that proud feel is visible on his eyes. It is his role in Atlee’s Tamil film Theri, in which he acted opposite Ilayathalapathy Vijay, gave Bineesh Bastin the confidence to talks about his profession brimming with pride.
It has been 11 years since he started off in the role of a thug in Dileep-starrer Pandippada. “It was a throughout character, but I had no dialogues. Even though I could not deliver a single dialogue, I am glad to have started my career with a Rafi-Mecartin film,” says the actor, who later became a regular onscreen goon of Malayalam film industry. Bastin has acted in around 80 films in last 10 years. “All the roles were the same — either as part of villain’s gang or that of hero, but always a stuntman. Fortunately, such roles gave me opportunity to share screen space with legendary actors like Mammookka and Lalettan,” he says.
It was at a moment when he was fed up with the goon roles, he got the call to Theri. “For the past 10 years I have been doing the same roles with no dialogues or importance. I was literally fed up. It was then I got call from the production house of Theri. In fact, I had sent my photos to a casting team at Vadapalani in Chennai. It was them who suggested my name to Atlee sir, who was in search for an actor to essay the villain role in the Kerala portion," says the actor.
Though Atlee's initial plan was to give him Tamil dialogues, after he interacted with Bastin, he decided to change it into Malayalam. “Vijay sir also suggested Atlee to translate it into Malayalam. He was very supportive throughout the shoot. His first instruction was don’t think that you are standing opposite Vijay or a film actor. You are facing Joseph Kuruvila (his character),” recollects Bastin.
“It was after the release of this film, I became famous. When I go outside, many people, including Tamilians, come to me and to take selfies. It is for the first time I am getting such a response. You know, when I had no films, I used to go for masonry. Even then, no one could recognise me as an actor who had shared screen with superstars," says Bastin, adding, "I am happy that post Theri, I’m not getting any goon offers. Yesterday, I got a call to essay a comic role. My very next projects will be in Tamil —Atlee's next and Kalabhairavan.”