As we entered the new office of Friday Film House near Panampilly Nagar in Kochi, actor-producer Vijay Babu was in a meeting in his office. There, in the visitors’ room, the poster of his new production venture Angamaly Diaries is placed along with the awards he received for his previous production ventures.
Vijay was recently in the news following his tussle with erstwhile partner Sandra Thomas. Now, the only captain of his production banner Friday Film House, Vijay starts, “It is a banner which we formed and built up facing many struggles. So, I thought one of us should take care of this firm and should continue producing films. We both discussed about it. As she got married recently, Sandra opted to lead her family life and I thought I should take care of Friday Film House.”
Vijay is not only a producer, but also an actor who works in the films of other production houses. So, is it an easy task to marshall his production ventures? “Production needs coordination. I am glad to say that I have a good team to execute the production. Along with that, my brother Vinay is also with me. But my decision is that I should stay with my production team during the making of our films even if I am not part of it as an actor,” he points out.
As an actor, Vijay is excited as two films with him as the lead are under post production — V.K. Prakash’s Careful and screenwriter-turned-director Vyasan K.P.’s Ayal Jeevichiripund. In fact, it is after a gap of around two years that Vijay is facing camera for a hero role. “I am really happy to be part of these two wonderful projects. It is true that it is after a gap that I am acting as a hero. But I had rejected many projects in this period. I am not a desperate actor. I was determined that if I come in the lead role, it should be in a good project. After Neena, my expectation level has gone up. I prefer to work with senior directors who can correct me if I did not perform up to the mark,” he says.
Careful has another emotional attachment with Vijay. “It was V.K.P. who introduced me as an actor through Three Kings. So when he called me up for his new film, that too in the lead role, I was very happy. Another exciting factor was it has been produced by Suresh Balajee and George Pius for Wide Angle Creations. I know Sureshettan for the past 15 years and you know, they — the director and producers — have that much contact to cast a big star for this particular role. But they zeroed in on me. These all factors made me more excited to take it up,” he says.
In Ayal Jeevichirupund, he acts as a writer. “I think, some common elements between this character and me are the factors that forced him to cast me for this role. This character’s way of thinking and mine are almost same; even the dialogue rendering too. This made me more comfortable to enact this role. The only difference between the role and me is the reading habit. The character, being a writer, reads a lot and I read only newspapers and magazines. However, I watch lots of films,” he laughs. Ayal Jeevichiripund is slated for release on March 10.
Vijay is now busy with the final works of his new production venture — Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Angamaly Diaries. “As an actor, I opt to work with senior directors and as a producer, I prefer juniors because we give suggestions during different stages of the project eyeing good output. This can be done only while working with new people. Though Lijo is a senior director, he is our friend and we are free to work with him. I was busy acting in those two films, while Angamaly Diaries was under production. Gladly, Lijo managed to take care of the film along with my production team,” he says.
Has he acted in Angamaly Diaries? “No. In fact, we — Chemban Vinod, Lijo and I — were in the initial cast list, but we later thought that it would be better if we assigned newcomers. More than that I am not adamant about acting in my own production ventures. I choose only the roles that are apt for me,” he sums up....