Action and beyond

Actor Babu Antony will be seen next as Thangal in Kayamkulam Kochunni.

There’s probably no other actor in the Malayalam film industry other than Babu Antony, who despite being introduced as an antagonist in the movies has been lucky enough to have explored numerous genres and characters. He gives credit to his ‘open to experimenting’ mentality for the success he had garnered in a career spanning 32 years. “I don’t take films to prove my talent and receive critical acclaim or awards. Entertaining audiences is of prime priority for me. If they feel entertained, through that I get appreciation and my talent is therefore proved,” says Babu, who speaks about his upcoming projects amid his busy shooting schedule of the Tamil movie Adanga Maru.

Babu is eagerly waiting for his upcoming projects in Mollywood — Kayamkulam Kochunni, wherein he plays the character of Thangal (Kayamkulam Kochunni’s mentor), and Power Star, an Omar Lulu directorial that marks his comeback as a lead after several years. The actor is in complete awe of Kayamkulam Kochunni and adds that he is really happy to be part of a period film.

“Thangal just happened. One fine morning I got a call from Roshan and he explained that he is planning to make a movie on Kayamkulam Kochunni and that he wanted me to play the character of Thangal. I got to know that Roshan was keenly searching for an actor who could play Thangal and that it was his wife who said I would be the apt option. The director too felt the same. It is something very different and challenging from what I did in Ezra as this is a period movie and the characters existed in real life. I hope that I have done justice to the role,” says Babu. The actor adds that the prompt and clean approach of the director towards the script has elevated the feel of the movie and that it will definitely contribute to the movie’s success. “Roshan clearly knows what he wants from a particular scene. He never takes extra shots. He never compromises on the quality either,” says the actor.

Babu’s last Malayalam movie, Prithviraj-starrer Ezra, in which he appears as a Rabbi was highly appreciated by the audience. Ask if he has inhibitions about doing roles that have lesser screen space and Babu says, “I am not at all bothered about the duration for which my character appears on screen. I agree to play a character if I feel that as an audience member, it will entertain me. The inhibition part is taken care of at the beginning itself. The directors have confidence in me and I am glad I prove them right. The audience too has accepted and loved me in different avatars.” He stresses that the roles he has received are a testimony to the fact that no actor can be typecast and that the guts to experiment with roles is the only mantra that can make an actor versatile.
The actor is presently working with the younger generation of the industry and is of the opinion that the young superstars are very professional in their approach. Sharing his experience of working with Nivin Pauly, who dons the character of Kochunni in the movie, Babu says, “He is an intelligent actor and has no unnecessary ego. He is concerned about the totality of the movie and not about his importance alone.”

When asked about the trend of period movies, Babu is of the opinion that films of this genre are very difficult to make as a lot of research is put in. Commenting on the possibility of such movies becoming commercial hits, he says the audience has never changed and thatthey require movies from every genre.

“People expect to get entertained when they spend money on watching a movie. They expect variety in subject, actors and the approach. As the masses have a different take on different movies, directors are forced to experiment with varied subjects as well. I strongly feel there is nothing like a trend or even ‘new generation movies’. A movie can be of a new generation only in terms of technology and nothing else,” he adds. The actor is also looking forward to his lead role in Power Star, which according to Babu is an action film. It has given him an opportunity to appear as a lead after 22 years of doing supporting roles in seven languages. The ‘action’ hero of Mollywood, Babu feels once the camera starts rolling, the only thing that matters is his ‘actions’ in the movie.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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