Most of the milestones in Sunny Wayne’s life have been surprise packages for movie buffs — his acting debut with Dulquer Salmaan, tryst with theatre, his wedding with dancer Renjini and the latest announcement that he is venturing into production with Nivin Pauly-starrer Padavettu. The movie, directed by Liju Krishna, who had helmed Sunny’s debut theatre production Moment Just before Death, is a rustic drama set in a Kannur village.
Excited about the new innings, Sunny, who is busy shooting for Anugraheethan Antony, shares how the whole idea came up, “Production has been my dream for long and I am so glad that I could start with such an interesting work. I won’t tell you what it is about, not now, but you’d never be disappointed with Padavettu.”
The zest is unmistakable. Is it an intuition about a movie that has not just started rolling? Laughing, he says, “It’s not just my intuition. When Liju narrated me the thread of the movie, I was hooked to it. I discussed it with Nivin and asked if he could listen to Liju. Nivin was very busy with back-to-back shooting, but he agreed. After Liju completed the narration, Nivin called me up and said he was very impressed and agreed to sign up. The same happened with musician Govind Vasantha, too. When we approached him, Govind had no immediate plans for a Malayalam movie as he was busy in Tamil. He half-heartedly listened to Liju determined to say ‘no’, but after the narration ended, he asked, ‘When are we doing this’. Not just that, from the very next day itself, he started sending scratches of the music for Padavettu. With this film, I want everyone to get that kick we all had from listening to the story.”
However, Sunny divulges that he won’t be acting in the film. “My complete focus will be on the supervisor’s role; any other distraction might cause a breakdown. I’d better take it slow.”
Before Padavettu, Sunny has a few movies slotted for release — Anugraheethan Antony, Pidikittappulli, the most-awaited Vruttham with his Second Show team and Gypsy, which will mark his Kollywood debut.
“With Vruttham, it all literally comes to a full circle. The film is very special because it’s all friends who started off together. Gauthami Nair, who debuted with me in Second Show, is directing a film with all-female crew. It might be a first in the history of Malayalam film — a film made and helmed by women in all spheres — direction, cinematography, costume designing, makeup, art direction, music… I’m proud to be part of Vruttham,” he says.
Offers from Tamil have always been there, but Sunny hadn’t felt that he was up to it till Gypsy directed by Raju Murugan, who made the National Award-winning Joker, came his way. “It seems like I have been waiting for this perfect moment to choose a Tamil film. Gypsy is a road movie with Jiiva in the lead and I play Sakhavu Balan, a Malayali, in it. I speak in heavily Malayalam-accented Tamil and did the dubbing all by myself. It’s a very important role which decides the course of the film,” he adds.
Sunny says his choice of films is based on vibes. “For ace directors like Rajeev Ravi, there’s no space to say no because what they offer you is your dream role. For many others, it’s the chemistry you feel with the character, the emotional involvement with the onscreen persona. And I hope my choices are right.”
Sunny Wayne Productions is not just meant for movies alone. “Definitely not. I started with Moment Just Before Death and my priority is still theatre. After Padavettu, the next might be a theatrical production.”
Most of his collaborations have been with newcomers. Ask if it is an intentional move, Sunny says, “When I came to the industry, I had no idea what and how to do things. I was armed with passion and dedication and nothing else. So, enthusiastic talents always excite me. I can see myself in them. Naturally, we give each other a chance. That’s all.”
Now is the time of actors from Mohanlal to Prithviraj wielding the megaphone, would Sunny love to give it a try? “Of course, that’s another dream of mine. But, it won’t be a hasty decision. Direction is an art which needs dedicated learning. Let me learn it first. And if there comes a day when I get a good crew and a great cameraman, I might call the shots,” he winds up....