When Vinay Forrt put that picture of his on Facebook, friends requested him to change it. They couldn’t stand a picture of him crying like that. It was a still from his film Godsay but it looked too real. And Vinay says it was real, the tears. He had to use very little glycerin for his character Harishchandran in Sherrey Govindan’s Godsay. Sitting at the Ajanta theatre in Thiruvananthapuram, Vinay says how it had become the most challenging character in his acting career, which began when he was in class IV.
“It is a single character-driven film... his emotional journey,” Vinay says, waiting for a film to begin at the International Film Festival of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram. It is at the fest that he sees the full version of Godsay for the first time. He was surprised to see people laugh every few minutes, sometimes for scenes he didn’t intend to be funny. “But it hits people at times like these, which is the brilliance of Sherrey chettan’s script.” Vinay plays a radio announcer who has been leading an anarchist’s life till he becomes the host of a programme called Gandhi Margam. But after that, his life changes. In a big way. Eventually Vinay becomes a different man, a man like Mahatma Gandhi.
“That was why I liked the character so much, because it is exactly opposite of what I am in real life. I am not a Gandhian or a Gandhi fan. I don’t follow any politician as a matter of fact. Even the first half where the character is a drunkard — I don’t drink in real life. So everything is opposite,” Vinay says. At first when Sherrey called him for the role, Vinay had been a little reluctant because he was not doing any serious characters at that point. “As an actor, I wanted more visibility, more films in the popular category, for ultimately we are all just commercial products.” But when he went to Kozhikode and heard Sherrey out, he said yes. Probably the best decision this year, considering he sees it on the same level as the few he found challenging — Shutter, then Kismath, then Godsay. “I did lots in between but there were no strong or defined characteristics. There’d be another protagonist, and you’d be playing a side role with no head or tail or history.” Vinay says he is still stuck on the character he played in Premam — Vimal sir. That’s how people still see him. But he is not such a durantha gayakan or pottan as that, he says.
Those are some of his traits — the word durantham, the frequent snapping of his fingers. He snaps when he describes the brilliance of Sherrey’s script. There is a scene where Indrans who plays a Gandhian tells Vinay who suggests a Satyagraha protest, ‘Gandhi’s protest won because the British had education, wisdom and culture. Today’s government is not like that’. Vinay was surprised to see the audience applaud loudly to that. He is glad at the reception, for he had worked hard for this, to look the drunkard first and then the Gandhian. Another release he is waiting for is Shanil Muhammeds Avarude Raavukal, where he has a girlfriend and a nice song. There is also Role Models that he had been to Goa to shoot for and missed seeing his newborn for 30 days. “I am rushing back to him tonight”, he says, leaving the IFFK venues....