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'I am growing as an actor'

Last updated: 30 November, 2010
Nina C George

Different Take

Actor Mammootty, who is in the City to shoot for his first Kannada film ‘Shikari’, shares his thoughts with Metrolife

selective  Mammootty

selective  MammoottyKoothkolli (please seat down), says the man in front of you, leaving your heart jump into your mouth.

For he is none other than Malayalam actor Mammootty (popularly called Mammookka), speaking in Kannada, the language he’s learning to speak fluently.

“Is it Koothkoli or Koothkolo?” he asks and his producer is quick to clarify the difference.
 Mammootty was in the City to shoot for his first Kannada commercial venture Shikari, directed by Abhay Simha.

Mammootty is known to be very selective with his scripts and Shikari is no exception.
 “It’s a fascinating tale. A gripping story well told. I play the character of a software engineer. We were once slaves to the British and now thanks to software, there’s what is called the intellectual slavery. So as a software engineer, I am a slave to technology in the film. And on the flip side, I also play a freedom fighter from the pre-independence era. So it’s really two characters in one,” Mammootty says.

He talks more about his character. “I am fascinated by a character in a novel. I believe she exists and begin to feel her presence. And finally I do meet the character in flesh and blood. It might be unbelievable but it's true. It’s not the usual stuff you see in the movies,” he reveals.

Mammootty is all set to produce his first ever Malayalam film.  “The script is ready. I am looking out for a heroine who can speak flawless Malayalam. I insist that the heroine must know the language because we will be capturing the original sound,” he says while he turns to his 3G iPad and of course his iPhone which he lugs around wherever he goes.
Are gadgets another fancy? “I picked this up during my last visit to the US. We all have a child in us and children get excited when they see a toy and I am no different. Technology fascinates me,” he beams.

About his own production again, he says, “It will be an extension, not a sequel to Madilugal (a film that won Mammootty a national award). Resool Pookutty will be doing the sound for the film and work will begin sometime in March.”

And as always, there’s no dearth of films for this actor. He will be seen as an unscrupulous police officer in August 15, a sequel of Sibi Malayil’s 1988 movie August 1.
“The same story is tweaked a little. The Chief Minister’s life is under threat and the assassin is still at large and the officer-in-charge begins his investigation. It’s a thriller,” he explains.  

In Best Actor, Mammootty plays the role of a school master who aspires to be an actor. Does he succeed? “That’s for you to go and watch the movie,” he quips.

Thirty odd years in cinema behind him, is there any character that Mammootty would like to essay?  “There are so many but I don’t think one lifetime would be enough. People always say that my last film is the best film,” he says and adds, “I believe that with every new movie, I am growing as an actor.”

Mammootty says it’s hard to define good cinema. “This debate is endless. It’s like asking me whether you can classify commercial and aesthetically well-done film. Cinema is an art form. It sometimes goes commercial and at other times, is aesthetically sound. I do both,” he sums up.


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