The 24-year-old Malayalam actor Shane Nigam was amid a massive controversy that the industry couldn’t stop talking about. However, he’s been quite relaxed about the whole situation, soaking in the success of his latest film ‘Valiya Perunnal’which hit the screens last weekend.
The issue started off when the actor got a haircut. He posted a video on social media, alleging that he was receiving threats from the producer of ‘Veyil’. The producer claimed that Shane had violated his film’s contract by changing his appearance and that he demanded an increased remuneration.
A mediation was held but the dispute reared again when the Kerala Film Producers’Association said that Shane would not be involved in future projects. The actor explained his side of
the story to Showtime and if that has affected his future projects.
The last two months have been chaotic. What has your state of mind been like?
I was always at peace. I have only reacted to the situations. If I was not calm, I would have killed many people. There is a Malayalam saying ‘Karayennu kunjine pal ollu’(only the child that cries will get milk). I reacted so that people would understand me. Now I feel, that 90 per cent of the audience can understand what I’m saying.
Have things gone back to normal?
Everything was always normal. The reality of life is not that only good things should happen. Every day will have its good and bad moments. One should always try to be happy and at peace.
Your new look is quite radical...
People are accepting it and I can feel that. I did everything for a cause, and everyone will understand that in the future.
Has the controversy affected your future projects?
I have enough films to keep me busy for the next two years. I have signed eight films across languages. There is also a Netflix Original in the pipeline. I will be producing two films. One of them might also be made in Bollywood. The projects are ‘Saramani Kotta’and ‘Single’. I am the hero of the films.
Tell us about ‘Valiya Perunnal’.
I play the role of Akkar. He is a cinematic dancer and owns a troupe in Kochi. Pooja is a troupe member and Akkar loves her from childhood. The film talks about the place, culture,
and different characters there. The films’focus falls on Akkar by the second half. It is connected to the emotion the ‘Bakr Eid’festival talks about: Akkar sacrifices something that is beloved to him.
What is most striking in the film?
The dance factor. Currently, 'ABCD' is the only film which we can connect to dance. There are many films which have explored cinematic dance, 'dappan koothu', but this film has explored different Western styles like lyrical, hip-hop, among others. It has been put together in a way which will please everyone.
Are you a dancer? How did you prepare?
I used to dance during my childhood, till my 11th grade. It stopped after that. For the film, I went to Chennai and trained at different studios, for around 5 to 6 months. The film was a one-year process for me. The shooting happened before 'Kumbalangi Nights'.
Was the whole process challenging?
I had fitness training and continuous dance classes. My body was stiff and it took me almost three months to become flexible. It took almost one and half months to feed the different steps into my head. The sad part is that the songs were not ready immediately, it was only shot after a few months. I feel I could have done better in the dance sequences.
How is this film special?
The film is a dream project that Dimal Dennis, Thasreeq Abdul Salam and I saw together. I was involved in the film entirely.
Despite all the chaos in the last two months, how have you stayed cool?
I was always at peace. I have only reacted to the situations. If I was not calm, I would have killed many people.
There is a Malayalam saying 'Karayennu kunjine pal ollu' (Only when the child cries will he/she get milk). I reacted so that people would understand me. Now I feel, that 90 per cent of the audience can understand what I'm saying.
Your new look is quite radical...
People are accepting of it and I can feel that. I did everything for a cause, and everyone will understand that in the future.
What is the current situation with 'Veyil'?
I don't know. My mother knows what is happening there.
What is in the pipeline?
I have enough films to keep me busy for the next two years. I have signed eight films, across languages. There is also a Netflix Original in the pipeline. I will be producing two films. One of them might also be made in Bollywood. The projects are 'Saramani Kotta' and 'Single'. I am the hero of the films.
Has 'Kumbalangi Nights' affected your interest towards nature?
I have always been closely attached to nature. I have an intense connect with nature since my 11th standard; it was triggered by my many travels alone. I am still not living plastic-free but I am conscious.