'People outside Kerala know I exist'
From being the 'brightest young thing' in the movie business, Prithviraj is now emerging as the next 'superstar' of Malayalam cinema.
And why not? He's got some of the most high profile projects in his kitty. Meghna George finds out more.
Anwar had a dream opening. Do you feel more confident now?
Amal Neerad (director of Anwar) and I were confident about Anwar right from the start. But even then, the kind of figures that came in was astounding. It was came as a pleasant shock that even bigger films could not garner such kind of initials.
The film was so well received and discussed outside Kerala that it will now be released in Tamil in 200 theatres. I am really proud of the film. There are only few films made in Kerala that we can show to the world and Anwar is certainly one of them.
Image: A poster of Anwar
'Raavanan remains one of the most challenging film I have done'
How did you feel when Tamil star Vikram said that he was inspired by your style in the Tamil version of Raavan?
Vikram is being modest. He is a fantastic and hardworking actor. He deserves all the success that he has achieved in his career.
It is true that Mani sir (director Mani Ratnam) relates more to the Tamil speaking characters. My character in Raavanan had the basic disadvantage of not being author backed. The author backed character was the one played by Vikram where he had all the lines ready. My character on the other hand could rarely speak about his feelings.
Even then, if you look at it analytically, my character was more complex. It remains one of the most challenging roles that I have done.
'I would have preferred to make City of God my directorial debut'
Right now you are doing two films -- Arjunan Saakshi and City of God. What are the characters in the two films like?
City of God really does belong to today and given a chance, I would have preferred to make it my directorial debut. The film talks about how a few people coming from different backgrounds influence each other. The story is very symbolic and is about what is happening in the society now.
My character, Jyothilal, is educated but has a criminal background. It is an intricate screenplay and I am impressed by the way director Lijo Jose Pellissery is making it.
I play an architect, Roy Mathew in director Ranjith Sankar's Arjunan Saakshi.
'I really would like to make my own film'
Do you have plans to become a director?
Yes, I really would like to make my own film because as far as cinema is concerned, the high point of aesthetic creativity is making a film. A writer may write a film, an actor might enact a character, but the form of the film belongs to the director.
The only thing that is standing in the way lack of time.
'Anurag Kashyap has called me to be part of a film he has produced'
Your entry into Hindi films is all over the news...
Entry into Bollywood is nothing big for me. It's just cinema.
I believe that as an actor, my volume of work is now becoming broader and people outside Kerala know that I exist and they treat me with the kind of respect that is due to me. If there is a film where I need to be in, they will call me.
Right now, Anurag Kashyap has called me to be part of a film he has produced. I am planning to do it soon. Discussions are going on right now.