Nivin Pauly, 26, clearly doesn’t believe in getting bracketed. So when a slew of romantic roles came his way, post ‘Thattathin Marayathu’ (2012), he stubbornly refused to take the bait. “Though I was not averse to romantic roles, the fact remains that there was not a single script that was outstanding, that went beyond TM,” says the actor who is still basking in the glory of his first bilingual surprise hit ’Neram’ earlier this year.
It’s been a good start for the actor this year and he hopes to stretch his good run at the BO with debutante director, Abrid Shine’s ‘1983’, later this year. For the new-age Malayalam cinema too, the movie holds some novelty as it is said to be the state’s first ever cricket based film. The movie pans a village, post the 1983 world cup, and the cricket fever that grips its villagers. Nivin plays a cricket crazy villager. “More than a cricket-based subject, I would say its an emotional film. My character takes the film forward. It’s about fighting against all odds,” says the actor. He’s been the find of Kerala Tuskers Celebrity cricket team, did that stint help? “Not really. We are not really playing professional cricket in the film. But there are a few guys from the team in this film,” laughs the actor.
Though TM struck gold for the actor, the same year he shocked his love-struck female fans with a volte-face in ‘Da Thadiya’. Pauly’s canny, amoral health guru was a revelation. True, his outing with Sathyan Anthikad in ‘Puthiya Theerangal’ failed to impress but he is still proud of his film with newcomer Sunil Ibrahim that turned out to be a box office turkey - ‘Chapters’. That’s one reason why he likes the prospect of giving dates to new directors as he thinks, “there is a lot of give and take when the team is fresh and are more receptive to novel ideas”. His ‘1983’ director is one such guy- “With Abrid I wasn’t too worried. If he can bring so much perfection in his photographs, he is capable of bigger things,” says the actor. For someone who’s just 13 films old, Nivin is rather astute about his choice of films. “It’s important that the director should have fire, and is clear about what he wants, then production house, co-stars, in that order,” says the actor.
Pauly says he is not a “homework actor and is more instinctive by nature” as he thinks too much rehearsals kills spontaneity. When it comes to directors, he is looking for a mixed bag of experience and freshness. This year apart from ‘Neram’, he did Shyamaprasad’s offbeat ‘English’ and a segment in ‘5 Sundarikal’ - “I want to grow as an actor, push beyond boundaries and explore all genres,” confides the actor who is an avid fan of Mammootty. The current Malayalam cinema is more friendly, a breeding ground for young, like-minded talents. A fact echoed by Pauly who admits that, today there is less struggle and better choices for a newcomer to make his movie debut.
“There is space for everyone in this industry. But only real talents sustain for long. But right publicity can make or break a film,” says the actor who actively promotes his films and even those he thinks deserves a mention on social networking sites.
Post ‘Neram’ he is reportedly flooded with offers from Tamil films but he likes to play the waiting game. That apart, Pauly who is dying to act in a gangster movie as an out and out villain spends a lot of time watching world cinema, as he thinks it helps him to better his craft, “watching and observing good actors.” “I know my pluses and minuses. I just want to be part of good films. Rest will follow,” smiles the actor. Clearly he is on a good wicket!