“Kunjiraman came to me 10 years back. I consider it an honour that I was the first and last choice for him. No other actor was approached for the role though it took a decade for the project TO materialise,” says Manoj K Jayan about his award-winning character in ‘Kaliyachan’.
The film directed by debutant Farooq Abdul Rahman revolves around the rise and fall of Kunjiraman, a Kathakali artist of great repute. “Farooq is a completely dedicated filmmaker and I am equally happy about him bagging the best debut director award,” he adds.
On asked whether he was expecting the award the actor says, “I was more happy about the fact that I had two entries ‘Ardhanari’ and ‘Kaliyachan’ competing in the best actor category. Both the characters, one a transgender and the other a kathakali artist, were highly challenging. Both the characters are very close to my heart.”
The actor says he had to put an extra effort to give perfection to his character in the film. “Kathakali is not an easy art form. You cannot walk into the set without any preparation and at the same time it’s not possible to grab all the nuances of the art form at such a short time. You need months of training even to learn the eye movements or to bend your brow properly. So it was a very demanding role I must say,” he says. ‘Kaliyachan’ produced by National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) is expected to hit the screens in March.