Though we have always watched him don small roles on the silver screen, he has never failed to make an impact on our minds. Right from his role as Benny, Rima Kallingal’s first crush in the hit film 22 Female Kottayam to the impressive SI George in Honey Bee, lady luck has always backed Vijay Babu. And now the actor is all set to make it even more bigger with three films releasing this month.
In Philips and the Monkey Pen which will hit the screens today, Vijay dons the role of ‘Padmachandran’, a strict Mathematics teacher who comes across as a terror for his students. “I play the role of a strict Math teacher who becomes the enemy of Ryan Philips, the child protagonist of the film. It was a great experience for me because even during my student days in St Jude High School, Kollam, I detested Maths and my hatred for the subject even led me to hate teachers who taught me the subject. So I slipped into the role taking a cue from those teachers of mine,” says an excited Vijay whose character is fondly called ‘Pappan Sir’ by his students in Philips and the Monkey Pen.
He was initially apprehensive to take up the role. “I was not sure whether I could do justice to the role as a teacher as my body language and mannerisms are different,” says Vijay who is also the co-producer of the film.
Vijay who is in high spirits because of his role in Rajesh Nair’s Escape From Uganda says, “This is the first time I play the role of a lead character. I don the role of Rima’s husband Jaykrishnan in the film which was shot extensively in Africa. The movie will be released on November 22.”
Vijay also adds that Escape from Uganda is the first Malayalam film to be shot entirely in Africa. The film which is a thriller, is based on a true life incident of a couple who gets trapped in the country. “Rima’s performance in the film will be applauded as she essays a tough and challenging role,” he adds.
The actor’s third offing will be in debutant Jismon Joy’s comic-thriller Bicycle Thieves. “It is a pivotal role about which I will not of speak much right now. You have to watch the movie and see for yourself,” chuckles Vijay.
After a career spanning 16 years in the media industry as programme head and CEO of various national channels of Star group and Sun TV Network Ltd, stepping into mainstream acting was a dream come true for Vijay.
“While heading the programmes in Surya channel, I got the opportunity to listen to a lot of scripts as we need to buy movies for the channel. This constant interaction with the film industry fired the passion for acting in me. Initially I was not confident about my acting skills, but after playing a role in Ayalum Njanum Thammil, Lal Jose sir boosted my confidence,” adds Vijay who loves to take things steady and slow.
Ask him what kind of roles excite him, he says, “I have always felt that sentimental roles don’t suit me. However, my character in the movie Escape from Uganda has no tinge of humour. I would love to take up a comedy role next.”