Malayalam cinema’s quintessential ‘Fort Kochi guy’ Soubin Shahir marked his debut as Collin in Annayum Rasoolum, which got him noticed for his effortless, funny and controlled acting. He followed it with his ‘PT Master’ act in Premam, the biggest blockbuster in Malayalam to date, that gave him a wider fan base. The role of a photographer in the recently released Rani Padmini has also earned him rave reviews. ‘City Express’ caught up with Soubin for a tete-a-tete.
Your role in Rani Padmini have left the audience in splits. How was it working for the movie?
-The crew were all friends - people I have grown up with and worked with. (Screenwriter) Shyam (Pushkaran) asked me to do a small role in the movie and as the shoot was in various parts of North India and Kashmir, they asked me to tag along . The journey was what got me interested most of all. It was fun working for Rani Padmini.
After Premam and Chandrettan Evideya, you are being viewed as a promising comedian. Did you always want to be an actor?
Never. I was working as an assistant director for Ashiq Abu and the acting assignments came as result of my friendships in the industry. Rajeev Ravi, while the discussions of Annayum Rasoolum were underway, asked me to play an Anglo-Indian character from Fort Kochi. I was apprehensive in the beginning and told him to cast someone better. But he pushed me and I went ahead. As for Premam, all the credit goes to Alphonse (Puthren).
Some of your lines in Premam have become superhits as internet memes, especially the dialogues like ‘wig vekkanda’.
(Laughs) I just asked Alphonse if I can try out some lines. He was game and that’s how it happened.
There have been reports that you are planning to venture into direction.
Yes. The movie will most likely be flagged off by February-March the coming year. It will be movie with 14-15 year-olds playing the lead. It is a story of a group of teenagers who tend to doves and will be high on comedy. The movie is planned as an out-and-out commercial movie.
Browsing through you Facebook pictures, its apparent that you have an interesting visual sense. Is photography a hobby?
-I was always interested in photography and have assisted Amal Neerad and Rajeev Ravi in their cinematography assignments, that is, when they are not directing. I get excited by a good moment that can be captured on camera. I keep shooting on my DSLR and mobile camera most of the time.
What are you upcoming projects?
Right now I’m working for Muthugau, in which Suresh Gopi’s son Gokul is making his debut, and Sameer Thahir’s new movie with Dulquer in the lead, which started rolling on October 27. The movies that are awaiting release are Siddhique Lal’s King Liar, Dileesh Pothan’s Maheshinte Prathikaaram, Martin Prakkat’s Charlie and Jijo Antony’s Darwinte Parinamam.