Shane Nigam seems totally unaware of his overnight stardom - his leading debut opening in full-houses and critics raving over his performance. And there is no smitten-in-childhood story as he calls his big screen foray ‘an accident’. “I was more interested in the technical aspects and acting just happened,” he says. But the young star breaks into an animated chat the moment we mention Kismath, his film which hit the marquee last Friday. “It’s a film very close to my heart, a genuine attempt from all those involved in the making. We were not expecting such an initial response. But then the film truly deserves it because of the effort involved.”
Son of actor and mimicry artist Abi, Shane says it was Soubin Shahir who launched him as an actor. “I had appeared in a single shot in Amal Neerad’s Anwar. Soubin was an AD there and we hit it off instantly. Later he suggested my name to Rajeev Ravi and I was cast in Annayum Rasoolum as the heroine’s brother,” he says. Small-but-noted roles in a couple of films followed, the latest being Kammattipadam. “I was a huge fan of Rajeev sir and I used watch films just to see the way he handles camera. Then he is a very down-to-earth person, a trait so rare in the industry. I admire his simplicity as much as I admire the politics in his films.” Shane was offered the lead in Njan Steve Lopez, Rajeev Ravi’s second directorial. “But I couldn’t take it because of my exams. But it was Rajeev sir who suggested me for the role in Kismath,” says the final year B Tech student.
In between the two Rajeev Ravi films a lot of characters came his way, but Shane perfected to wait for an offer he couldn’t resist. And Irfan, the rebellious lover in Kismath, turned out to be just that. “I was moved by the theme of the film. Though a simple story, it communicates a strong message. Kismath poses a lot of questions when it comes to humanity and tolerance,” he says. During the shoot, getting the Ponnani slang right was the only challenge for the city-bred actor, “it was the only area I did some homework.”
Shane says his family is happy about Kismath, but there has been no frenzy. “Of course we discuss films at home but it’s not like they are intervening at every step,” he says. So what comes next? “As of now I am going through some scripts. I want to be part of films that touch me in some way or other,” he signs off.