“I was a blank paper. He made a sketch,” Dileep recalls his stint with veteran Adoor Gopalakrishnan for the latest film Pinneyum (Once Again) which hits the screens on Thursday, coinciding with the 50th year of Adoor’s film making.
For the actor, being a part of an ‘Adoor project’ was always a dream. He recalls how he went to meet the doyen 18 years ago at his home in Akkulam.
“It was after Punjabi House. I met him and told about my ambition. The reply was a usual,’let’s see’. However, I was happy that he knew everything about me, including my real name Gopalakrishan. But, I never thought I would get a call after 18 years. It came through Cukoo (Parameswaran). Later Adoor sir himself called and said he wanted to meet me to check whether my look and age would suit his character. I told him I was ready to appear in any age,” Dileep said.
“It came as a shock for me that Adoor sir had watched most of my films prior to the meeting. I could never imagine him watching my kind of films like CID Moosa more than once with his wife. I was glad to learn that I was one of his favourite actors. After offering me the character of Purushothaman, he told me there should not be any excuses when he shooting begins which I readily agreed,” he said.
Thrilled by the call, Dileep discussed it with Mammootty, who had three Adoor films to his credit. “Did he tell you the story? Mamoookka asked and I said no. You are person who go for details before every project. Then how do you get along with his style? Mammookka was curious. But I did not find any difficulty as I could adapt to any situation,” Dileep said.
The actor, who began his career as an assistant director, consider associating with Adoor like going to a different school.
“Many from the new generation stick to their comfort zone. But masters are of another class and I am proud to be a part of a movie by the master who is viewed in category of Satyajit Rai. I have learnt much from the 23-day shoot and later the dubbing later. The director has very detail in his mind and he is into every department. It is a film by Adoor Gopalakrishnan in every sense I was humbled by his approach, which was very down to earth. Moreover, the team comprising Vijayaraghavan, Venuchettan, Indrans and Lalithachechi was good. Kavya also has a memorable character. We had decided not to do films together if it was run-of-the-mill,” Dileep shared the days with the master.
The actor, who is making a deviation from his usual style after two consecutive hits, is confident that the film would connect with all types of film goers.
“I found it surprising that the new-gen kids are Adoor fans. When I said I haven’t watched movies by Adoor, they gave me a hard drive with his full works. My daughter Meenakshi had came to the sets. Though her interests are different, she took his blessings, this shows that the the new generation as well as the old is interested in him and his films,” says Dileep. Dileep wants the association to go longer. “Let it happen again”.