When the promos of Ranam/Detroit Crossing came out, amongst the more well-known names was a new one: Mathew Arun. For someone with no background in cinema and no industry contacts, the debutant finds it a dream-come-true to be part of a film and sharing screen space with actors like Prithviraj and Rahman.
It was a casting call that landed the Kochi-born youngster, who is studying business in Canada, the opportunity to be a part of Ranam. Mathew says, "I used to watch a lot of Malayalam movies growing up and I've carried this wish of being part of films for the longest time. I didn't care if it was even a light boy's job (laughs)."
Mathew cites Jayasurya as a primary inspiration. "I've been following his work for a long time and I admire his versatility. He can do both comedy and serious roles with equal ease. And the fact that he didn't have a cinema background was certainly very inspiring."
The actor, who plays a crucial role in Ranam, says he has high hopes for his debut movie and its director Nirmal Sahadev. "I don't want to make any promises or unnecessarily hype it but I believe, and hope, that Ranam will turn out to be a milestone in Malayalam cinema. We haven't seen something like this done here before."
On working with Prithviraj, Mathew says, "Working with Rajuettan was an illuminating experience -- one of the best things an actor or an aspiring filmmaker could hope for. He was always there guiding me and calming my nerves. I learned a lot from watching him work. Even after shoot, we would hang out and he would always try to keep my passion for cinema alive and buzzing. And our conversations have only been about cinema. He would always know everything that goes behind the scenes in a film, from action sequences to even the costume design. He has garnered a lot of expertise about all these things and that's why I think he will be a brilliant director."
Ranam is shot by Bhutanese cinematographer Jigme Tenzig and has music by Jakes Bejoy. The film is produced by Rani and Lawson Biju under the banner of Lawson Entertainment in collaboration with Anand Payyannur of Yes Cinema. A release date is expected to be announced soon.