‘Samuel is a Bollywood fan, but knew nothing about Kerala’

Sudani from Nigeria director Zakaria talks about how he roped in Nigerian actor Samuel Abiola Robinson 
for his debut movie

Published: 14th March 2018 10:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2018 06:52 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Besides Soubin Shahir, with his impeccable comic timing, the other attraction of Sudani from Nigeria is Samuel Abiola Robinson, who has come all the way from Nigeria to play the lead in the Malayalam movie by debutant director Zakaria. But, Samuel, who plays a footballer, was totally unaware of Kerala, or Malayalam cinema until Zakaria contacted him. "In fact, when I spoke to Samuel, I understood that he was an avid Bollywood fan. He was so thrilled to be a part of Indian cinema that he had already learnt a few Hindi words.  I had to tell him this was a Malayalam movie and we don't speak Hindi. Nevertheless, he was thrilled," says Zakaria.

The director says Samuel was zeroed in after a long audition process. "When I was scripting the story, my plan was to rope in an African player who arrives to play football in Malappuram. I hoped to find someone who can act. But, once things started rolling, the canvas grew bigger that we decided to bring in an actor itself. We auditioned many from Nigeria, US and UK, but it was Samuel who fitted the role. He has already done movies and TV series, which are available on Netflix," says the director.

 Zakaria says Samuel sunk his teeth so well into the role that they had a great experience shooting for the film. "Language didn't matter actually, for his character speaks in broken English throughout. He even took football lessons," says Zakaria. 

Sevens and friendship Hailing from Malappuram, Zakaria has 
always known Northern Kerala's obsession with football. "The Sevens football season starts from October and extends till May. Every year, a lot of African players come down to Kerala to play. In fact, a few years before, it was a Kerala club who roped in a Sudani who was studying in Kerala to play for their team. That set a trend and soon many African players started coming in from other parts of the country. These days, a lot of them fly down from Nigeria, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Laos to North Kerala during the season.

Though they hail from many countries, all of them are generally labelled 'Sudanis'. And, Sudani from Nigeria is about one such player from Nigeria and the friendship he forms with the manager of the team, played by Soubin," says Zakaria.

The trailer is already a hit and the director says the movie follows a narrative laced with humour. "It is an ode to friendship. Though we have a few football sequences, much of the action happens outside the field," says Zakaria. Sudani from Nigeria hits the screens on March 23.

Stay up to date on all the latest Entertainment Malayalam news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp