The 45th Kerala State Film Awards came a surprise for many. But, for Sudev Nair, who was breaking his back at the editing table in a studio in Mumbai, the news was more of a shocker.
Sudev, who bagged the Best Actor award for his first M-Town outing My Life Partner, is elated. “I never expected it and had no idea of even being nominated. It was a complete shock,” says Sudev.
My Life Partner, which also won the second best film, narrated a taboo subject, gay couples.
Quiz the green-eyed actor about his inhibitions playing a gay, he says: “Initially I had inhibitions whether the film would portray homosexuality in a negative sense as in the lines of exploitation but once I heard the script, I immediately loved it.”
My Life Partner, directed by M Padmakumar, went through days of struggle right from its making to getting a theatrical release. And the awards came as a fruition for all the endurance.
Sudev is all applause for Padmakumar. “He had to face a lot of tough situations as a filmmaker for portraying a sensitive issue and I salute to his boldness,” says Sudev who made his debut in acting playing the antagonist in the Bollywood movie Gulab Gang starring Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla.
My Life Partner which revolves around the emotional and mental psyche of two best friends-turned-lovers Kiran and Richard, explores in depth the mental attachment of two human beings.
In the movie, Sudev dons the role of Kiran. “Kiran is from a dysfunctional family with a childhood deprived of love. It is only when he reaches college that he tastes and realises the value of emotional bonding and relationships. And the person he becomes close to turns to be his friend Richard,” says Sudev who is born and brought up in Mumbai. His mother is from Aluva and father from Palakkad.
Though Sudev has an engineering degree from NIT Nagpur, he pursued his real passion, acting, from his Nagpur days. And he is thankful to his college and hostel days where he self discovered.
“From childhood I was into break dance which later shifted to drama and acting. So in Nagpur, while participating in various inter-college competitions, I realised acting is my real calling,” says Sudev who within no time joined for an acting course in the prestigious Pune Film Institute.
Then it was a long struggle for Sudev who always loved Malayalam films.
Ask Sudev how Padmakumar spotted him, he says, “It was during my third visit to Kerala in search of (film) work that I was introduced to Padmakumar by Sajeev sir, one of my instructors at film institute.”
The actor currently is busy with bringing out a 10-episode web series titled Not Fit. He has acted, penned and directed the whole series. “I want to explore every aspect of filmmaking and not restrict myself to acting alone. Not Fit talks about the adventures of a bunch of struggling actors like myself. It will be released in YouTube by mid September,” says Sudev. The web series is produced by Pocket Access.
Sudev will be next seen in M Town, in the Prithviraj-starrer Anarkali’. “I cannot reveal much about my role, only it is one of the major character in the film,” he says.
Having strong Mumbai roots, ask Sudev whether he will be focusing more on Bollywood, he says, “Bollywood is a big industry and there space is mostly for big budget and star-studded films. Though there are experimental movies in Hindi, compared to Malayalam industry, it is less. And in Malayalam there are lots of young people who are coming up with fresh ideas and are undaunted to explore too.”