Artless and spontaneous, he can say the stupidest things with a straight face. Crispin doesn’t crack slapstick lines to keep you in splits, he simply behaves. But Soubin Shahir’s character in Maheshinte Prathikaram does something unusual - he whips up unadulterated humour that you can’t help leaving the theatre humming ‘juice, juice juice …’. “I wasn’t expecting such an appreciation, I never thought I could impress as an actor,” says a happy Soubin. He adds he was more than overwhelmed when composer Bijibal made a facebook post comparing him with Bollywood actors like Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. “I was really touched by the gesture,” he says.
Acting was more of an accident, says Soubin who has been in the industry for over 14 years. It was Rajeev Ravi who dragged the AD in front of the camera prodding him to do a role in Annayum Resulum. “I was not confident about it and asked Rajeevettan to re-shoot the scenes with someone better. But he didn’t do it,” laughs the actor. Be it the PT master in Premam or robber in Charlie, Soubin says all his noted screen outings were offered by friends. “While they were working on the screenplay of Maheshinte Prathikaram Dileesh and Shyam told me about this character. They are people who know me inside out as I spend a lot of time with them. It’s usually friends in the industry who insist and prompt me to take up such roles. They think I can perfectly handle such characters,” he says.
Though he is mainly a director’s actor, Soubin doesn’t shy away from winging it at times. “Most of the directors and scenarists I have worked with are close friends. So they have no qualms asking me to keep it subtle or more natural. With them I have the freedom to improvise, but if I come up with something over-the-top they will definitely give me a thumbs down,” he says. Ask him about his famous dialogue in the film comparing Mohanlal and Mammootty and he says, “I consider both of them master performers and share a warm rapport with them. I have worked with them as an AD and co-actor and I think both are equally amazing.”
He says as an artist he doesn’t believe in homework, “While shooting I stay away from the monitor, I can’t even see myself on the mirror for a long time. It’s mostly impromptu,” he says. He adds that he has started venturing out of his friend circle of late and has taken up a bunch of films including Mudugavu, Happy Wedding and Hello Namasthe.
The actor says he is now busy wrapping up his acting assignments as he is all set to pursue his first love - direction. “It was my one and only dream from the moment I entered the industry assisting Siddique sir for Chronic Bachelor. It will be a film zooming into the life of teenagers featuring a handful of newcomers in lead roles. Casting is still on and hopefully it will go on floors by April,” he winds up.