Mammootty, one of the finest actors in the country has enough reasons to smile these days. The three times National award winner has acted in over 300 films over a career spanning two decades and still remains the number one. His Maayavi is a mega blockbuster and Vishu release Big B is running to packed houses. He is truly a mega star, as not only does his films have a terrific opening, but has also a very high success ratio. He continues to do a mixture of art house films along with commercial fares and has a handful of projects that will keep him busy for the next five years! Moviebuzz met him and he looked dashing in a linen trouser and a loose casual kurta on the sets of Shyamaprasadís Ore Kadal Excerpts:
Did the actor in you get disappointed, when films like Karutha Pakshikal, Palunku or Kaiyoppu, were not considered worthy of an award by the state award committee?
The award committee thought that a younger man should get it and its fine with me. If I react or not react, nothing is going to change. I go with the jury and accept their verdict. I do not wish to make any controversial statements. Letís leave that topic and talk about something else.
You have won three National awards and they say that you are obsessed with awards?
(Laughs) I love awards. They are truly inspirational. And Iíve been waiting for my fourth National award for the last seven years. As far as I'm concerned, I will continue to do meaningful and aesthetic cinema along with popular cinema.
Mayavi has given you a new lease of life in commercial cinema. It is not only a huge hit but is also lapped up by all section of audiences. Please comment.
There was something for everyone in Mayavi. The youth, family audience and kids are simply going crazy about the film. I think director Shafi has made a perfect entertainer in which my character s not a larger-than-life hero. Anyone can relate to such a guy and moreover it was superbly packaged as a wholesome family entertainer.
How did you choose Big-B, a stylishly made film on par with any Hollywood action thriller?
I was impressed by Amal Neerad's story and narration It is a new kind of commercial entertainer, where I play Bilal a dutiful son who comes to avenge his motherís killers. Amal is basically a technician who has worked with Ram Gopal Varma, and the film is being well received.
Does the younger generation of viewers identify with you?
I feel that the new generation is with me. (Smiles) I think young, feel young and I'm very young in my attitude. There is no age bar for an actor and he can satisfy all age groups. I can feel the response of the youth audience who form the core of my fan base, they are the backbone of my box-office success. I will continue to do movies which cater to their taste.
Do you have any political ambitions?
Iím interested only in the welfare of the state and not in politics. Iíve a lot of dreams for my country and I want every citizen to think about their civic duties and work for the nation.
What are your forthcoming films?
Iíam completing Shyamaprasad's "Ore Kadal", an aesthetically well conceived film in
which I have a very difficult role. After that it will be Major Ravi's "Mission 90 Days", a totally different version of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination investigation which will release in the first week of July. Beginning of May, I will start M.T- Hariharan period film "Pazhassi Raja", which there is lot to talk about, and in May end I will also start work on my Onam film "Nasrani" , written by Ranjit and directed by Joshy. Meanwhile I've squeezed in a bilingual Vande matharam in Malaylam and Arumudai in Tamil directed by a new guy Karthik, a former assistant of Mani Ratnam.
How do you manage to look so young?
I am only 35 (smiles)..