Actor-writer Murali Gopy is on a roll in Mollywood with a handful of carefully chosen films.

Murali Gopy is on song, as writer and actor. Left Right Left, scripted by him, has him playing a lead character and also features a song sung by him. As he awaits the release of this Arun Kumar Aravind film, Murali is striding ahead in tinsel town; marching to a rhythm that is all his. The actor-writer is hearing stories, completing shoots and signing films that he believes offers him variety and challenges of different kinds.

Words get a new life and a fresh perspective when Murali picks them up for his scripts that are grounded in reality. It is the same with the characters he creates or enacts. Pulsating with life, with all its foibles and joys, his characters display the same complexities that we encounter in our lives. Those people continue to live long after the reels run out.

Having proven his versatility with a handful of memorable characters on screen, the actor is looking forward to an enviable line-up of films in 2013 and 2014. Not one character of Murali’s is a clone of another. “Even when I am playing a villain, I try to ensure that there is that something that makes the characters stand apart,” points out Murali. True, if his Kala Bhaskaran in Rasikan was more of a bully; Alex of Bhramaran was suave and cunning; Ajay Kurien of Ee Adathu Kalathu was a tragic villain struggling to make his past and present meet; Kuttan in Thappana was a crude and foul villain. Perungodan Narayanan, his character in Kanchi, is an egoist, a demoniac man with a larger-than-life image.

With his characteristic sense of humour punctuating each line, he says he was surprised to find that he could act. “It is a kind of purging for me, a catharsis. The good, the bad and the ugly exist within all of us and it is we who choose who we want to be. There is a spectrum of characters in me and when I don a role I am able to explore those people in me,” explains Murali. When it comes to his movies, Murali, the multi-tasker, insists on doing only one film at a time. He admits it could be a limitation because he is unable to switch between films and characters within a span of a few days.

Murali has just completed Manoj K.R.’s Kanyaka Talkies. Murali says his Father Michele Plathottathil in Kanyaka Talkies is quite unlike Roy Joseph, his role in Left Right Left. “If Roy is an intense brooding chap with a past, Plathottathil is a devout, simple priest who is intent on being pure in thought and deed,” says the actor.

Roy, P.K. Jayan and Sahadevan are the three main characters in Left Right Left. Roy, nicknamed Che Guevara Roy, is a paralytic. “Each personality is shaped by three factors: partly genetics, partly what he sees in his childhood and partly unknown. That is what Left Right Left is about.” Set in three periods, the story is a reflection of our times.

On the anvil are some interesting roles and movies that will have Murali working with Mohanlal, Fahadh Faasil and Indrajith. So is Murali an actor or a writer first?

“I enjoy both, but both writing and acting are lonely jobs. Once, the camera is switched on, the actor is the loneliest man on the sets. Similarly, while writing, I am in the company of my characters only,” says Murali. Variety seems to be the spice of life for him as he extends his repertoire in various fields. So will Murali be occupying the director’s chair too? “Maybe in 2015 or whenever it is that I feel I am ready,” says Murali. Now that should be a new direction for Murali.

ROLE CALL

Murali is acting with Fahadh Faasil for G.N. Krishnakumar’s Kanchi. It has been scripted by Jeyamohan.

Arun’s new film, a psycho-thriller, again scripted by Jeyamohan. Murali and Indrajith play the main characters.

Murali essays the main character in Siddarth Bharathan’s new film, Twist.

Kosrakolli, directed by newcomer Sunil Linus De, is another film that will go on the floor this year.

Rajesh Pillai’s Lucifer, starring Mohanlal and Murali, begins in 2014. Murali is writing the script.

SHORT TAKES

His father’s son: My father (Bharat Gopy) is my hero, my role model. I see him from the vantage of a person looking at a towering mountain.

Arun and I: Both of us are essentially editors at heart. If Arun is from the visual medium, my training as a mediaperson has made me one. I see each scene that I write and there is an editing that I do at each point. That could be a reason why Arun and I gel so well. Our understanding of cinema and passion for movies are on the same wave length.

Music matters: I enjoy singing and I sing with child-like enthusiasm. There are offers to sing and I might accept a few if I feel I could do justice to it.