Sanoop Santhosh, the Best Child Artiste at the State Film Awards, wants academics and films to go together
At Sanoop Santhosh’s home, cinema was an enduring dream. One that is realised by Sanoop and his sister Sanusha now. “My grandfather wanted to act in films and so did my father. They both have appeared in small roles,” says the nine-year-old Sanoop, his chirp intact as he speaks over the phone from a film location in Kochi.
Sanoop’s debut as the endearing and laid back Ryan Philips in Philips and the Monkey Pen won him enough admirers. Recognition came his way with the Kerala State Film Award for the Best Child Artiste which he shared with Anika. The clear-headedness and confidence of a child marks Sanoop when he talks. The idea of facing the camera for a full-length role with no prior experience of doing so did not rattle him. Anxieties had no place as Sanoop became Ryan, a boy who goes through a gamut of emotions and transforms in the course of the film. In fact, Sanoop does not see any reason for any anxiety. “I go with my sister to film locations. I have seen films happening. So acting in front of the camera was not a problem,” he says.
Sanoop, a class five student at Sripuram English Medium School and Junior College at Pallikkunnu, Kannur, says stage performances were not his forte at school. “I am more into sports, mostly running. I must have been on stage when I was in Class 1 and 2,” he says.
However, finding a link with Ryan was not tough for Sanoop. “When I got to hear the story, I became Ryan Philip. Everybody on the sets, mainly my directors Rojin Thomas and Shanil Muhammed, made me very comfortable,” he says.
Ryan is cornered in class for being weak in academics. Sanoop says about himself. “I am not bad in studies in class. But I never study at home,” he quips. He says all at home gathered to draw parallels between him and Ryan. “They all tell me my antics at home are similar to that of Ryan,” he adds.
What Sanoop recalls of the shoot is the merry-making and freindships. “There were about 40 children on the sets. We forged friendships and the shooting was a fun trip,” he says. The child-star seeks to strike a balance between academics and films. “Studies are important in life. But I like films too,” he says. Quiz him on future assignments and Sanoop shows he is quickly learning the ways of a star’s life. “There are two-three films. But it is not yet the right time to declare them. When the time is right, I will let you know,” he says.
His performance had drawn appreciation from all — his teachers and classmates. Now with the award too in his kitty, the child says, “When the school re-opens, I want to go like an award-winner.”