Sunny Wayne endeared himself to Malayali film audiences as the irrepressible sidekick, Kurudi, to Dulquer Salmaan’s, Lalu, in Second Show. With memorable roles in each of his three subsequent films – Thattatin Maraythu, where he appeared in a cameo as the lovelorn Majeed, in Nee Ko Njaa Cha, his first lead role, where he essayed the role of a young Casanova, and Annayum Rassolum, in which he starred as the soulful Ashley, the one who unwittingly brings Anna and Rasool together, the gangly actor with his mass of funky corkscrew curls has now became a part and parcel of new-age Malayalam cinema.
“I consider myself extremely lucky because early on in my career I got to do such interesting roles – dream roles, even. That I continue to be known by Kurudi’s name is fantastic. How many actors can say the same? Actually, every role is a dream role. Earlier, I would never have pegged Ashley as a dream role but to my luck it turned out to be so. I want to keep doing such roles that go straight to the hearts of the audience,” says the chatty actor.
Sunny, who’s real name is Sujith (“My friends call me Sunny; Wayne is just for an impact…”) is now all set to engage audiences with another dream role in the upcoming road movie Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi, directed by Sameer Thahir. In the film Sunny once again teams up with his “bro” Dulquer, after their stellar debut in Second Show.
Sunny plays the role of Suni, an engineering student, who, along with his friend, Kasi (Dulquer), goes on a biking trip from Kerala to the North East, travelling via Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Sikkim and Nagaland. “Stop! I really want to tell you how I got the role…,” he interrupts , as we try to get him to talk about his experiences on the road. It’s turning out to be a rib-tickler of an interview, so we decide to indulge him.
“One day I was driving through Palarivattam (in Kochi) when Dulquer called and asked me ‘Aren’t you happy?’ I was flummoxed. Why would I need to be happier than I already am? And Dulquer replied: ‘Check your phone messages!” There in my inbox was a message from my bro ‘Ente Kurudiyayittu Orikkal Koodi Varaamo?’ (Can you play my sidekick Kurudi once again?). I was ecstatic! Without knowing anything about my role I called him up and told him ‘Aayiram Thavana Varum!’ (I’ll come a thousand times). So cheesy, right?” he says with a guffaw.
Sunny adds that he and Dulquer were waiting for the right film to team up again. “We’ve actually been flooded with offers to act together post- Second Show. Some of them Dulquer rejected, some, I did. We wanted something as special as Second Show. And when we heard Neelakasham’s story and that it was Sameer’s road movie to boot, we all but jumped on the Bullet, so to speak,” he says. That and the fact that they are both motorcycle enthusiasts, apparently.
“I used to own a Bullet in my days as a techie and IT entrepreneur in Bangalore before I got bit by the film bug. I’ve always wanted to go for a trip like this,” adds Sunny, who grew up in Wayanad. Well, while shooting for Neelakasham that wish seems to have been fulfilled… “I can fill chapters in my autobiography with the sights we were privileged to see. We filmed in places off the beaten track such as Araku Valley, an unspoilt haven of a hill station near Vishakhapatnam, in mountains deep in Nagaland and Sikkim, at the Puri fete in Orissa… every landmark was more enchanting than the next. It’s the kind of trip where you can’t help but be on a high throughout!” he says, with a laugh.
Looks like Sunny’s high is set to continue as he’s got a whole list of other dream roles at the marquee – Koothara, Starring Pournami, Villain, Rosapoo…