His career is as intriguing as a thriller. Fahadh Faasil had a dream debut almost a decade ago back with his father, ace director Fazil, launching him as a hero in Kaiyethum Doorathu. The film, however, failed to create a ripple at the box office. He was labelled as a failure and forgotten by all.
Three years ago, he made a comeback, and created quite an impression with a brief role in Kerala Café. Some impressive performances later, Fahadh is now associated with several ‘new generation movies’.
Recently, he won the Kerala State Film Award for the Second Best Actor with his performances in Akam and Chappa Kurishu. The actor is now part of Friday, which releases this weekend. He is currently shooting for cinematographer Rajeev Ravi’s debut as a director, Annayum Rasoolum.
In an exclusive interview with Friday Review, Fahadh Faasil talks about the highs and lows in his rather eventful career. Excerpts:
How exciting is it to win the Kerala State film award?
Before the national awards were announced, I was told that Chappa Kurishu was there in contention. When it didn’t win any award, I thought it would be the same at the state level too. This honour is, of course, a happy one and is a form of motivation as well. I didn’t know how serious winning the award is until my father explained it to me. Frankly, my aim is not to win an award, but to entertain people as much as possible.
You were almost written off after the dismal show of your maiden film. But you are back with a bang. Did you anticipate this kind of an acceptance during your second attempt? (Smiles) People around me had expectations but I never thought things would turn out this way. I am not affected or carried away by success or failure. I think everything is temporary. When all this hype happens, I wonder how it would be like when it disappears. It is a phase and what I am trying to do is to keep reinventing myself and make movies that surprise people.
Is there too much of expectations to live up to now?
I don’t think there is too much of expectations, but I think I am seen more as an ‘experimental’ actor. My films may not have a great opening but I am not bothered about it. Whatever the numbers be, I want those viewers who come for my films to be excited about watching the movie. My films are not huge, costly productions. I have a certain space and I am happy about it. I think that I have the freedom to experiment within that space.
You’ve been branded as the quintessential new generation hero. Are you comfortable with that tag?
I have only done what those characters demanded and what the directors have asked me to do. One of the leading dailies reported that I was wearing the same type of boxers in two films (laughs).
I personally feel that it is all unwanted attention. I like to do things that I know or that I am familiar with.
You haven’t entered commercial entertainers in a major way as of now…
I don’t know how the new generation label got attached to me though I am still trying to do films like Thoovanathumbikal, Namukku Parkkan Munthirithoppukal and Nokketha Doorathu Kannum Nattu. I would like to do all genres. For me, Diamond Necklace is a commercial attempt as it has songs and glamour. I am comfortable with anything that people talk about, as long as my films are working and I am appreciated.
Have you become too selective?
I don’t think so. I was around and looking for work but the right films didn’t come to me. Friday is releasing shortly but I am in it for 20 minutes or so. When the story of Friday was first narrated to me by director Lijin Jose and writer Najeem Koya, I was not part of the movie. But I wanted to work with them.
What is your character in Friday like?
Friday is the story of many lives and I play a character that links two lives in it. It is an interesting and realistic film. There are some fabulous performances in it from well-known actors like Nedumudi Venu and also from some fresh faces from the theatre circuit.
Why is it that most of your characters have varying shades of grey in them?
This has always fascinated me, as I believe in the goodness of people. And badness is a phase that we can overcome. Some people prefer to stay in the bad world and some try to come out of it. My films, I feel, have always been a travel from good to bad and also from bad to good. Basically I like that in a human being.
All these have happened to me on a personal level too. Mistakes happen and then you try to overcome those. I like that process. When I found it in scripts, I thought it was very real. For me every one is a hero. It is just the phases and time that make a difference.