Ashok Kumar is on cloud nine after winning the Kerala State Film Award for the second best actor.

There were two big surprises at the State Film Awards: the best film and the second best actor. The award for the second best actor was won by Ashok Kumar.

“Since I was appreciated by many people who saw CR No. 89, I had, to be honest, some hopes about some kind of recognition, maybe a mention of the jury or something like that, but I never thought Iwould become the second best actor,” says Ashok.He has been a part of Sudevan’s group of friends, right from the beginning.

“One day he told me that he was planning to make a short film Varoo and wanted me to do a role in it. Though the only acting experience I had was at school, I became a part of that short film. Then I acted in Sudevan’s next short film, Planning, for which I shared the State Television award for the best actor along with Achuthanandan; we had played the two thieves in the film,” Ashok says.

About his role in CR No. 89, he says it was not much different from what he had done in the earlier films.

“It was a much longer role of course, as it was a full-length feature. I play a mechanic and the film revolves around his experiences on a fateful day,” he says. Although Ashok has acted in minor roles in a few films such as Outsider and Idukki Gold, he still makes his living from sculpting for commercial purposes. “I was, in fact, sculpting an idol at the Akhilanam temple near my house at Peringode, Palakkad, when the State Awards were being announced in Thiruvananthapuram,” says Ashok.