Child actor Ganapathy S. Poduval on his career moves

Being incorrigible seems to be the name of his game. He excelled at it in Sathyan Anthikkad's Vinodayatra, in Shaji Kailas' Alibhai and in Shafi's Lollipop, to name but a few. Now, once again, Ganapathy S. Poduval has managed to capture the hearts of the Malayali audience as the incorrigible Poly in Ranjith's latest film Pranchiyettan and The Saint, in which he plays a pivotal role alongside Mammootty.

“Poly is an intelligent kid studying in class 10 who is just a teeny bit lazy. Since his parents can't afford the tuition fee, Pranchiyettan [Mammootty] takes him under his wing and gives him all the opportunities to turn his life around. However, Poly fails to live up to expectations and just when his mentor is ready to give up on him, Poly changes Pranchiyettan's views on life,” says Ganapathy on the phone from Payyanur, Kannur, where he is based.

Playing Poly

“I was psyched to play such an important role as that of Poly and I had a lot of fun being the youngest one on set and all that. I'm thankful to Ranjith sir for choosing me and like the film I'm on a dream run. Besides, it really was a great learning experience. Everyone from Mammootty sir to Ranjith sir to cinematographer Venu sir would give me tips on how to improve my skills as an actor and generally be my mentors. In fact, in my career so far I've had the fortune to work along with some of the industry's finest actors, directors and technicians … and they've all treated me as they would their own younger brother,” adds the thrilled 15-year-old.

Before filmdom came a calling, Ganapathy's was a familiar face on the small screen thanks to roles in a number of serials and telefilms; so many he says that he has “lost count” of which all he has acted in.

It was cinematographer/director Santosh Sivan who gave Ganapathy his break in the period film Before the Rains, having met the young actor while he dubbed for another in Ananthabhadram.

Then Vinodayatra happened and he became Mollywood's favoured child star working with the likes of Mohanlal, Dileep, Prithviraj, Sreenivasan, Innocent, Jagathy Sreekumar and so on in a variety of films. He also got the starring role in the children's film Chitrashalabhangalude Veedu directed by Krishnakumar and branched out into Hindi with Waiting Room directed by Maneej Premnath, a former associate of Ram Gopal Varma.

“I enjoy acting and I'm not very choosy about my roles,” says the young actor, adding: “And that doesn't mean you'll always see me as the incorrigible youngster!”

And what's next? “Unlike Poly, I actually want to pass my class 10 exams. So its study, study and more study… for the upcoming months, at least. Then if I get offers I'll definitely take it up. Eventually, I want to go study direction at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.”