Dharmajan is an artiste who effortlessly plays the blockhead on screen. But in real life he is quite serious a person and loves spending his time reading and writing. It was ‘Bluffmasters’, which ran for five years on Asianet Plus, that won him immense popularity. Afterwards Dharmajan took a break from the mini-screen. He is now back before the camera as a simpleton in ‘Badayi Bungalow’ that is aired on Asianet. He has also got a number of good roles on the big screen as well. Dharmajan talks to FridayReview about his career. Excerpts from an interview:
I had deliberately not taken up any television assignments post ‘Bluffmasters’. But when Diana Sylvester [producer] gave me a role in ‘Badayi Bungalow’, I could not say no because she was the one who identified the actor in me through ‘Cinemala’. ‘Badayi Bungalow’, loosely based on the show ‘Comedy Nights With Kapil’ on Colors channel, is a new experience for Malayalis and the credit goes to the team. Also, it is good to be back with Ramesh Pisharody, after our successful outing in ‘Bluffmasters’.
Tryst with acting
I began my career in show biz as a script writer for audio cassettes. After finishing my studies (pre-degree and ITI), I met Thomas Thoppilkkudi [who wrote the screenplay for Jayaraj’s Camel Safari], who used to write scripts for audio cassettes. That was a time when mimicry and Kathaprasangam cassettes sold like hot cakes. Slowly I started helping him with script writing. Thanks to my father and brother, I am a bibliophile. That actually helped me in writing scripts. However, though I wrote scripts for comedy, I never read comic books nor was part of any mimicry troupe! When the audio cassette industry started going through a lean period, I had to change track. I ventured into television and became a scriptwriter for the serial ‘Ettusundarikalum Njaanum’ on Surya TV. My independent script was for ‘Sundari Sundari’ and ‘Santhanagopalam’, both on Asianet. It was through Thomas that I met the ‘Cinemala’ team. I helped in writing a few episodes and even appeared in small roles in certain episodes. Gradually, the actor in me got noticed. Later, when ‘Bluffmasters’ was launched with Ramesh Pisharody and another artiste, I had to step in when the latter had to leave the show.
With Ramesh Pisharody
People often ask about the chemistry between us, but the fact is that we have nothing in common. We clicked as a team because we share the same approach to comedy and our profession. We come from middle class families and that is why were inspired by simple incidents in life for the episodes of ‘Bluffmasters’. Above all, there is no ego clash or competition between us.
On comedy shows
Comedy should always be played out in the right dose. It is something that we ensure in ‘Badayi Bungalow’. When we do comedy, we always keep a boundary for ourselves. But in most of the present day comedy shows, the laughter is forced and the artistes don’t mind overstepping their limits to make people laugh.
Pappy Appacha was my first movie. Luckily, I was part of movies that did really well, such as Ordinary, Sound Thoma and Chapters. I was also lucky to work in Sathyan [Anthikad] sir’s movie, Puthiya Theerangal. With my lacklustre physique and height, it would be foolish of me to dream something big. On that note, I never even thought of becoming an actor. New movies with Dileep and Kunchacko Boban are up for release. Also, I am working on the script of a movie.