Breaking his silence on the controversy in the Malayalam film industry surrounding veteran actor Thilakan, actor Mammootty has said the entire episode was pointless and uncalled for. The Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) did not want the controversy to go on.
Talking to the media on the location of his latest movie, ‘Pokkiriraja’ at Muhamma near here on Saturday, Mr. Mammootty said AMMA was ending the public discussion and the “media controversy” on the issue and that the differences of opinion would be sorted out within the AMMA. The whole episode was over “absolutely nothing” and part of a “shadow war” by vested interests, he said.
“I have no issues at all with Mr. Thilakan, and there is no question of any non-cooperation with him. Somebody has misled him,” Mr. Mammootty said, stating that he was not worried about the reported statements of Mr. Thilakan about him.
“I am ready to act with him, if he is ready to act with me,” he said.
“However, a senior artiste like Mr. Thilakan should sort out through talks whatever issues he has within the association, which is a big family. In fact, he should be an elder brother to all of us and guide us when we are wrong. But when he stands away from AMMA and criticises us, that hurts,” he said.
Mr. Mammootty also said that statements made by orator-critic Sukumar Azhikode were unwarranted.
“He is a great writer and I have a lot of respect for him. In fact he had very nice words about me when he released a book on me recently. But being a cultural leader in the society, he should stand by truth and justice. His statements on Mohanlal’s personal issues are totally baseless and unfair. I have known Mohanlal for the last 30 years and I very well know that the statement is wrong. It is also very upsetting,” he said.
On the reported personal attacks by Mr. Azhikode and Mr. Thilakan, Mr. Mammootty said he never went about saying that he was an actor par excellence. He had confidence that he could act and there was no need to go about announcing that. Make-up and playing younger characters were part of cinema, and actors like him and Mr. Mohanlal were not continuing their onscreen persona in real life, he added.