From stage to screen

Hareesh Peradi with director Manikandan  

Those of us who watched the recently-released Aandavan Kattalai, directed by Manikandan, were particularly impressed with the apt casting in the film – be it George and Vinodhini who played the lawyer duo, or Sivagnanam Aravindhan who was cast as a Sri Lankan immigrant, Singampuli who played a real estate broker or even Hareesh Peradi, who excelled in the role of a CBI officer.

The course of the whole film changes with his arrival . The moment he slaps Singampuli, the audience understands the gravity of the situation. And for the next 10 minutes, it is Hareesh Peradi who steals the show, brilliantly displaying his acting prowess.

Harish is no newbie to acting. He was earlier seen in Sasikumar’s Kidaari, where he played an ageing politician, but it was his remarkable performance in Aandavan Kattalai that has made made people take note.

He is also a well-known theatre artist in Kerala, having made a mark in stage and also in TV and cinema. Even though he has acted in 36 films so far, it was Malayalam film, Left Right Left (2013), that gave him a break. In the film, he played the lead role, that of a leftist politician with shades of grey. “When Sasikumar and Manikandan offered me a role in their films, I readily agreed, as I have much admiration for both. In fact, I was nurturing a secret desire to work with Manikandan, and when I got the offer from him, I was positively delighted,” says Peradi. While Sasikumar roped him in for Kidaari ahead of Manikandan, it was Aandavan Kattalai that was shot first.

Born in Calicut, Hareesh Peradi was fascinated by theatre and learned his lessons from a four-year stint with Jayaprakash Kuloor at the age of 20. Peradi became popular in the theatre circuit by performing in the Appunnikal series of plays, as part of which only two characters, Appu and Unni, have conversations for two hours. These plays were social satire belonging to the dark comedy genre.

Appunnikal was written by Jayaprakash Kuloor and has been staged 3,500 times, over a period of 12 years. I played Unni, while Sasikumar played Appu,” says Peradi.

The seasoned artist, who is based out of Kochi, speaks Tamil fluently, thanks to watching Tamil films regularly. “In Aandavan Kattalai, Manikandan encouraged me to go ahead and speak with my strong Malayalam accent. The meticulous detailing he provided me with made my work easy. Manikandan, who insisted on a realistic portrayal, said my performance must not be like any other police or CBI officer seen on the silver screen before.”

Peradi is a big admirer of Vijay Sethupathi. “He is a down-to-earth person and his style of acting is subtle. It is this combination that makes him a great actor. His simplicity is his strength. In the film, I was simply reacting to his acting,” he says. “A good actor must be able to understand his character well. Manikandan is brilliant when it comes to preparing the artists to play his character .”

The 48-year-old actor is all smiles as he recalls that his phone didn’t stop ringing after the release of Aandavan Kattalai. “Offers have been pouring in from a number of directors in Kollywood. Villain, comedy or character role — I want to choose based on the scope of the role.”

Peradi has signed up to play a crucial role in Thamira’s upcoming film, Aan Devathai, in which Samuthirakani and Ramya Pandian ( Joker) play the lead roles.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 1:22:14 AM |

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