Cinema

Villain with a body

John Kokken, Thrissur-born but Mumbai bred, came down South a few years ago, seeking fresh cinematic pastures and he isn't disappointed considering he has been able to garner a couple of meaty bad guy roles in all South Indian languages. The model-turned actor, with a face, body and height to watch out for, got set to stay put in tinseldom after a lot of hard work. He is trained in boxing and a couple of martial arts like karate and kickboxing. His first Malayalam movie was ‘Love in Singapore', in which he got to flex his muscles and make really wicked faces.

This year, he has a release coming up. Kokken is thrilled about his role in ‘Alexander the Great'. He plays a ruthless moneylender called Thomaskutty. The young actor is keen to act with top stars. He narrates his experiences with them in great detail. “Watching Mohanlal sir act is like a practical class on acting,” feels Kokken. He acted with Suresh Gopi in ‘IG'. On many movie sets, he gives tips to fellow actors on fitness, as he is a fitness freak. All those modelling assignments were, thanks to a fit body after all. Coming in the last ten in the Gladrags contest turned Kokken's attention to show business.

In Padmakumar's new movie, ‘Shikhar', Kokken gets to play a totally different character, ‘a raw Malayali' character as he puts it. “It's a dream character,” he adds.

He is stepping into Kannada filmdom too with a villain's role. In ‘Prithvi', to be released soon, he plays Nagendra, a very rugged and ugly iron mine owner. It's a Puneet Kumar movie. In another Kannada movie he has just signed on, the hero is Raj Kumar's son, Shiv Kumar. ‘Shaurya' is the third movie, the shooting of which is complete. A spoilt rich brat is his character.

The Telugu movie scene seems to have taken a liking to him. Kokken pronounces his name as ‘Cocaine'. Now, in his Telugu entry, that's his name! Son of a Dubai-based Don, his character is called John Cocaine. Ravi Teja is the hero. ‘Don Seenu' is another Telugu movie he has signed on, also as ...yes, a villain. “My father's character is being played by senior Bollywood actor Mahesh Manjrekar of which I am pretty excited.”

His Kollywood debut is called ‘Jayakumarin Thirakkathai' with director Sarath Haridasan. Kokken plays Inspector Amalraaj, a corrupt police officer. It's a comedy, he says.

Though Kokken is happy with his handsome villain image, he would love to play positive characters too, he says.

The lad from Kuriachira sure has come this far with his looks, amiable disposition, diplomacy and most of all, hard work.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 5:57:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/Villain-with-a-body/article16364888.ece

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