Language no bar

IN THE FRAME: Joy Matthew and Om Puri in a scene from `Bollywood Calling'.

IN THE FRAME: Joy Matthew and Om Puri in a scene from `Bollywood Calling'.  

"I LIKE my Malayali identity and love to be known as one," says Joy who is now a familiar face on the Telugu channels. He's appeared in quite a few commercials like Margadarshi Chit Fund, Gemini tea, Maha Shakti Cement, Sri Ram Chit Fund, Vaartha and Tata Cellular. One cannot forget the lovable character "cameraman Prasad" in Bollywood Calling and his small role in Rockford. His real claim to fame though is his commendable work in Malayalam movies (Siddartha, Unna Thangalil etc.,), and Joy makes no bones about the way he feels being associated with Malayalam cinema. "I'm most comfortable doing them, and Kerala has some of the finest filmmakers and working with them is a pleasure. Director Joemon is my inspiration and five years down the line I'd like to direct films myself," says Joy.

Joy Matthews Mendonce did not dream of a career in showbiz nor did he nurse a desire to be a model. His good looks, charming persona, the artistic streak took him to the inevitable destination. But this is not his final destination, says Joy. His priorities lie with his interior designing firm `Honey Bee' in the city, which he's been running successfully for the last six years. While participating in a fashion show at NIIT, he caught the attention of model coordinator/choreographer Aruna Sharma who encouraged him to try his hand at modelling. He did his first assignment for Pepe Jeans and many followed later.

Joy travelled different places before he landed in Hyderabad. He was born in Chennai, did his primary school in Lakshwadeep, high school in Calicut and arrived in Bangalore to do Electronics Engineering. "It was my dad's wish that I should do Engineering, so I obliged. But interior designing was where my heart was. So I did a three-year diploma in Interior Designing as well," he says.

A Malayali Christian, Joy met Aparna - a Telugu Hindu - his junior in the college, fell in love and married her soon after finishing college.

Hyderabad, which was being hyped as the most happening city caught his attention and promptly brought him here. Did things really happen to his liking? "I am not disappointed. It is being said that Bombay doesn't say no to anyone. I felt even Hyderabad adopts same attitude with outsiders. I am thankful for that," says Joy. Specialised in kitchen designing, Joy finds space management, the most challenging aspect in his profession. "People here, specially who have returned from abroad are open to innovative ideas and ready for experiments," he says.

LOOKING AHEAD: The possibilities are endless for Joy Matthew. - Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

LOOKING AHEAD: The possibilities are endless for Joy Matthew. - Photo: K. Ramesh Babu  

A trained Bharatanatyam dancer, Joy is also a classical singer, plays jazz drums and keyboards, and like any other Keralite played football in school and college. "It is the education system in Kerala where an equal emphasis is laid on extra curricular activities that moulds them into overall artistic and enterprising individuals," feels Joy.

Joy played a role in the serial Gokulam Apartments which will be shown on Maa TV, and the character, conveniently for Joy, is of an NRI who speaks less of Telugu and more of English.

"I'd like to learn to speak the language before I commit myself to acting in Telugu serials or films," says Joy who's all set to act in Priyadarshan's Telugu version of Hera Pheri, directed by Satyam Reddy. Till then with work ranging as wide as designing and acting, Joy's cup of joy continues to overflow.


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