Fahadh Faasil tells Sundaylite about the influence of Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s Aaranya Kaandam on his career and the experience of working with him in Super Deluxe
A lifeline. That’s what Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s 2011 gangster drama, Aaranya Kaandam, was for Fahadh Faasil.
The noughties weren’t kind on the Malayalam actor — his 2002 début, Kaiyethum Doorathu, directed by his father and acclaimed director Fazil, sank without a trace, prompting him to take a break and pursue his studies in the US. Seven years later, when he returned, it was to cameos and small roles. “I wasn’t really sure about the kind of films I wanted to be a part of. That’s when I saw Aaranya Kaandam,” he shares. “I was stunned; it was such a stylish film. It made me stay (in films). It was crucial in moulding me as an actor.”
Exclusive Still: Fahadh Faasil’s look from Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s ‘Super Deluxe’
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Now, life’s coming full circle. This year, the actor, who is in his mid-30s, will feature in Kumararaja’s second directorial venture, Super Deluxe. “Working with (Kumararaja) was a mindblowing experience. It was the best way to craft myself,” he says. The film’s cast includes Vijay Sethupathy, Samantha Akkineni, Ramya Krishnan and director Mysskin.
Breaking with the norm
In the eight years since he watched Aaranya Kaandam, Fahadh’s career has gone from strength to strength. He is a National Award winner, bagging best supporting actor for his portrayal of a thief in the critically-acclaimed Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum. Films like 22 Female Kottayam, North 24 Kaatham, Annayum Rasoolum, Carbon and Njan Prakashan show an actor willing to take on an unconventional script. His ability to ‘shapeshift’ is what enouraged filmmaker Sathyan Anthikad to cast him in Njan Prakashan. “The changes that Fahadh brings to his appearances through his eyes and demeanour are sheer magic. He looks so normal (in person) but these characters make him different,” says Anthikad.
- Fahadh’s ability to ‘shapeshift’ encouraged filmmaker Sathyan Anthikad to cast him in Njan Prakashan. The director admits that had it been a different decade, he’d have chosen Mohanlal. “The changes that Fahadh brings to his appearances through his eyes and demeanour are sheer magic. He looks so normal (in person) but these characters make him different. Remember, he shot for Varathan and Njan Prakashan within months of each other,” says Anthikad.
Quiz Fahadh about the work that goes behind his method acting and he clarifies, “There’s no deliberate effort (from me) as a performer to be unconventional. The characters I portray are an extension of what I’ve seen, heard or read, and so what you see in my films are how I understand life. What I look for in a project is whether the storyline excites me.”
Super Deluxe — which explores the lives of 10 characters — has left him wondering how he can push the boundaries of acting further. “Maybe it is time for me to move to the next level. I need to start doing something new, different to what I’ve been doing so far,” he says, leaving us guessing.
When i saw Aaranya Kaandam, I was stunned. It was such a stylish film and was crucial in moulding me as an actor Fahadh Faasil
A full roster
Fahadh is generally hesitant to accept films from languages other than Malayalam. The only exception has been the Sivakarthikeyan-starrer Velaikkaran, which he says was a “wonderful experience”. He was to be a part of Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, but opted out due to scheduling conflicts.
But his star continues to shine closer home. He is shooting for an anthology flick, Trance, directed by Anwar Rasheed, and has wrapped up shoot for an as-yet-untitled flick alongside Sai Pallavi. He will be seen next in Madhu C Narayanan’s Kumbalangi Nights, which he co-produced with his wife, actor Nazriya Nazim. He is also expected to be part of Aashiq Abu’s multi-starrer medical drama, Virus.
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