Malayalam Superstar Nivin Pauly is a rage in his home-state Kerala with a fan-following to rival that of the biggest celluloid stars of the world.
For Nivin it was a big risk to play a gay character in his latest film Moothon.
But a risk well worth taking, says Nivin. “As an actor I’m hungry for new experiences. It took me no time at all to say yes to my character Akbar in Moothon. To me it didn’t matter whether the character is straight or gay, white or grey…Akbar was a challenge any actor would love to take up.”
Didn’t it bother Nivin that his fans would be shocked to see him go gay? “I didn’t think about anything except the challenge of playing the character. I was sure my fans would go with my convictions. I surrendered completely to my director Geetu Mohandas’ vision.”
Getting into the dark violent traumatized character was easier than getting out of it.
Nivin reveals it took him months to get rid of the ghosts that haunted his character in Moothon. “I took a break after the film to spend time with my newly-born daughter. Being around her helped me retain my sanity. For months, I was just home playing with my child, feeling normal.”
Was it tough exchanging those passionate glances with his male co-star?
Laughs Nivin, “Not at all. Roshan Matthews and I were very comfortable with one another. When we were looking at one another we were not looking at each other’s gender. We were looking at love. We wanted the audience to see two people in love, regardless of their gender ”
Nivin admits it has not been easy returning to playing conventional parts after Moothon. “It has prompted me to explore the complexities of the human character. There is love and violence, compassion and rage within all of us. What comes out depends on what we tap. This is the spirit my character in Moothon represents.”
Is Nivin part of Geetu Mohan’s next film? “Let’s see if there is any role for me. After Moothon we have to work on something that challenges both of us.”