In an exclusive conversation with this writer, Nivin Pauly was gung ho about his latest project. “Malayalee From India is a complete package, offering something for everyone. With its mix of entertainment, beautiful music, and emotionally gripping moments, it seems to cater to a wide range of audience. From moments of laughter to touching scenes that tug at the heartstrings, it appears to offer a well-rounded cinematic experience that engages viewers on multiple levels. Definitely an enjoyable watch.

Within weeks, Nivin had two releases.But he was unfazed. “Each of my projects is distinct. Rather no two are alike. In this instance, Vineeth began shooting much later, more or less when Dijo Jose completed his. Due to factors beyond my control as an actor, there were various reasons for the staggered release dates. However, it’s important to note that the films discussed entirely different subjects, so there was no cause for concern regarding the releases of them.”

Nivin is confident that Malayalee From India will resonate with audiences. “Me, a proud Malayalee like any other shares a special bond with the homeland. The resilience and unity of Malayalees in the face of adversity have been truly inspiring. Despite facing numerous natural calamities and disasters in recent years, the people of Kerala have shown remarkable strength, solidarity, and compassion. The film Malayalee From India takes such a slice of life, the journey of a Malayalee where certain unexpected incidents in his life changes his perspective forever which audiences may not have seen from me previously. Additionally, the storyline and themes tackled in this film provide a different kind of cinematic experience compared to my earlier works.”

Nivin admitted he enjoyed doing the lighthearted as well as the serious roles. “In the early stages of my career, I did many lighter roles that led to significant success, for which I am immensely grateful. However, as time progressed, I began receiving offers for roles that tested my abilities as an actor. I willingly took up these roles head-on, recognizing the valuable learning opportunities they presented. Interestingly, some seemingly lighter roles also brought internal challenges, underscoring the complexity of each character. In every aspect, these roles have been invaluable experiences, shaping me as an actor and enriching my journey in the industry.”

Nivin seems to be averaging 3-4 films per year. He is not afraid of overexposure. “Earlier in my career, I did indeed work in more than two films a year. Initially, being solely an actor allowed me to allocate my time freely. However, post 2017 the pace has slowed down, with me picking only one or two projects a year. In 2016, I ventured into production, which has added another dimension to my career. I thoroughly enjoy the process of bringing stories to life, from inception to screen. This also gave me the liberty to choose and decide on the projects and timelines. Surprisingly, I haven’t encountered a situation where I felt concerned about overexposure. There have always been necessary gaps between projects. However, as we discussed earlier, certain factors can sometimes lead to releases coming closer together.”

Nivin had an extended cameo in his last release Varshangaikku Shesham. He says he enjoyed being part of the ensemble cast. “Being part of an ensemble cast does give me a chance to collaborate with some wonderful talented actors and contribute to a collective effort in storytelling. Each of them brings something to the table which will overall enrich the narrative. Bangalore Days directed by Anjali Menon was a multistarrer film. It was a great experience for the actor in me. There are a few more where I have shared screen space with others. On the other hand, shouldering the entire film brings its own challenges and rewards too. The actor got to delve deeply into the character and explore the nuances carefully. There would be fame and blame too. We must be prepared for that.”

Nivin is enjoying this super- productive phase of his career. “Definitely. Lot of things to look forward to . Both as an actor and as a producer. There are exciting projects waiting to take off from our production venture Pauly Jr. Pictures. We just announced one project titled Dear Students with the talented Nayanthara on board. Action Hero Biju 2 is in the pipeline. Ram Sir’s film Yezhu Kadal Yezhu Malai is currently on its festival circuit journey. At this point, with both hands and hearts full, I am profoundly grateful.”