Roshan Mathew, one of the brightest young actors from Kerala, couldn’t be in a better place. “I am very happy with what Malayalam cinema is doing. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to work here now. And the new makers, writers, actors who are coming up each year are all exciting and full of promise. So I think good work will continue here for a while. And it’ll keep all of us working on ourselves as well, to make us worthy of the space we want to hold.”

Roshan’s new Malayalam film Paradise is set entirely in Sri Lanka. “It’s the story of a Malayali couple that travels to Sri Lanka for a cheap holiday. Prasanna Vithanage Sir reached out and sent me the script sometime in the second half of 2022. I loved my meeting with him, and the kind of exploration he wanted to do of the relationship between Kesav and Amritha and of each of them, and they respond to the crisis around them scared and excited me. I had no clue how to get there, but somehow I felt it’ll be possible with sir. It was an immediate yes after this first meeting with him.”

Shooting in Sri Lanka was a breeze for Roshan. “Our shooting was very comfortable but I’m also aware that it was so because Newton cinemas is a production house from outside Sri Lanka. So the currency they brought had multiplied in value there .Also, our shooting schedule was meticulously planned much in advance. We had a load of travelling to do, and even that was planned out in the most fuel and budget efficient manner. I am not equipped to speak of the island lending itself to cinematic interpretations, but from what I experienced it definitely is a land that has passionate, dedicated individuals and a fertile land filled with possibilities for storytelling.”

Roshan speaks of his Paradise co-star with utmost respect. “We’ve known each other a long time. We met each other as actors, and have followed each others journey closely. We also have a long standing friendship that made the familiarity and comfort between Kesav and Amritha easily accessible. She’s also an actor who inspires and excites me, and working with her keeps me on my toes and pushes me to do my best.”

About his character in Paradise Roshan shares, “To be very honest, Kesav isn’t unfamiliar. Prasanna sir and I both decided to not let any false pretence get in the way right from our first discussion about him. He’s relatable to every man who’s ever been in a relationship, I’m sure. Honestly, it was a lot of fun figuring him out and layering him with a possible backstory. I imagined how he’d have first presented himself to Amritha, and how he’d have kept that appearance up for so long that maybe even he believes it now. That angle, and his classic male ego and possessiveness were all kept constantly within reach. All of these factors are at play constantly.”

He is all praise for his director. “He’s brilliant. He’s so clear in his head about what he wants but never puts the weight of that on his actors. He lets each actor explore their characters journey and respects their decisions. It’s very liberating working with him. I also think he’s so evolved and mature in his craft that he’s achieved a kind of minimalism and security that I see very rarely. I aspire to a semblance of that in what I do, someday.I want to collaborate with people whose work I love and respect.”