Making a mark
P.K. AJITH KUMAR
Nishan on his tryst with Mollywood.
You don't need loud acting in Malayalam cinema.
On cloud nine: Nishan.
He may be just two films old, but Nishan has already made an impact in Mollywood as one of the promising young actors in Malayalam cinema. This pleasant-looking young man from Coorg stands out for his understated style of acting. In fact, two of the directors he has worked with – M. Padmakumar and Sibi Malayil – are generous in their praise for his acting abilities and dedication. Says Sibi: “He has got potential and will go far if he chooses the right kind of films. He justified my faith in him with a superb performance in my movie ‘Apoorvaragam.'”
Says Nishan who is on cloud nine on the success of the movie: “I'm glad ‘Apoorvaragam' is doing well at the box office. I was confident that the film would go down well with the audience. The script had potential and I had great faith in the director,” says Nishan who was in Kozhikode recently.
As in ‘Ritu,' it was a subtle performance from Nishan in ‘Apoorvaragam.' The young actor excelled in his role of a lover who has more than one shade. He attributes his natural kind of acting to the training he received from Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. “When you are taught acting by someone like Naseeruddin Shah, you would never think about overacting. And when you are exposed to films of actors like Al Pacino for over two years at FTII, you would know acting is actually just behaving in front of a camera hidden somewhere,” he explains.
However, Nishan had a tough time convincing his parents about his decision to join FTII. “I was a bright student. I was also good in tennis, reaching the final of the All-India Inter-university Championship, representing Kolkata. My father allowed me to write the FTII entrance examination confident that I wouldn't make it as there were just 20 seats,” smiles Nishan.
He did make it and spent the next two years of his life, watching and learning cinema. “Since you have been exposed to such excellence in cinema, you could easily feel dejected and frustrated when you find the poor quality of mainstream Indian cinema,” says Nishan.
After passing out of FTII, he moved to Mumbai and acted in a film produced by Subhash Ghai. “But unfortunately that film, ‘Cycle Kick,' directed by Shashi Sudigala, hasn't been released yet,” he says.
His first release was in Telugu – ‘Manorama.' “I played a terrorist in the film. Charmi was my heroine. Then I went back to Mumbai and resumed my auditions for roles in Bollywood, but nothing significant came my way,” says Nishan.
Then ‘Ritu' happened, and his life changed. “Shyamaprasad had seen my stills from a model coordinator in Chennai. But I was not sure if I could do the film because Malayalam is a tough language. Shyamaprasad, however, told me that he was confident that I could do the role,” he says.
Nishan says he is happy that he is working in Malayalam cinema. “The films here suit my kind of acting; you don't need loud acting in Malayalam cinema at all. And I am trying to learn the language,” he says.
Nishan is currently doing ‘Ithu Nammude Katha,' directed by debutant Rajesh Kannankara. “My next release in Malayalam would be ‘Not Out,' directed by another newcomer, Kutty Naduvil. It is a comedy, and I am paired with Mithra Kurien. I am doing this film because I wanted to break my image as an actor of serious roles,” he explains.
Nishan is excited by his two Tamil projects. “In one of those films, I will be acting with Mammootty, and that is something I am really looking forward to, because he is such a fine actor. Mohanlal is another actor I would love to work with. My other favourite Indian actors are Kamal Haasan and Mithun Chakraborty,” he says.
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