He’s a tough-talking, sharp-thinking, gifted actor with a plan. NISHAD PADIYARATH talks to Fahadh Faasil, an actor who does things his way.

A decade ago, celebrity kid Fahadh Faasil had a dream debut in his legendary filmmaker dad Fazil’s film Kaiyethum Doorathu. But little did he realise that the movie would be a debacle and he would invite wrath from movie buffs and critics alike.

Seven years later, Fahadh Faasil made a stunning comeback to silence everyone. Ever since then, there is no stopping this jovial actor who has now become a rage in South Indian state of Kerala. While attractive single women mourned the loss of one of the most sough-after bachelors in Kerala after he was married to popular actress Nazriya Nazim, his comeback is seen as an inspirational story for the youth.

You opened your account in the film industry with a failure and then went to the US soon after; where you spent the next eight years. Did that bitter experience change you as a person?
I was way too young when that movie was made. My father is a renowned director but despite all that I never knew how the industry would accept me. Frankly, I never thought that movie would be a setback. Life in the US changed me as a person. During that time, I met a lot of people and travelled around the country a lot. In a way it helped me to reinvent myself because during those days I interacted more with life. I have grown up seeing success and failure. I have seen my dad at his pinnacle of success and at the same time I saw him hitting the ebb. I am happier to say that the failure of my debut film made me a matured actor today.

My job is to entertain the audience and if a story interests me, I do take up irrespective of what is in store.

You have returned with a bang. Have you ever thought of such a rousing from the fans?
Honestly, I never thought my career would have a successful second phase. Even though my role was very brief in Kerala Café, the kind of response I got from people actually pushed me to take-up films more seriously and thereafter it’s all you know (laughs).

There is much anticipation from your fans. Do you face any such pressure when you take up a movie project?
Frankly, every movie is done with lots of commitment. I do not go into the detail of every film. My job is to entertain the audience and if a story interests me, I do take up irrespective of what is in store. I have never done a film looking at the benefits that comes with it. If my movie has satisfied the audience it’s due to the hard work done by a lot of people behind the camera. Every time when I face the camera, I remember about my maiden film and that failure pushes me to do well in my upcoming projects. So far it has been good for me.

You have become a producer with Iyobinte Pusthakam. Did that come by chance? What motivated you to become a producer?
I always wanted to make a film that could bring a “wow factor” in the audience. I shared this idea of producing a film with my friend and director Amal Neerad and it was then that he narrated me the story of Iyobinte Pusthakam. But to have this story shot in Malayalam requires a lot of money. Budget was an issue and I never thought twice and jumped on board to produce it. That’s how it happened.

Budget constraints are always an issue when it comes to Malayalam cinema. Is the industry ready to accept films made on a bigger canvas?
Why not? Money is not an issue if you have passionate people who want to make good cinema. We did a lot of research before making Iyobinte Pusthakam and had to spend a lot. But we were happy because we knew what the result will be. I think Malayalam cinema has already started to accept that reality.

Marriage gives you an instant focus.

I must say you have brought a lot of originality to your acting. Do you make any preparations before you face the camera?
That is a good observation from you. (laughs). Every film is a gamble for me. I like to do different roles that can make the audience smile. My idea of doing a film is to connect to the audience and to get everyone involved and participate. If you do the same kind of roles then it becomes a cliché.

How is your life after marriage?
It’s quite interesting. Marriage gives you an instant focus. Your life is not about yourself anymore. It also gives you a very good support base. Every decision you take is important because that concerns your partner as well. Some say I have become more patient (laughs).

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