Acting chief minister par excellence: No one broke his 12-term record

Pambadi: K Karunakaran was sworn in Kerala’s chief minister four times, but Janardhanan donned the white-and-white garb 12 times.


The thespian is not willing share his record with anyone. He is proud of his ‘CM’ roles, including the ones in Suresh Gopi-starrer political thrillers ‘Thalasthanam’ and ‘Ekalavyan’ in the 1990s.


“I have drawn from K Karunakaran, E K Nayanar and V S Achuthanandan. I studied their body language and speech patterns before playing my roles,” he said.


His first role as CM in Shaji Kailas’s ‘Thalasthanam’ was loosely built on Karunakaran’s mannerisms. “A few days after the movie was released, I met Karunakaran at the airport. He gave me a hug and said that my character was brilliant. That was a great honour in my acting career,” Janardhanan said.


He imitated Nayanar for his role in ‘Ekalavyan’. “I even looked like Nayanar in that make-up. We made the character smoke bidis like Nayanar did,” he said.


He reminisced one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. When the protagonist played by Suresh Gopi reverentially reminds the chief minister to quit smoking, Janardhanan’s character replies that the bidi had been a companion throughout his life.


“Many people have said that they are reminded of Nayanar whenever they watched that movie on television. That is the biggest award an actor can expect,” he said.

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