‘Rasathanthram’ happened only because Innocent asked me to do a film with Mohanlal: Sathyan Anthikad

Sathyan Anthikad said he has lost someone to whom he could narrate his stories. File photo

Popular director Sathyan Anthikad says actor Innocent, who passed away in Kochi recently, always had an answer and solution for everything. He also spoke about his close bond with the actor.

“When I came to know that Innocent was no more, I wondered why he had loved me so dearly. His death wouldn’t have affected me had we shared a regular relationship between a director and an actor. But, Innocent had been an incredibly loving presence in my life. I have been suffering pain for the last two days as we had shared a great bond. I have lost my greatest support and strength in my life. The thought that Innocent was there for me gave me immense courage. A phone call to him, when you are down, would instantly lift you up," he said.

He recalls some fond memories with Innocent during the shoot of the film 'Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu'. "I decided to give Innocent a unique character in ‘Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu’. His hair was cut too short for the role. Innocent had to attend a wedding function at his hometown then. When he returned, he said that he was embarrassed because of the short hairstyle. Even his wife Alice made fun of his hair. I consoled him saying that it was necessary for the perfection of the character. I said this in front of everyone on the sets. His reply came instantly, “You tonsure your head and then walk around Anthikad; you would then understand the pain of it.”

According to him, Innocent always had an answer and a solution for everything. "I hadn’t done movies with Mohanlal for over twelve years. We had just patched up after a fall out. One day, Innocent called me from the sets of ‘Udayon’ and told me that I should do my next movie with Mohanlal. He said he told Mohanlal too,” Innocent ordered. "Mohanlal called me within two minutes. After that, Antony Perumbavoor too called me and spoke to me. It was how the movie ‘Rasathanthram’ had happened. No one could oppose if Innocent had decided something.

Innocent was always complacent in life. He had learned to say that he was happy with whatever he had. No amount of wealth could lure him. He didn’t do back-to-back movies. He worked happily with whatever remuneration he got. He didn’t live just to earn money. He could have produced movies when he became a popular actor; however, he didn’t do that. It is a big thing to feel satisfied with whatever we have," he added.

"Only during his last moments at the hospital, he said -- “I don’t want to live anymore.” He hadn’t spoken like that before. Innocent bid adieu to this world when he didn’t want to live anymore. The greatest lesson that he taught me was to be satisfied with what we have.

‘Pachuvum Athbuthavilakkum’ directed by my son was one of the last movies in which he had acted. The movie was shot with live sound recording. When I visited the sets, he told me, “Your son is intelligent. He is recording my voice fearing that I would be dead by the time dubbing begins.”

"In all my movies, there would be characters from the stories that Innocent had told me. He created interesting characters from everyone he knew from his hometown. I and Priyadarshan used to wonder how he was able to do that. Innocent would narrate all those characters to me. Interestingly, such characters suited him perfectly. But, now, there is no one to play those characters. They would never get life now. I have lost someone to whom I could narrate my stories. There is no other person I had called so many times from my mobile phone. I don’t think I need a mobile phone anymore. I kept a phone, only because I expected a call from Innocent," Sathyan Anthikad added.

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