His rise in the Malayalam film industry has been slow but steady. Nevertheless, the characters he portrayed have been significant enough to hold attention and interest. Mostly seen in supportive roles, Siju has recently been reprising lead roles too. 'Vaarthakal Ithuvare' has already been released and three more with him in the lead are on the launchpad. The actor will be seen in lead role in upcoming movies 'Mariyam Vannu Vilakkoothi' and 'Varayan'. The actor, who never believed filmdom would be a reachable domain for him, loves to maintain a down to earth profile. Siju elaborates on various aspects of his journey in the industry in a candid chat with Onmanorama.
Do you think there is a change in moviegoers' taste of enjoying films over the years?
A movie that can keep the attention of audience has always been accepted no matter which genre it belongs to - whether it is a thriller, family drama or artistic. When a person spends a certain amount on a ticket, he or she would definitely expect something aesthetically rewarding from the movie. People would enjoy any kind of movie, provided it has a content that would satisfy them.
Which type of roles appeal to you the most - realistic, action -oriented or dramatic?
I have only completed 17 movies and I have found all the characters appealing to me. It would be difficult for me to point out any one particular character as my favourite. I like doing all sorts of characters. In fact, the calibre of an actor depends on handling any kind of roles. I am trying to grow into that level. The kind of roles depends on the format of a movie and one particular pattern of characterisation may not be fit in all kinds of movies. Say for example, a realistic character may look awkward in a film that requires dramatic overtones and pace. So I try to be natural as far as possible every time.
Was cinema your long-cherished dream or was it incidental?
I believe everyone is interested in filmdom. But many have no deeper knowledge about it and think it is unreachable. Similarly, I too imagined that we were not supposed to aspire it. But the desire deep inside me came to the fore later on.
How did your first movie happen?
I sent my photos for a movie audition for the first time in 2009. It was for the film 'Malarwadi Arts Club', which was the directorial debut by Vineeth Sreenivasan. Alphonse Puthren (director) had called me to inform about the YouTube link for the casting call. So that's how I stepped into films.
Your connection with Nivin Pauly?
Nivin and I hail from the same place, Aluva. We studied together in the same school from Class I to Class 12. We were also in the same parish. After schooling, he pursued engineering and I went to study BSc Nursing.
How has been your journey in cinema so far?
I feel it has been in the right direction. It has been slow. But I am not in a hurry. I am trying to give enough time for everything. I am going forward by learning new things after every movie, applying those lessons and correcting errors in films I do next. That's how the progress has been. Each movie teaches us a lesson, whether it's a hit or a flop.
What preparations do you make for your characters in each film?
I usually communicate with the script writer and the director to know more about the character and carry out changes they demand. For example, recently, for a movie titled 'Tobama' I had shed 10 kilos as the character in the age of 25 required a lean look. Afterwards for the movie 'Vaarthakal Ithuvare' I gained weight. It is a movie set in the backdrop of 90s. The character in it had the chubbiness and thick moustache similar to the heroes of that time. For the fim 'Mariam Vannu Vilakkoothi ' I suggested a look for my character with a French beard had short hair and the director had agreed. 'Mariam Vannu Vilakkoothi' will be releasing on January 31.