70 days in hiding, losing opportunities: the making of Baiju Santhosh

Actor Baiju who entertained us in many super hit films has recently changed his name to Baiju Santhosh as per the rules of numerology. The actor has no doubt when he says that the change has really paid off as he has become busy in the films, with handful of interesting projects. He is awaiting the release of at least 10 movies in which he has played pivotal roles.

Besides, he is already committed to many movies and has allotted dates as well. His real name is B Santhosh Kumar and has now added ‘Santhosh’ along with his screen name.

Many say that this is the actor’s second coming. However, Baiju says that it is in fact his ‘fourth’ coming. Baiju was just twelve years old when he made his debut as a child actor in the movie Maniyanpilla Adhava Maniyan Pillai. He then went on to star in around 15 films. He made a comeback, as a grown up actor, through Sthreedhanam. However, his success didn’t last long as he didn’t land any exciting offers. Though he delivered the super hit movie Mattupetti Machan in his third rendezvous, offers stopped coming his way after Baiju became an accused in attempt to murder case. Now, the actor is back with a bang, with a new name and renewed passion to play amazing roles.

The veteran has acted in around 300 movies in a career spanning 38 years. However, according to the Wikipedia, he has acted only in 165 movies. Baiju firmly says that the numbers given in his Wikipedia page is wrong.

Though he is a senior artist, Baiju is of the opinion that seniority has no value in the cinema industry. “An actor has value only when he is in the limelight. I have never dreamt of becoming an actor. When I was in school, I too got included in the group of children who were selected to play Maniyanpillai’s friends in the movie. I wanted to become a sub inspector in police. Though I wished to become a police officer, later in life, I had to live in hiding for 70 days to escape from the police,” says Baiju.

He was booked for attempt to murder after he alleged pulled out a gun on one of his friends following an altercation. The media reports claimed that the accused had fled the country. However, Baiju swears that he was in Thiruvananthapuram, counting his days before he would finally be nabbed by the police. The case became an issue of prestige for the police force to arrest the accused who was a celebrity. Baiju says that he was greatly stressed during those times when the police were on the lookout for him. The actor was later released on bail.

“This experience really taught me a lesson or two in life. Until then, I never listened to anyone’s advises. This made me more mature. I learned how to behave wisely with each person. No one offered me roles in the movies until the case got over. I didn’t starve as I had money. Thirty years ago, after my father’s demise, the bank had sent a notice to attach our house and that was biggest crisis that I had faced in my life until the case happened. My father couldn’t repay the loan that he had availed. Finally, I repaid the loan by acting in movies,” recalled Baiju.

Baiju says that he used to visit temples. However, he had been a non-believer for the last 15 years. “When I reached Kollur for acting in the movie Aravindante Athithikal, I realized that singer Yesudas too was staying in the same hotel. He took me to the Kollur Mookambika temple and applied a mark of sandal wood on my forehead,” noted Baiju.

The veteran actor is of the opinion that an actor would be a failure if someone says that a role played by him would have been amazing had some other actor essayed it. Baiju has no complaints when he states that he hasn’t received any awards even if he had been acting for the last 38 years. The actor has no plans to turn director either. However, Baiju is confident when he vows that a movie produced by him would hit the screens in a year.

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