It was Jacob Gregory’s close friends who convinced him to make his debut in Malayalam cinema through ‘ABCD’. The US based actor was already popular among the Malayali audience, playing the character called ‘Girigiri’ in the super hit sitcom Akkarakazhchakal. He came to Kerala thinking that he would return to the US after acting in just one movie. However, Gregory stayed on and continues to entertain the audience with his amazing portrayal of various characters. Now, he is all set to mark his debut as a lead actor through the much anticipated movie Maniyarayile Asokan which would have an OTT release. Moreover, he has joined hands with young actor Dulquer Salman to bankroll this movie.
Innocent demeanor is Gregory’s highlight in real life as well. Interestingly, this is his first interview with a leading media. When asked why he doesn’t make too many media appearances, Gregory says, “I just wish to be with myself. After acting, my greatest love is travelling with my friends and leading a peaceful life by sharing a close bond with nature. I do not really enjoy interviews. Neither do I appear in too many promotional events or channel programs.”
What do you have to say about Maniyarayile Asokan?
Asokan is a simple and innocent government employee who cannot find his perfect girl due to troubles in his horoscope and many other things. Everyone including the director, screenwriter, cinematographer and music director of this movie are new comers. So, this movie would definitely have the freshness of it. Maniyarayile Asokan would be released on 31 August in Netflix.
Besides the three female leads, is there a surprise heroine too?
Yes, there is. Anupama Parameswaran, Mumbai based actress Onima Kashyap and Shritha Sivadas are the female leads in this movie. Anu Sithara too plays a vital role. However, the name of the actress who appears in the climax scenes hasn’t been revealed yet. She hasn’t been included in the movie’s trailer or in the songs that were released in the Youtube. However, I would say that she is a noted actress who has already charmed the Keralite audiences. The only clue is that she is a close friend of mine and the rest is suspense.
You play the lead for the first time in Maniyarayile Asokan. Besides, you have also co produced it. What do you have to say about it?
It is only now that I realize the difficulties faced by a lead actor. It is indeed stressful as the audience has to watch our faces throughout the film. In the beginning, I wasn’t ready to do it. However, the director insisted that I should play the role. I wanted all my friends to be part of the movie in which I was playing the hero for the first time. That is how Dulquer Salman, Sunny Wayne, Shine Tom Chacko and Krishna Sankar came on board. They have all done a fabulous job and their performance would make it up even if my acting isn’t up to the mark.
You are close friends with most of the young actors. How do you maintain friendship with Dulquer, Fahadh, Sunny Wayne, Tovino and Vineeth Kumar?
It was during the filming of ABCD that I became close to Dulquer and Tovino. Tovino taught me the dialogues during the breaks between shots. He had struggled hard to make me do a better job in the movie. Dulquer is like my own brother. He always stands with me, supporting me in everything. I am close to their families as well. I also share close bond with Fahadh and Nazriya too.
In Maniyarayile Asokan, Suinny Wayne and his wife play a married couple on screen as well. Though we are close friends, he enjoys annoying me always. In the movie, Sunny plays my cousin who finds joy in irritating me. So, I guess it would have been easier for him to essay that character. Meanwhile, the song ‘Olu’ was shot by Vineeth Kumar in just a day.
You are an American citizen. Would you vote in the upcoming election?
It was for Obama that I had voted last. I was in Kerala, busy filming, during the last election. I wish to cast my vote this time if I am in the US.