Malayalam actor Dileep has an interesting tale to narrate about his not-so-distant past visit to Shirdi Sai Baba Temple in Maharashtra. When the actor stepped out of the holy place after offering prayers, he couldn’t find his footwear outside the temple. Though he searched frantically for the footgear, he couldn’t find it. Dileep’s friend, who was with him, pacified him and said, “Don’t worry; we can buy another pair of slippers. Just think that the lost footwear took with it some bad luck too.” Later, Dileep bought a pair of footgear for Rs 150 from a nearby shop before returning home.
When the preparations were in full swing to take the Nadirsha directed ‘Keshu Ee Veedinte Nathan’ on the shoot floor, the film crew was busy transmuting Dileep into a sexagenarian character with a new wig and dentures. That’s when Dileep asked the costume designer not to worry about the footwear for the rather eccentric Keshu. And the footgear bought from Shirdi for Rs 150 adorned the feet of Keshu in the film. In a friendly talk, Dileep opens the treasure trove of stories about the making of ‘Keshu Ee Veedinte Nathan’.
‘Keshu Ee Veedinte Nathan’, which was released on Hotstar, is the first Dileep-starrer film in two years. To put it in the words of the actor, “a full-blown comedy film after fun-filled movies such as Two Countries and King Liar.”
“When writer Sajeev Pazhoor narrated the story of Keshu Ee Veedinte Nathan to Nadhirshah, we had Suraj in our minds to play the lead role. I even had a word with Suraj about the project and he agreed to be part of the film. But in the meantime, I asked makeup man Roshan whether I could metamorphose into Keshu. It was the immense talent of Roshan that changed me into the characters of Mayamohini and Sound Thoma. Things couldn’t be better when Roshan did a makeup test on me. But when the film started rolling, Roshan became busy with another project and later Manoj was roped in with the help of Pattanam Rasheed,” reminisces Dileep on how he became ‘Keshu’.
Bondage with Nadirsha
I have a strong bondage with Nadirsha and we had been thick friends for the past 33 years. I have been a partner in the production of all movies directed by Nadirsha and the new movie is produced by Nadirsha and me under the banner of Nath Group. I took Nadirsha under my wings when I was acting in the movie ‘Manathe Kottaram’.
Before the hero of the film was fixed, there was a unanimous decision about who should be the heroine of ‘Keshu Ee Veedinte Nathan’. We all decided that the character of Ratnamma should be essayed by Urvashi ‘chechi’. When I was the assistant director of Kamal Sir in Mohanlal-starrer ‘Vishnulokam’, I had clapped the clapperboard when Lalettan and Urvashi ‘chechi’ were acting in the movie.
It wasn’t a purposeful decision to reduce the number of humourous films. I like to explore different genres. ‘Professor Dingan’ directed by Ramachandra Babu was supposed to hit the theatres but the death of the director stalled the release.
The new family member
My second daughter Mahalakshmi was born in October 2018. When my eldest daughter Meenakshi was born, I was busy with films. But for the past 18 months I had been with Mahalakshmi. When I scan through the old pictures of Meenakshi, the similarity between Meenakshi and Mahalakshmi is quite obvious.
Kehuvettan is someone who loves his family a lot. Though he might be stingy, he is full of love but can’t express it. When he becomes rich, there are some changes in him. The film is about Keshuvettan going on a tour with his sisters and brothers-in-law.