Unni Mukundan on his weight loss journey for 'Meppadiyan'

Unni Mukundan
Unni Mukundan (L) and Anju Kurian in Meppadiyan

When director Vishnu Mohan approached Unni Mukundan with the story of 'Meppadiyan' he expressed apprehension about the actor’s six-packs— “Unni, you might have to shed all that muscles. My hero Jayakrishnan is a very local young man.” The director wasn’t sure the audience would be sympathetic towards a burly hero.

Four-year-old wait

Though Unni was a bit taken aback by this high-handed demand from a guy who hadn’t made a film yet, he was curious enough to listen to the story. The more he heard of his character Jayakrishnan, Unni realised that the director had a point. Midway through the story, Unni told him— “Let’s do this. Till the interval, it’s going well. Hope you don’t mess up towards the end.”

The director was unperturbed. “What? Not a chance. The second half is what the film is all about,” he told the actor. It took almost 4 years for 'Meppadiyan' to eventually reach the theatres. There hasn’t been a film in Unni Mukundan’s career that took so long to make. But the overwhelming theatre response suggests their hard work has truly paid off.

Heartily ate to reach this form

'Meppadiyan' is special to him. Why else would he give so much time and effort to a new director? Four years is no short time span in an actor's life. “There are so many people who tried to dissuade Vishnu from making the film with me as the hero. They said I will be miscast in a family film and is only fit to be part of action films. That made me want to prove them wrong. I gained 20 kilos, grew my hair and beard, and just ate whatever I could get my hands on. By the time the shooting began, I was 93 kilos. I had lost all my six-packs. I avoided junk food and ate a lot of authentic Kerala snacks so that my weight gain wouldn’t pose any health issues for me.”

Playing a politician

Vishnu is all set to start his second film titled, 'Pappa', with Unni and he plays a politician for the first time in his career. 

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