His first step towards his dream started exactly 10 years ago at Kerala Varma College. Tovino Thomas had started his journey by acting in a song sequence at the college premises. And today he is considered one of the top stars in Malayalam cinema. It was on January 28, 2012, at 9:30 am that he first stood in front of the camera. His debut film, 'Prabhuvinte Makkal' got released in October 2012. He has truly come a long way since, slipping into a variety of characters--from 'Ennu Ninte Moideen', 'Mayanadhi', 'Guppy', 'Minnal Murali' to 'Thallumala'. He is clearly at the top of his game right now.
In the last 10 years, he has really sharpened his craft, and evolved with each film and character. The shooting of ‘Ajayante Randam Moshanam’ in which he plays a triple role for the first time has started. We caught up with the actor as he gets ready to shoot for his 45th film. Tovino Thomas about his decade-old stint in Malayalam cinema and much more to Manorama.
How would you look back at the last 10 years in Malayalam cinema?
Ever since I can remember I have been dreaming and talking about cinema. Right now you can say that I am living my dream. I truly believe that if we really desire something and work hard for it, we will surely get it. There are no shortcuts here. You need to have passion and work hard towards achieving it. That’s what I am striving to do to this day. I believe that my best is yet to come. I have 10 years of experience behind me. My audience will be able to witness how I am going to make use of that experience in my films going forward.
If I am anxious about my films succeeding at the box office every time, then I would be able to do only commercial films. But then I am also doing art films. I don’t want to be a great superstar. And I have never wished for such a tag. I want to be a good actor, be part of good films and leave behind some memorable performances.
You hail from a non-film background, looking back, who are you grateful for in this journey in Malayalam cinema?
So many people. Most importantly I am grateful to myself. Because despite encountering a lot of situations that dissuaded me from pursuing this journey, I never gave up. When I quit my job and came home to pursue cinema, my family never taunted me. I had a brother who stood by me like the rock of Gibraltar and a wife who always supported every decision of mine. My children adjusted to my absences and I also had enough support from friends and family.
The ones who had every freedom to discourage me, stood by me. That’s what helped me sustain myself in cinema. The same goes for the audience. If they are not coming to the theatres to watch my film, then I am irrelevant. I won't get any films. But then I have often received more love than I deserved. They loved me beyond the cinema.
I would rather do good films in Malayalam than be a star in other language films. I am currently working towards it. There are good films coming in Malayalam. If I am able to do a film like ‘Minnal Murali’ which succeeded in various languages, I will be able to do more such films. Having said that if I get great offers from other languages, I am interested in doing them.
Tell us more about Ajayante Randam Moshanam?
I play there different characters who live in three different eras. The pre-production for this film started long ago. There is a great team behind this film. As far as we are concerned, this is a huge film.