Not young any more and enjoying new character roles: Jagadeesh

'There had been gaps between good roles,' says Jagadeesh. Photo: Manorama

Veteran actor Jagadish jokes that he is going through a ‘mid-life crisis’ in his acting career. “I am no longer young; but not too old either. While Mukesh and Sai Kumar are shining in father roles, I mostly get roles of elder brothers. Lal Jose once told me that he couldn’t imagine me as a ‘father’. But, that changed with ‘Rorschach’. My role in ‘Kappa’ and the character Dileepettan in the recently released ‘Purusha Pretham’ marked my return to character roles. I don’t feel sad about anything as I did lots of television shows, taking advantage of my ‘youth’,” says Jagadish from the sets of his latest movie in Thodupuzha.

The actor believes that Ranjith’s ‘Leela’ had been a major turning point in his career. Even though the movie wasn’t a big success, young filmmakers had noticed how Jagadish could effortlessly play unique roles.

“Most directors talk about Mayankutty and Appukuttan when they call me. Those characters had made them laugh during their childhood. However, their current reference is Thankappan Nair from ‘Leela’. My character Dileepettan in ‘Purusha Pretham (released on OTT platform Sony Liv) is my answer to those who ask me about comedy in the modern era. Director Krishand had narrated the story to me around two years ago. Now, I am getting at least twenty-five messages every day, expressing appreciation for my role. The multiple shades of the character had attracted the audience,” says Jagadish.

There was a time when the actor used to act in up to twenty movies in a year. He essayed various characters in more four hundred movies until now. There has never been a time when he took long breaks from movies.

“There had been gaps between good roles. But, I still did at least ten movies in a year. I am still sad that I couldn’t act in Bharathan sir and Padmarajan sir’s movies despite completing all the pre-production works. My wife Rema wanted me to do more character roles. But, now, when I am doing such roles, she is no more to see that,” notes the actor.

Jagadish says that his wife’s face comes to his mind when he goes to bed at night and when he wakes up in the morning. It was Rema who believed in Jagadish’s talents more than him. She was sure that he would land good characters. Jagadish says that Rema had never wished the fame or limelight of being an actor’s wife. During their children’s wedding, Jagadish was busy receiving the politicians and celebrities while Rema spent time with her colleagues and friends. As a doctor, Rema was aware about the graveness of her illness. But, Jagadish says that he had seen her eyes welling up only once.

Jagadish is trying to overcome the void left by his wife by doing fabulous characters in movies. Interestingly, he has decided not to pursue politics anymore.

“I have left politics. The people of Pathanapuram had decided that I am not fit for that. May be people wish to see me only as an actor. More than the voters, I prefer my audience. I am not spurning politics. But, I have realised that I am not interested in politics as much as I enjoy acting. So, goodbye to politics!” Jagadish signs off with a smile. 

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