Into the mind of Jayasurya

Into the mind of Jayasurya
Jayasurya returns in his role as a mentalist as John Don Bosco in Pretham 2.

dubai - We catch up with the actor whose film Pretham 2, the sequel to 2016's hit Pretham, is out now.

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Deepthi Nair

Published: Tue 1 Jan 2019, 1:46 PM

Last updated: Thu 10 Jan 2019, 4:17 PM

The career trajectory of Malayalam actor Jayasurya has seen both crests and lows. A rank outsider to the film industry, the National Award winner is currently riding a career high.
Out in UAE theatres now, Pretham 2 sees Jayasurya help a bunch of youngsters deal with supernatural phenomena. The movie, co-produced by the actor and director Ranjith Sankar, deals in the comedy horror genre.
In an interview with City Times, Jayasurya said: "There is more humour in Pretham 2 and it has a stronger story in comparison with Pretham. It deals with the contemporary issue of online fraud by youngsters such as how they download new movies on their devices and encourage piracy. The movie has a social message but it's also a thorough entertainer."

On the evolution of his character, the actor said it's more mature in Pretham 2 owing to different life experiences in the span of two to three years. "John Don Bosco has travelled a lot and become more spiritually elevated. He has attained more mental maturity. And the ways in which he reacts to situations are also different," Jayasurya shared.

Sidhartha Shiva, yesteryear actor Raghavan, Saniya Iyappan, Durga Krishna and Amit Chakalakkal also play key roles in the movie.

After training with mentalist Aathi for the character, Jayasurya claimed that he can read minds a bit now.

"In Pretham 2, the mentalist doesn't like to admit he is one since there is already awareness about the profession. I have performed in a more subtle way compared to the earlier movie," he reckoned.

The lead actor's costumes in Pretham 2 have come in for praise. They have been designed by Jayasurya's wife Saritha.

"I discuss my characters with her and this helps her visualise costumes for my movies. Initially, Ranjith had visualised my character in a T-shirt and jeans and then Saritha came into the picture. Costumes and physical appearance are very important to make a character look believable. For instance, in movies like Lukka Chuppi, Njan Marykutty and Aadu 2, my wife helped my characters attain completion," Jayasurya shared.

The actor, who got his break as a speech and hearing impaired youngster in Oomappenninu Uriyadappayyan in 2002, made a mark with comic roles in movies such as Swapnakkoodu, Chocolate and Gulumaal. However, his roles in Cocktail, Beautiful and Trivandrum Lodge proved his versatility. Soon, he established himself as an actor to be reckoned with. Be it playing a scheming villain in Iyobinte Pusthakam, a never-say-die entrepreneur in Punyalan Agarbattis, an ailing patient in Apothecary, a youth with a stammer in Su..Su...Sudhi Vathmeekam or a transsexual in Njan Marykutty, Jayasurya's acting repertoire is rich and diverse.

"Negative roles excite me. Since I mostly play a hero, people doubt whether I will take up a villain's role. But I am open to it. I also like to romance on screen, but the love story has to be portrayed realistically. I am not keen to play a chocolate lover boy at this stage of my career. For instance, I am not sure if I will do a movie like Husbands in Goa today," the intelligent actor added.

Jayasurya's dream role is to play Jesus Christ. "It will be a big budget film made on a big canvas. I am hopeful of doing the project someday," he divulged.

The actor has not committed to any films this year as yet. "Earlier, I used to be very proud when I was doing around 12 films a year. I would wonder why I am not doing movies at regular intervals, but now I'm at peace. I have evolved over time. My love for cinema and self-realisation have helped me make the transition and take it slow. I focus on doing films that I enjoy," observed the actor.

Jayasurya was all praise for the current crop of actors and technicians in the Malayalam film industry. "It's refreshing to see new ideas and newcomers with unique concepts.

"It's good to see experimental films getting wide recognition. I am open to listening to scripts from newcomers and am known in the industry for being very approachable," he continued.

On his collaborations with Ranjith Sankar, Jayasurya said they share a comfort zone. "Our relationship is based on trust and I don't like to interfere in other departments of film making. That's why I haven't co-produced movies with anyone else so far," he admitted.

The Pretham 2 star, who owns a production house called Dreams N Beyond, said that he is not excited to be a producer. "I look forward more to the audience reaction, rather than the profits."

Recalling the struggles he underwent to play a transsexual in Njan Marykutty, which released to rave reviews and box office success last year, Jayasurya said that it was very hard to get into the skin of the character for the first three days.

"Something about the character and the costumes were not syncing in my head. It was very challenging to play a transsexual who is a woman who knows exactly how a man feels. I had to be sensitive of the gender I was playing as well. My confidence started eroding and we even planned to drop the movie. But it all fell into place later. I believe that hurdles will crop up when one is trying to do something sincerely. But the key is to never give up and persist until you succeed," Jayasurya explained.

The actor believes physical transformation is a need for every character. "An actor is perceived by his appearance. For instance, when I played Shaji Pappan in Aadu 2, I had to weigh 85kg while for my role in Apothecary, I had to slim down to 65kg," said the actor, who never shies from experimenting with his looks.

The Dubai pull
Jayasurya, who was promoting Pretham 2 in the GCC with his director, co-producer and friend Ranjith Sankar last week, said he frequents Dubai often.

"Dubai is like my second home. I come here often and shopping is my favourite pastime in this city," he told City Times.

To a question on how he spent his leisure time, Jayasurya replied: "When I am not busy shooting, I go out with family. Or you can find me frequenting cafes in Kochi. I also try to travel with family."


Jayasurya's costumes in Pretham 2 have been designed by his wife, Saritha.
Jayasurya's costumes in Pretham 2 have been designed by his wife, Saritha.

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