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    No Homework For Me: Mohan Lal

    [Interview by R.G. Vijayasarathy]
    Tuesday, June 08, 2004
    Popular Malayalam actor-producer Mohan Lal entered the film industry 26 years ago with a nondescript role in "Thiranottam". Since then he has acted in over 260 films.

    But the National Award-winning Mohan Lal told IANS in an interview he does not believe in preparing for his roles.

    "You may not believe this, but the fact is that I don''t prepare for a role or do any homework," he said.

    Mohan Lal has done a variety of roles in films of different languages, including the Bollywood movie "Company". His memorable films include "Vanaprastham", "Bharatham", "Manichithra Thaazhu", "Chithram", "Narasimham" and "Kireetam".

    Mohan Lal was in Bangalore to finish dubbing for his first Kannada film "Love", directed by S.V. Rajendra Singh Babu, when he spoke with IANS. Excerpts:

    "Love" is your first Kannada film. Did you find it difficult?

    I play the role of a Malayali taxi driver in Dubai. Therefore, some minor aberrations in my Kannada language might even look authentic. People in the recording studio and director S.V. Rajendra Singh Babu told me that my accent was similar to the Kannada spoken by a majority of Malayalis now in Karnataka. I had not prepared for this dubbing, but just went on with my job.

    The experience of working with the unit of "Love" was excellent. I enjoyed working for this film. I had not planned to work in a Kannada film, but the offer just came my way. It just happened. I was not able to reject the offer as the role was good and the story great. I am a driver who works to unite the lovers in the film.

    Director Babu's son Audithya, who is being launched in the film, and heroine Rakshitha will certainly go far after the film's release.

    You had earlier acted in Tamil and Telugu films. How is it that you had not worked in a Kannada film so far despite your closeness to many people in Karnataka?

    I have close friendship with Kannada stars like Vishnuvardhan and Ambarish. In fact, Vishnu has acted in the remake of my huge hit "Chithram". Now I am told he is doing the same role that I did in award winning film "Manichithra Thaazhu", now being remade in Kannada. I have acted in many Malayalam films with actress Bharathi Vishnuvardhan.

    I am a firm believer in destiny. Maybe I was destined to work in a Kannada film after I had worked in films in other southern Indian languages.

    How do you prepare for a role?

    You may not believe this, but the fact is that I don't prepare for a role or do any homework. I believe in getting to work and doing the day's job, all of which is just spontaneous.

    I worked with some great directors like Fazil, Bharathan, Priyadarshan, Mani Ratnam, Ram Gopal Varma, Sibi Malayil, Siddiqui Lal, Shaji Kailas and I.V. Sasi and the destiny was on my side. How some of these great directors had faith in my ability is something still not known to me!

    Your recent film "Vismayathumbaththu", directed by Fazil, carried good reports before its release. But trade reports say it was below expectations. How did you feel working in this film?

    "Vismayathumbaththu" is a complex film like "Manichithra Thaazhu", which ran for nearly one year in Kerala. The title of the film is as innovative and catchy as any other Fazil film. The film has a gripping story about human mind and spirits. Only a director like Fazil can summon the courage to direct films on such rare subjects.

    I think the technical work is the highlight of this film. I produced the film and can authoritatively say the film was liked by a large number of viewers.


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