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Oh Boy! This Handsome Hunk of Malayalam Film industry has made his mark already. His first break through as an actor into the Malayalam Film industry, was as a glamorous politician in the movie American Born Confused Desi (ABCD). Yes I am talking about Tovino Thomas! Let’s welcome him on board for our Expert Talks Series. While they celebrate the success of his latest movie You Too Brutus, let’s have a little sneak peak into his life.
Hi Tovino! A very big thank you from Monsoon Breeze and our lovely readers for accepting our invitation.
“We live in a world of dreamers and some turn their dream into reality. Tovino Thomas dreamed about being an actor. Now he is one.”
What made you leave your corporate role in the Software Industry to the world of Movies? Was it challenging and what made you take that road at that point of time?
I loved films, theater and acting as a career from a very young age. But just like any youngster, I had to keep it aside to realize my goals of completing my education, getting a job and so on. But deep inside I was not satisfied and I wanted to become an actor. When I took my first job as a software engineer, I realized that something was missing in my life.
It was an uphill battle to get my first break in the Malayalam film industry. It took over two years of struggle that included numerous rejections, auditions and meetings. The general feedback was that I am not suitable for the Malayalam film industry. Martin Prakkat gave me the first break into the film industry. I was also lucky to learn about the industry as an Assistant Director during the filming of Theevram.
What role did your family and friends play in your life as you embraced this career? What difference did they make?
It was a shock to my parents and friends when I revealed about the choice I have made. At first they thought it was a prank then they felt that I was crazy. However in time they realized that I was serious about it.
Every parent loves to see their children happy and safe. There was no security in acting profession. There is no guarantee that I would make enough money to take care of my family or myself. At times I had no money to spend since I left my job. No parent would like to see their son in such a stage. When my first short film was ready it was a great relief, it was the first ray of hope.
When you have people who believe in your dreams around you, failure is never an option. My greatest critique is my father. He is a pillar of strength while my mother motivates me to work harder.
In my life I have seen amazingly talented individuals falling behind. Some of them fail to achieve their dream because they don’t have the support and faith. When you have people who believe in your dreams around you, failure is never an option. My greatest critique is my father. He is a pillar of strength while my mother motivates me to work harder.
How is your experience working with the Malayalam film industry? Are you open to offers to be a part of other film industries as well?
Working in Malayalam film industry has been different. We have a limited budget compared to that of the remaining film industries. However we make it up with the power of story, acting and narrative experience. I am lucky that I was able to work with some of the veterans of the industry that helped me to learn aspects that will help will for a lifetime.
I will accept roles in other languages and industries if I can do justice to the role and deliver a qualitative and satisfying performance.
At the moment I am focusing on Malayalam film industry. I want to explore my capabilities and strengthen my skills as an actor. Each day is a learning experience. I will accept roles in other languages and industries if I can do justice to the role and deliver a qualitative and satisfying performance.
You had been lucky to be a part of ventures involving actors from the present generation as well as veteran actors. Did this have any impact in your career? How did this experience influence you?
Indeed. Our actors are a part of the cultural and social identity. There is a lot to learn from them. Beyond the screen, they are amazing mentors and thinkers to leave a positive influence on our lives. I am not what I was when I was walked into the film set for the first time. They have a lasting impact on the way I approach my career and the way I act.
If we observe your roles in films so far, you do a variety of roles and your looks change for each role. How do you manage that? Do you enjoy portraying certain types of roles?
Being in the character’s look gives you a renewed confidence and brings you closer to the character. The looks are not decided by me alone, the characters are shaped by the combined efforts of the director, actor, makeup artist and story writer.
I do not intend to portray stereotypical characters throughout my career. It is my passion to explore my potential and improve in my profession. As human beings we constantly require change and challenges. Such is the case of films as well. As an actor what I enjoy the most is to work under directors and adapt my characters as the story requires.
Before being an actor, You have also worked for the Modeling and Fashion Industry! Did it have any influence in your career and how? Also how did working as an Assistant Director with Roopesh Peethambaran help you in your career as an actor?
Modelling was a stepping stone to the film industry. It boosted my confidence and was an introduction to film industry. Just like in films one has to accept the character and live as a character. Only the schedules, timings and duration are different. It also introduces you to work with light, cameras and makeup artists.
Roopesh Peethambaran had a positive influence in my career. Working for him gave me a perspective about the film industry and was a great learning experience that guided me forward.
Your Marriage to your Long Time Girlfriend Has hit the news recently. Would you mind sharing your love story with our readers?
Our love story cannot be described in a sentence or two. Lydia and I were schoolmates. It was during my plus two days that we realized that we are deeply in love with each other. She was my friend and partner through all my dreams and stages of life. It took over ten years and finally we got married on 25th October, 2014 at Irinjalakuda.
So you are from Irinjalakuda. We have many creative individuals from Irinjalakuda who made an impression in the society. Did growing up in your hometown influence you by any way? And how rooted is your social circle in identifying and strengthening your pursuit in film industry?
I have spent a major part of my life in Irinjalakuda. So it will definitely have an influence in the characters I portray. I am a person who makes a lot of friends and have friendships that are as old as I am. I still hang out with my school friends. There have been friends who wanted to see me as an actor more than I wanted from me. One instance would be when I wanted to take my portfolio and didn’t have money for it. A friend of mine was ready to part with whatever he had saved for him to help me realize my dream. Another incident was while I was travelling for an audition and one of my friends who really wished me to become an actor. When he said that it was also his dream to see me as an actor, his eyes was full of tears. As a human being I feel blessed to have these friends. This influence has constantly been a force throughout my life.
Finally, share about your latest projects and the surprises that awaits us in 2015
My recently released films are Onnam Loka Mahayudham and You too Brutus. A month of shoot is pending for both Ennu Ninde Moideen starring PrithvirajSukumaran. I will also be playing a key role in Albert Antony’s Starring Pournami. The film is set in 1984. At the moment I am in USA filming a project with Fahadh Faasil directed by Abi Varghese.
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Thank You very much Tovino Thomas and a big thank you to Hari Bhagirath too for making this interview possible 🙂