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Aadujeevitham star Jimmy Jean Louis- I am used to hardships, so wouldn't characterise working on the film as a struggle | Exclusive

The Hollywood star discusses his approach to selecting scripts to work on and his experience working on the Prithviraj Sukumaran-starrer in an interview with OTTplay.

Aadujeevitham star Jimmy Jean Louis- I am used to hardships, so wouldn't characterise working on the film as a struggle | Exclusive
Jimmy Jean Louis | Photo: Instagram/ jimmyjeanlouis

Last Updated: 12.48 PM, Mar 30, 2024


While Prithviraj's performance in Aadujeevitham and Blessy's disruptive filmmaking style are garnering a lot of praise, the rest of the cast, who may not be as well-known to the Malayali audience, are also enjoying the overwhelming positive reception to their roles.

Persuaded that this story deserves to be told on a big screen, actor Jimmy Jean Louis travelled from Hollywood to play a crucial role in this survival thriller. The Detective Knight-star discusses his approach to selecting scripts to work on and his experience working on the Prithviraj Sukumaran-starrer in an interview with OTTplay.

It may not have been in your cards to act in an Indian movie at all. To what extent did the call to be a part in this massive project surprise you?

Frankly, I doubt that I ever once considered the possibility of appearing in an Indian movie in my career. I had no prior knowledge of the actors, the story, the filmmaker, or the industry, but the pitch drew me in and kept me interested throughout. I was moved by something in the story, so I decided to take a chance. I am a fairly adventurous person who enjoys discovering new facets and tales.

I was informed that the movie was based on a true story, and I firmly believe this is a story that should be told on a big screen. For me, it was an opportunity to learn and experience something new. I am happy that I was considered for this role because I got to know some incredible people, including the cast and crew, as well as Blessy, an honest and talented filmmaker.

Following years of hardship and perseverance, this film made its theatrical debut. How did you find the entire experience to be?

I grew up in an area without constant running water or electricity, so I am accustomed to hardships. It helped me become a person who can move on from anything. I would characterise Aadujeevitham as an interesting journey rather than a struggle. One thought that crossed my mind was that we were spared the cruelty that the actual characters in this story endured.

You try to forget everything and give the movie your all when that thought crosses your mind. It was simpler for me to dive deeply into the situations because I knew the story. When I returned to my home country, Haiti, following the 2010 earthquake, I saw some very harsh realities of life. I saw mortal remains strewn beneath the rubble. That is the worst thing you can see or experience, and each encounter you have enhances you as a human being.

In a nutshell, how would you characterise your role in this movie?

One could say that Ibrahim Khadiri, my character in Aadujeevitham, was sent by God to help Najeeb because he truly had compassion for him. He is a very hopeful, spiritual, and focused individual. I think the illusion of life and death is something that should be easy for everyone to understand. The harsh realities are something most of us do not want to look at or face, but that is the truth. You will therefore be resilient enough to face any situation if you are honest with both life and yourself. One such individual is Ibrahim.

Which part of Aadujeevitham inspired you to take on this project in the first place?

First, the project's scope and the surreal experience it provides. Working on the adaptation of a best-seller in a nation I knew very little about was the most fascinating aspect of it. Although I was unfamiliar with the project's director or any of the performers, I could understand Blessy's vision. I was confident that something extraordinary was being made when I learned more about the desert filming and other components of the project.

You have played a part in more than 45 films and 20 television shows in different languages. In your career, what part of a script truly thrills you?

Its message must be loud and clear to the audience above all else. I am willing to play any part—good or bad—as long as it makes sense to tell. Although I enjoy entertaining others, wouldn't it be preferable if we could also convey a message to the audience? In my opinion, it is my duty as an artiste to present films that are both entertaining and educational.

I came to see how influential American culture was to the rest of the world; everything that people wore, ate, and listened to originated with their music and movies. That is the power that we have as actors and filmmakers. For this reason, if I were to make a change, I would prefer to make it better than worse.

I always look to see if the character that is being offered to me is someone I had in my life in some way. That is how my characters are put together.

Despite spending the majority of your life in France, you have never stopped flaunting your Haitian heritage on various occasions. How important do you think it is to remain grounded in one's roots?

In the end, I firmly believe that you need to have a solid understanding of your origins and where you truly belong. I know exactly where I live and where I belong. I have visited many different nations, and each trip has given me distinctive experiences that I will never forget.

I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Nelson Mandela when I was relatively young, and it was a moment that changed my life. That somehow led me to believe that the only person who can stop me from doing anything is me. His beliefs and philosophy additionally strengthen you as a human being. It would be remarkable if someone could lead a life that is even from afar like his. I am driven by what arises and have no agenda. Indeed! At my core, I am a proud Haitian.

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