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Exclusive! Sarjano Khalid: My character in 4 Years is very different from any role I’ve ever played

4 Years, which also stars Priya Prakash Varrier, was released in theatres on November 25.

Exclusive! Sarjano Khalid: My character in 4 Years is very different from any role I’ve ever played

  • Shilpa S

Last Updated: 12.12 PM, Nov 25, 2022

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Sarjano Kalid has made a name for himself as one of the heartthrobs of contemporray Malayalam cinema. The actor is all set to steal hearts yet again in his latest romantic drama, 4 Years, which will see him share the screen with Priya Prakash Varrier. The film will see Sarjano take on the role of temperamental college student Vishal, and give a glimpse into his days at college, and his love story with fellow student Gayathri.

In a candid chat with OTTplay, Sarjano opened up about how he bagged the role; provided an insight into his character, whom he says is unlike any he has never done before; his dynamic with Ranjith Sankar and Priya, and much more.

Excerpts from the interview…

How did you come on board for 4 Years?

I met Ranjith Sankar sir (the director of the film), at last year’s International Film Festival of Kerala. We met during the screening of my film Ennivar. He watched the film and really liked it. The same day he told me that he really loved my performance and added “It would be really nice if you do a good love story next”.

That was our first meeting, and I’d always wanted to work with him, him being a very good director. After about two months, he called me up and said “Let’s do a film together. Are you interested?”. I obviously was. So we started talking and the discussions went on for about two to three months. So that’s how it happened. We met because of Ennivar.

How did you and Ranjith Sankar develop the character of Vishal?

The story was still evolving when we started our discussions. We had a framework, like the elements the film should have, how it should end etc. the discussions we had were mostly about how to develop the character. I wanted to do something different from the kind of characters that I’d already done before.

How was the experince of working with Ranjith Sankar?

It was really nice because we had space to talk everything out. He really gave us space to do everything we wanted. If there was something we did not like about a scene, we could talk about it, we could make some changes to it if we wanted to. Everything was very flexible and it was very comfortable working with him.

Were you able to improvise and bring your own twists to the role?

Even when we were discussing it, we talked about the possibilities. There are mainly two characters in the film, and before we started the shoot we used to have discussions with the crew, including the DOP, the editor, about the next scene we were about to shoot, what to change about it, how to make it better etc. So we did have space for improvisation, but most of the things we did were all well prepared. When we went into a scene we all knew very well why and what we were doing it. The shoot was planned for 25 days, and we were able to wrap it up in 18. It was all done and dusted quickly.

Vishal is a college student, so when you were essaying the role, did you draw upon your own life experiences?

I haven't been to college, so I don't really have much of a college experience to draw from. Also, I’m not someone like Vishal. The character is a bit tempered and it was fun for me to explore that side of my character as well.

You also starred in June, another coming of age tale. Are there any similarities between our character in June, Noel, and your 4 Years character of Vishal?

Noel and Vishal are completely different. Noel is very sweet, someone from a middle class family whose choices were influenced by his background. Vishal hails from a small town in Calicut and goes to Kothamangalam, which is a big place as far as the character is concerned, where he can meet students coming from a number of different places. His life suddenly becomes very different, and for him, fitting in was very difficult and he had studied in the college against his wishes.

Also he has temper issues and is a very confused person. But at the same time he is very talented and has big aspirations. He wants to play the guitar, he wants to become a film director. He shares no similarity with Noel. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to play Vishal was because he was so different from any character I’ve ever played.

How was your dynamic with co-star Priya Prakash Varrier?

We knew each other even before the film, but not much. But after we started shooting, we gelled really well and we became really good friends. It was actually very nice working with her. One takeaway from the film is that I got a very good friend out of it.

What kind of roles he is looking forward to doing in Malayalam cinema? Is there a particular genre you are interested in?

I would like to do thriller films. I’m looking forward to doing films where I can really explore as an actor. I want to try more characters I’ve never attempted before.

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