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Exclusive! Vaashi star Tovino Thomas: I am glad I can now do the movies I want in the budgets they warrant

The Malayalam star is now gearing up for the release of Vishnu G Raghav’s Vaashi, which also has Keerthy Suresh in the lead

  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 07.58 AM, Jun 14, 2022

Exclusive! Vaashi star Tovino Thomas: I am glad I can now do the movies I want in the budgets they warrant
Tovino Thomas in a still from Vaashi

June has been jam-packed for Tovino Thomas. The actor wrapped up his portions for Aashiq Abu’s Neelavelicham before beginning the promotions of two of his films – Dear Friend and Vaashi – and in between had also shot for Jude Anthany Joseph’s big budget multi-starrer based on the Kerala floods.

With two releases in two weeks, the actor believes that the audience has an alternative in case on of them doesn’t fit their taste. If Dear Friend, which hit theatres on June 10, was an emotional drama revolving around friends, his upcoming movie Vaashi, which is helmed by Vishnu G Raghav and has Keerthy Suresh as its female protagonist, is a family and courtroom drama that has him playing a lawyer. OTTplay in conversation with Tovino.

You have back-to-back releases with Dear Friend and Vaashi. Isn’t that a but risky?

We still aren’t free from the challenges that the pandemic has created. We were feeling the effects from the second wave of COVID-19 in January 2022. Theatres opened with 100% capacity only in March when Naradan had released. So, it’s just been over three months since then. There are still so many movies, which were shot before the pandemic and are yet to release. Be it Dear Friend or Vaashi, we have taken time to finish the post-production and release it in theatres.

How different is Vaashi compared to Dear Friend?

Vaashi is a blend of a courtroom drama and a family drama. It’s a not a movie that is set entirely in the court or revolves completely around a family. Both run in parallel, and how they are connected forms the plot.

When two different films release at almost the same time, as an actor, do you think that the audience will now get to see the two varied sides of you as a performer and take joy from that?

I do, but people aren’t here just to see Tovino Thomas’ movies. There are so many other films. So, I do have a concern when my movies release soon after the other. It’s not my plan. That said, the work of each film has to get over and then it’s up to the producers to find the right slot to release a movie. Even when a movie releases, there are a lot of factors that decide if the audience can enjoy it in theatres; it could be the rains, the reopening of schools. All of that has to be taken into consideration. So, after a point, I don’t interfere with these aspects because my job is to act.

I would be delighted if people watch both the movies. Also, it’s good to have options. If people think that they want to watch a Tovino Thomas film, then they can choose from either Vaashi or Dear Friend, depending on their tastes.

Right now, you are at a stage in your career when your attachment lends the advantage to filmmaker to make the project bigger. For instance, Dr Biju’s upcoming film Adrishya Jalakangal, which has you, Nimisha Sajayan and Indrans, is his biggest movie yet.

Isn’t that a good thing that they can scale up films because I am part of it? As someone working in this industry I am satisfied and content because every day I think of where I started from. When I think of that, I have come a long way. As far as I am concerned, I can now do the movies I want to do in the budgets they demand. I haven’t changed my strategy at all. It’s been the same, and that’s to believe in my instincts, not be repetitive and dedicate myself completely to a film if I have committed to it. That strategy has worked and that’s why producers now want to collaborate with me for films. It’s also why I have been so busy that I don’t even get time to go home.

I am someone who lives a minimal life. What sustains me is the love for cinema. So even when I am physically and mentally exhausted, if a good movie comes my way, I would still do it. I don’t think about the money or my problems; what drives me is that it would be appreciated by the audience when it releases. Fame and money are just by-products.