Manoj Moses discusses his experience working in Malaikottai Vaaliban as well as his next endeavours in an interview with OTTplay.
Manoj Moses | Photo: Instagram
Amid the fervour and outstanding reviews surrounding Lijo Jose Pellissery and Mohanlal's Malaikottai Vaaliban, Manoj Moses's portrayal of Chinnappayyan also takes centre stage. Manoj's journey from working odd jobs to becoming a professional dancer is quite unexpected and surprising for the actor himself. The Trivandrum native competed in Malayalam and Tamil dance competitions before going on to work as a choreographer for a number of reality shows.
Manoj discusses his experience working in Malaikottai Vaaliban as well as his next endeavours in an interview with OTTplay.
In Malaikottai Vaaliban, your character Chinnappayyan uses a tiny bit of Trivandrum slang. Was it deliberate?
Although it was not intentional, many of my friends said the same thing. My hometown is Trivandrum. This dialect was clearly audible in a scene where Katha Nandi and I were arguing. Associate director Tinu Pappachan informed me that my local vernacular was coming up in my dialogues after this was shot. I was not asked to change it by Lijo sir.
How did you come up with the idea for your character before filming?
I received a lot of assistance from Kukku Parameshwaram in understanding Chinnappayyan during our workshop in Kochi. All Lijo Sir had asked me to do was give it my all and improvise as much as I could.
How did you get the opportunity to work on such a huge project?
My debut film, Moonwalk, has not yet been shown in theatres; Lijo sir is handling its distribution. I was contacted about Malaikottai Vaaliban through Moonwalk’s director. The crew members informed me that Chinnappayyan plays a crucial role in this period drama and that a physically fit candidate is needed for it. I think I satisfied that requirement.
Was it always your preference to act in films?
Although we are constantly critical of ourselves, I enjoy acting. I have not approached anyone about acting opportunities because I always wonder if I am capable or suitable for them. It was by coincidence that I got an opportunity in Moonwalk when a friend of mine forwarded a poster inviting young people with toned bodies. I sent a couple of my photos on the spur of the moment, and to my surprise, I was given the chance.
Under the direction of a visionary filmmaker, this massive project is your first film to be released in theatres. What would you say about the experience?
Everything is going so well that I still find it hard to believe, especially getting to share screen time with the legendary actor Mohanlal and the other incredible cast and crew members. I feel very fortunate to have been given this chance. I do not, however, overdo my celebration of this victory and the positive feedback. I want to thank everyone and go back to practicing dance.
How much are you looking forward to this movie's sequel?
The fact that I might not be a part of it makes me sad. (SPOILER ALERT) Recall that the cremation is done! As a viewer, though, I am excited because I have no idea what to expect from the sequel.
Which projects do you have coming up?
I have two Malayalam films lined up. Since the talks are still ongoing, I might not be able to share much.