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Asif Ali: I still believe that Aanakallan from Salt N’ Pepper is my theme song

The actor talks to us as Aashiq Abu’s film about food and love completes a decade since its release

Sanjith Sidhardhan
Jul 08, 2021
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For the Malayali audience, Salt N’ Pepper is still fresh in their minds. But the 2011 film, directed by Aashiq Abu, scripted by Syam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair, has completed 10 years today. The movie, which revolves around love and food, starred Lal, Shwetha Menon, Asif Ali and Mythili in lead roles.

Talking to OTTplay about the film, Asif tells us, “To be honest, I still believe it was beginner’s luck. It’s not as if I picked this script. For Salt N’ Pepper, Aashiqkka called me to tell me its theme and how they were going to do it. I believe that it would be tough even today to convince an actor with the script of Salt N’ Pepper. My character, Manu Raghav, was apt for me because it could make use of my chocolate-boy image at that time.”

For Asif, the role was a good change in his career, after having worked in movies such as Rithu, Kadha Thudarunnu and Apoorvaragam with veteran filmmakers such as Shyamaprasad, Sathyan Anthikad and Sibi Malayil. “When I moved to Salt N’ Pepper, I found out the joy of working with friends,” he says. “As far I was concerned, it was different in terms of the films that I was doing; because it was current and reflected the contemporary ambience. I was only given the character description of Manu. During the course of the shoot, Aashiqkka would quip, ‘Don’t try and act’. While working with the team, I was probably the youngest and that’s how I was treated.”

Everything about the movie reflected the contemporary times of 2011 – from the photo shoots to the poster design. But it was the tracks by the band Avial that took it to another level. Asif too agrees. “Till date, I proudly say that Aanakallan is my theme song because people play it in several functions to welcome me.”

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