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Corona Papers’ Priyadarshan: People told me new-gen actors don’t listen to yesteryear directors, but it’s not true

Priyadarshan teamed up with Shane Nigam, Shine Tom Chacko and Jean Paul Lal for Corona Papers

  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 03.34 AM, Apr 06, 2023

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Though veteran filmmaker Priyadarshan is usually associated with comedies and family entertainers, the director has proven in the past that he is more than capable of acing any genre. His latest movie, Corona Papers, is a thriller and the filmmaker has chosen to collaborate largely with actors with whom he has not worked before.

In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, the director tells us about the movie, which has Shane Nigam, Shine Tom Chacko, Jean Paul Lal, Gayathrie Shankar, Sandhya Shetty and Siddique in the lead.

“It’s a small thriller. I completed it in 40 days with a bunch of young and talented actors. Apart from Siddique, the others hadn’t worked with me earlier,” he says. The filmmaker also explained that he had been planning this subject for the past eight years but “couldn’t do it because I didn’t find a proper ending”.

Gayathrie Shankar, Priyadarshan and Shane Nigam on the sets of Corona Papers
Gayathrie Shankar, Priyadarshan and Shane Nigam on the sets of Corona Papers

“Once I got that twist in the screenplay, I wanted to make it. Corona Papers is also the first film that I am producing after Kanchivaram in 2008; I thought I will take the risk rather than putting another producer through it,” he explains.

On choosing a thriller after his magnum opus Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham in Malayalam, the director says, “While making a crime film, I have observed that you shouldn’t cheat your audience. They shouldn’t be able to predict the ending. I believe Corona Papers will keep the audience guessing and also on the edge of their seats.”

Shane Nigam and Priyadarshan
Shane Nigam and Priyadarshan

Ask him about the experience of working with a new bunch of actors for Corona Papers and he says, “A lot of people told me that today’s generation don’t listen to veteran filmmakers. I was at ease working with these new boys, almost as comfortable as working with Mohanlal. People say they have different attitudes, ways of thinking and working; but I didn’t find any of that. They were good to me and I worked as if I was working with my own children. That’s why I could complete the movie in 40 days.”

Collaborating with an experienced filmmaker such as Priyadarshan was also a learning experience for most of the cast members, with Shane and Jean explaining that the director had a lot of clarity on the shots that he wanted and didn’t ask for too many takes and options like some of the young filmmakers do.


But what were Priyadarshan’s takeways working with the new-gen actors? “Shooting with them made me feel very young. I was surprised because something different was happening on the sets; we were sitting and talking about things that were of mutual interest and the shoot just carried on as if it was a picnic. That helped the film because the moment you enjoy making a movie, it seldom fails,” he explains.

Corona Papers is set to hit theatres on April 6.