The Mollywood actor talks to OTTplay about the void that Nedumudi Venu’s demise has left, professionally and personally
In several movies such as Bhagyadevatha and Chakkikotha Chankaran, Jayaram and Nedumudi Venu made quite a pair. The latter’s demise today due to post COVID complications leaves a huge void in the Malayalam film industry. Jayaram, who has worked with the veteran actor, over the years talks to OTTplay about why Venu was an actor extraordinaire and what his loss means to him.
“I think it’s the skill of the actor to perfect any character that you give them,” Jayaram tells us. “Venu chettan had that and that’s why there had been no one to replace him in the past 40 years. There has been no one to match his skill and talent, and that’s the reason for his career’s longevity. This is something that filmmakers from across industries have repeatedly told us; they have all wished that they had someone like him in their languages.”
While the duo had starred in several movies together, their mutual love for music and instruments also bonded them. “As far as I am concerned, my biggest loss is that he has acted with me as my father, uncle, grandfather, father-in-law and so many other roles,” says Jayaram. “If Venu chettan is there in my film, I would call him and ask, ‘Should I take chenda, ghatam or ganjira?’ He would say, ‘This time I will take mridangam and you can take ghatam’. If we even got a table, we would keep playing rhythms on it for hours. We would talk about different rhythms, stories of percussionists and elephants. He had extensive knowledge about temple arts and was a master of rhythms. It’s rare to find someone so gifted.”
Venu, who was last seen in the anthologies Aanum Pennum and Navarasa, had last acted in Ente Mazha. The actor’s upcoming releases include Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham and director Jayaraj’s segment titled Swargam Thurakunna Samayam from the Netflix anthology based on MT Vasudevan Nair’s short stories.