The director talks about Jayasurya’s character and working with the actor in the thriller that also has Namitha Pramod and Jaffer Idukki
Over the past month, director Nadhirshah’s Eesho has courted controversy for its title, with certain groups alleging that it has hurt religious sentiments and also submitted a plea to the court to stay the film’s release. With the High Court dismissing the plea, Nadhirshah maintains a dignified silence on the controversy. However, he shares with OTTplay the details of working with its lead actor Jayasurya in the film.
Eesho marks the second time the duo is collaborating after Nadhirshah’s debut director Amar Akbar Antony. “The reason we opted for him in this film was the support that he had shown during the making of Amar Akbar Antony,” says the filmmaker. “His dedication to get into the skin of the characters stands apart. He is ready to go to any lengths to be the character and fully supports the director’s vision.”
The film also marks the first time Nadhirshah is directing a thriller. While he lets out only selective details about Jayasurya’s character in film, such as his character’s name is Eesho, he tells us about a scene where the actor’s dedication to his craft stood out.
“We had shot a few portions in Dubai that were related to a labour camp. We filmed these portions in a factory, where Jayasurya’s character works as a labourer,” says Nadhirshah. The costume designer had initially dulled the colour of the factory worker’s uniform for the actor to wear. “Jayasurya came to the sets wearing that. We also wanted others in the frame even though they didn’t have dialogues. So, I brought a few actual labourers, who were doing their work, to stand with him. Jayasurya looked at them and asked one of them to give him the worn-out, shabby t-shirt. The person must have worn that uniform for days, but Jayasurya didn’t think twice before putting it on,” says the director, adding that the actor gave the other person his fresh set of uniform to wear for the scene.
On what Jayasurya told Nadhirshah, the director says, “He told me, ‘Ikka, now I am comfortable. I feel like I have worked for days in this uniform and belong with the workers. The fresh costume, no matter how much you fade it, won’t let me get into the character’.”
Apart from Nadhirshah, the movie, which is scripted by Suneesh Varanad, also has Namitha Pramod and Jaffer Idukki in pivotal roles. Initially the team had considered Salim Kumar to play the role essayed by Jaffer. “We shot the entire movie during the nights from 6pm to 6am, for all 27 days. Salim couldn’t be part of the film due to health issues,” tells Nadhirshah.
Ask him about the movie’s release and the director tells us, “Theatrical release looks uncertain now and we might have to opt for OTTs if cinema halls don’t open soon.” Nadhirshah has also completed shooting for Dileep’s Kesu Ee Veedinte Nadhan and is gearing up for his next.