Comedian Danish Sait was asked by Lijo Jose Pellissery to watch hyena videos for his character in Mohanlal’s Malaikottai Vaaliban. Here’s why
It’s not often that an acclaimed filmmaker invites a debutant to play a pivotal role in the former’s biggest movie ever and asks the actor to watch animal videos to prepare for the character. But that’s exactly what happened when comedian Danish Sait went to meet Malayalam director Lijo Jose Pellissery for a narration of Mohanlal-starrer Malaikottai Vaaliban.
Mohanlal, in a recent interview with Media One, said that he suggested that Danish’s character should be like a hyena, when he was discussing the role with Lijo. “A hyena is relentless, they never stop chasing their prey; and if you watch the movie, you would know Danish was like an animal. The way he transformed himself into this character is unbelievable,” the superstar explained.
Danish, who is making his Malayalam cinema debut with the movie, also had a hyena story to share. When he had flown down from Australia to Kochi to listen to the narration of the film for the first time, Lijo asked him, “Do you watch hyena videos?” Danish initially thought that the filmmaker was “crazy”. But he went home and started watching the videos.
This became helpful during the shoot of the period drama in Rajasthan, when during a sequence, Lijo came up to him and told him, “You know that hyena laughter? Just do it.” And Lijo walks back to the camera. A totally stunned Danish was left wondering what to do before going ahead with the laugh that left Mohanlal as well as the rest of the team impressed. Danish also added that he knows everything about hyenas now, after signing to work in the film.
On how Lijo cast him for the part in the movie, which is set to hit theatres on January 25, Danish said that the filmmaker had sent him an eight-page PDF over WhatsApp about his character.
The Kannada actor immediately said that he was interested and met Lijo in Kochi at his house, where the filmmaker had a board filled with photos of all the characters as well as locations from the film. He immediately called his wife and said that he was doing the project.