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Neru actor Jagadish: Will be making my OTT debut with a Sony LIV web series soon | Exclusive

In a candid conversation with OTTPlay, Jagadish talks about his acting career, audiences’ shifting preferences, and some of his favourite films or series in 2023.

Neru actor Jagadish: Will be making my OTT debut with a Sony LIV web series soon | Exclusive

Jagadish in Falimy | Photo: Youtube/ Screengrab

Last Updated: 09.30 PM, Dec 19, 2023


From My Dear Kuttichathan to Falimy, actor Jagadish has been wowing the Malayali audience with his performances and ability to inhabit any character with ease for more than four decades. People find it impossible to refrain from watching his films whenever they are shown on television. Audiences of all ages continue to enjoy his comedic roles due to his quirky dialogue delivery as well as mannerisms that can make people laugh uncontrollably.

The actor, who has been an integral part of several all-time box office hits in Malayalam, has delivered some iconic characters like Hrudayabhanu in Hitler, Mayeenkutty in Godfather, and Appukuttan in In Harihar Nagar.

Jagadish in In Harihar Nagar | Photo: Youtube/ Screengrab
Jagadish in In Harihar Nagar | Photo: Youtube/ Screengrab

In recent years, he has turned his attention to playing a variety of characters that the Malayali audience has never seen or anticipated from him. His latest film, Falimy, which is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar, has also won him a great deal of praise from the audience. He is playing a prominent role in Jeethu Joseph’s Neru, which will hit theatres on December 21.

In a candid conversation with OTTPlay, Jagadish talks about his acting career, audiences’ shifting preferences, and some of his favourite films or series in 2023.

The audience in Malayali is seeing a new version of Jagadish. What is your perception of working with characters that are so distinct?

The fact is that, once you begin to play the same kinds of roles during your early days, you are automatically classified into that character persona. The film industry is not always ready to take a risk and prefers to stay on the safer side in most cases.

Filmmakers and producers began to consider casting me as a hero after the release of In Harihar Nagar in 1990. I played the lead role in over 40 films as an emotionally vulnerable family guy as well as a hero who had a humorous persona. Later, Ranjith’s Leela offered me a different character. I got a chance to play a variety of roles, including CPO Dileep in Purusha Pretham, Kochouseph in Pookkaalam, and Chandran in Falimy, thanks to new, young filmmakers. In Jeethu Joseph's Neru, I play a character that I have never played before. I don’t claim myself to be a great actor, but I have tried my best to make a difference in the way I present the roles assigned to me.

Many were taken aback by Head Constable Ashraf in Rorschach. How was the response you received for this role?

Jagadish in Rorschach | Photo: Youtube/ Screengrab
Jagadish in Rorschach | Photo: Youtube/ Screengrab

Not long after watching this movie, a friend of mine from Wayanad called to inquire about how I was doing. I think the Malayali audience was surprised when they saw me looking older in this film because they still had a certain image of me from my younger years. My challenge is to get past that image, though. A while back, my coworkers Mukesh, Siddique, and Saikumar started taking on father roles, and I sincerely hoped I could too.

The only thing director Nissam Basheer of Rorschach said to me when he approached me with the offer was that I would not be wearing makeup for my part. I enjoyed performing, and the crowd seemed to enjoy it as well. Mammukka had stated that this would be Jagadish's new innings during the movie's promotions. His words eventually came true.

A few of your films, including Bharya and Sthreedhanam, address social evils that are still relevant today, like dowry harassment. Will it be successful to make films with the same theme now?

These films undoubtedly have a rewatchable quality, but since television serials are now covering them, it may not be feasible to produce such films now. Something that people have seen multiple times will not pique their interest. The changing lifestyle has resulted in a decrease in the attention span of audiences. It is difficult to keep them interested, particularly in light of the emergence of OTT platforms that provide them with access to a wide range of genres and contents. Additionally, this has altered the cinematic narrative. If a movie is well-received or highly anticipated, people will watch it in theatres; if not, they would rather watch it on OTT platforms.

Actors are now exploring online platforms and acting in webseries and OTT originals. Have you received an offer to work on any of these platforms?

I have listened to a few scripts. However, Purusha Pretham’s director, Krishand, has asked me to make my OTT debut with his upcoming series on SonyLiv. I am portraying an intriguing character with a hint of humour.

Jagadish in Purusha Pretham | Photo: Youtube/ Screengrab
Jagadish in Purusha Pretham | Photo: Youtube/ Screengrab

Can you share your experience working with Mammootty and Mohanlal?

I have acted in several films alongside Mammootty and Mohanlal. When it comes to their love of films, the pair are an inspiration. Their interest in movies has not declined over time, and they are willing to play any kind of role. They are both still eager to discover and comprehend every little detail of cinema. They are difficult to replace because they are a crucial component of this industry.

Which were your favourite films or webseries of 2023?

My personal favourite is Falimy, and I was well-received for my role in it. I enjoyed Panchayat, Delhi Crimes, Dahaad, and Sonakshi Sinha. Even Tiger 3 and Pathaan were entertaining to watch. I love watching opening-day shows at theatres. I am a little upset because I won’t be able to watch Neru and Salaar on their first day due to a film shooting in Ernakulam.

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