The sensational Suman

Suman is a well-known face in Kannada Film Industry or, how it’s known popularly, Sandalwood. She is best known for her work in the Sunil Kumar Desai’s directorial film ‘Re’ as Preethi and has starred opposite Kannada film stars like Ramesh Aravind and Anant Nag. She began her career as a commercial model during college days and credits Krishna Joshi for her entry into big screen. She is currently preparing for her debut in Tamil film industry and loves to get a name across the South Indian film industry.

What do you love about being an actress?

I love everything about being an actress, starting from roll-camera-action to the role changes. It still thrills me that I can be a totally different person. I call it amazing because each time you flip you get into a new style, new fashion and something new to experiment and to explore.

Roles you are seek next?

With every role I would like to grow. So I wish to pick up some roles that are out of the box, will try to do some different genres that will help me build my career in this industry. As of now I am looking for a women oriented film.

Are you a coffee or tea person?

I’m a tea sipper.

Your fashion statement?

You have to be comfortable in whatever you wear and be confident.

Beauty mantra?

I believe that if you are fit, then you will be beautiful.

Your shopping stop?

I shop wherever I go, but dream to shop in London.

Words by Anushree Udayakumar
Photographs by Rathin
Retouch by Goutham Narayanan
Designer: Sonia Ja
Makeup: Manjunath Narayan Swamy

 

 

“Listen to your heart over your head”: Priyanka Nair

Priyanka Nair began her journey on small screen early in the millennium and soon earned many accolades for her cinematic performances. Many dubbed her the actor of the year when in 2008 she won the Kerala State Award for Best Actress for her scintillating performance in T.V. Chandran’s Vilaapangalkkapuram. She continued her association with good cinema, never overdoing her performance. The subtle nuances of her acting skills, along with wide expressive eyes, never failed to impress. Even though there were calculated time gaps between her releases, she never retreated from cinema altogether. We last saw her don a rustic role in Lal Jose’s Velipadinte Pusthakam opposite Anoop Menon. Tete-a-tete with this talented actress, who is otherwise reserved, reveal her future projects, career goals, and more.

Break from movies?

“I have never been away from cinema, enough to say that ‘she’s on a break’. I have taken time off between movies, but was in no way alienated from the world of cinema. I wait for roles that are diverse and scripts that promise a difference. It is perhaps why I have done less than 30 films in a career spanning 15 years. However, I’m happy with the roles I have done and been generally appreciated for my performances. Nevertheless, I took a longer than usual gap in 2013, and came back through Kumabasaram in 2015.”

Next releases!

“My Tamil movie will release soon. It is a horror movie with a strong script and is shot in experiment mode. I am very excited about it because it has been a long time since I did a powerful role in Tamil. I have also committed two Malayalam movies, which will be announced soon. Apart from these, Penkodi is going to be my next release, which is a women centric movie and I play a strong minded character in it.”

Change in Malayalam cinema?

“I have observed the changes in Malayalam cinema over the past few years, and I must say that they are refreshing indeed. Many youngsters have come up with simple, yet compelling narratives. And they achieve this without formal training or work experience under big names! It is heartening to see the audience welcome such self-taught talents. The Malayali viewers have become more discerning and prefer quality of script over star value. It is a welcome change.”

Dream role?

“I have no specific dream role as such. I would like to do as many diverse characters as possible. For instance, it will be interesting to act out a negative role or a comic role. I still see myself as a beginner who gets excited about every new role.”

Your hobbies?

“I have many passions as a person – I read, cook, travel, and drive. I watch movies like Amelie and Cinema Paradiso alongside Thoovanathumbikal! And for a quick getaway, I go to Munnar because I can never have enough of the green canopy and hills. For a longer getaway, I like to visit Australia.”

Motto in life?

“My motto and sincere advice to everyone is to follow your heart than your head. That is the only life worth living.”

Complied by Indu S Nair, Gautham S
Location Courtesy: The Leela Raviz, Kovalam
Stylist: Greeshma Winston
Photos by Alwin Sebastian Capitol
Project Co-Ordinator: Suraj Rajanandan Capitol
Team behind: Abhilash Abhi, Majeed PM, Sanoop Satheesh
Makeup: Subi Ganesh

Content Copyright@2017creamlifemedia

 

Mohanlal is my role model : Niranjan Raju

Niranjan, son of actor Maniyanpilla Raju made his debut through ‘Black Butterfly’. After a brief hiatus, he was seen as the lead of ‘Bobby’. With Ranjith’s new movie, the charming boy is gearing up to own the silver screen.  Read the space more to know what he had shared about his life and career to Cream Life.

What attracted you to the acting profession? Why do you feel this is ideal for you?

Because my father is an actor with an amazing collection, I have had the good fortune to watch a lot of those movies since childhood. Inspired by the world class actors, I too wanted to become an actor from a very early age. I think every person should follow their passion ardently. This is my passion and I believe I can conquer great heights in this field. That’s why it’s ideal for me.

If not an actor, what profession would you choose to occupy?

I always dreamed about being an actor, so if not an actor I would be a struggling actor or handling some other department in the same industry.

How was your time in England?

I went there for my higher education; I did my masters in England and now I’m off to London again for an upcoming movie. I’m very excited to visit England again, it’s a beautiful country.

What are the best and worst things about being an actor? 

The appreciation from the people after watching your movie, hearing a good review from the audience about your performance. An actor’s career depends entirely on the audience reception. I think that’s the best and worst part. Not everyone will like your performance and you have to learn to live with that.

What are you looking to improve eventually as an actor?

I did face some criticism over my performance in my first film ‘Black Butterfly’, but in my second movie ‘Bobby’ I rectified that criticism with my creative performance. But I do feel that I have to improve on my dialogue delivery and make it a little more realistic.

What sort of roles do you aspire to do in the future?

I will welcome whatever comes my way because I’m not yet choosy, and I want to act out a wide range of characters. For example, I did a negative shade in my first movie. Rather than the type of role, I will look at the importance of the character and how much it contributes to the whole movie.

What’s your dream role?

None in particular yet. To be able to do a number of characters that would move the audience’s emotion would be a dream come true.

Motivation is important in acting profession. Who is your motivator?

My father is my motivator. He has been in the industry for more than 40 years. My mom and brother has always inspired me; they were always there with me in my ups and downs. In terms of acting I have really been inspired by Mohanlal and Mammootty, but I have seen more movies of Mohanlal and thus is also my role model.

Your favorite spot to hang out?

Wherever I go with my friends.

Quickies

Favorite sports: Football

Favorite movie quote: It’s from the movie Prestige “See, sacrifice, Robert… that’s the price of a good trick”

Your fitness mantra: 80% diet and 20 % workout

Describe yourself in 3 words: Fun, very outgoing and very lovable

The thing you’re most afraid of: Loosing loved ones

Dream car: Nissan GTR

Coffee or chai: I’m a coffee person

iPhone or Android: iPhone

Which movie character would you like to date? 

  • Sai Pallavi as Malar in Premam
  • Deepika Padukone as Mastani in Bajirao Mastani
  • Prayaga Martin as Helena in Ramleela
  • Alia Bhatt as Tia in Kapoor and Sons

Deepika Padukone, because she is my favorite actress.

Words by Anushree Udayakumar
Photographs & Retouch by Goutham Narayanan
Location Courtesy: Bike Studio, Sivaji Royal Enfield, Trivandrum

I was always enticed by visuals: Anoop Menon

The charismatic actor-writer Anoop Menon opens about his films, writings, travel and his plans to Cream Life. Read the space more to join his elated journey. 

You were at the top of your academic pursuit having secured 1st rank in Kerala University. But you discarded the stability of academic career to pursue the visual medium. How tough was the decision? Have you ever regretted it?

First of all, I didn’t exactly realise I was at the top of my academic pursuit. The biggest high of securing that rank was that an accomplishment that the Law Academy was so accustomed to was coveted by Law College for the first time in years! I was always sure that academics or jurisprudence was not my call. I could never see myself as an advocate or a legal consultant. But the achievement did add to my credibility – it was an indicator of my work and ability albeit in a different field.

Regret, never! Because I was never comfortably espoused in academics. I was always caught in the world of visuals, even as a child. I would visualise constantly as I read the great classics of Chekhov, Solzhenitsyn, and Tolstoy.  I could be the hero, the antagonist, I could be anyone! Academia fell short against these enthralling visuals, really. So I have only looked forward to the world of visuals; never once turning back to regret.

Your films – especially the ones you have penned like Beautiful and Trivandrum Lodge –explore the theme of romantic love in atypical ways. Deviating from the usual boy-meets-girl format, you have narrated instances of intense, almost platonic love and sometimes pure lust. What is the shade of this love to you?

That there is no fixed shade of love is what I tried to portray! The lodge in Trivandrum Lodge represented a range of human experiences; each room was a different shade. From the innocent puppy love of the kids to the sexual exploits and pursuits of the male characters to finally the ‘been-there-done-that’ lust less affection between Sukumari and Janardhanan. But is a child really so innocent? He is only camouflaging his unbound knowledge in the Google era! His curiosity, his desires, his indulgences should be channelled in a healthy way. For example, when I read Khasakkinte Ithihasam, I was in 7th grade and did not completely understand the interaction between Ravi and Chanthumma. I asked my father, and instead of waving off the teen curiosity he explained it simply, naturally. And thus ended my promiscuities! Open and proper education is necessary for healthy expression of sexuality, which is as important any other banal desires like hunger and thirst. Platonic love does not exist really, and its portrayal was only meant to showcase the ideal. The movie also attempted to caricature male fear – fear of self impotency and fear of a woman’s blatant expression of lust. So what I am trying to say is that there is no single shade of love, imaginative or otherwise.

Do you see yourself as an auteur in the future?

I don’t see myself as anything! I neither am a person with any judgements about myself nor am I worried about how others see me. I take things as they come. I haven’t written anything for 3 years now, I had no stories I wanted to compulsively tell my audience. It may or may not continue! All creative output is also a matter of chance. Anything is possible.

You have travelled wide and far, and have written travelogues. Which has been your favourite journey so far? What does each journey represent?

This question comes at a time when I’m about to launch an anthology of travelogues! It is a collection of my journeys to London, Italy, Bangkok, China, and the whole of India. It will be launched in November at Sharjah International Book Fest.

To say that any one journey has been the favourite is very difficult, because each journey has given me moments and pleasures to cherish. For instance, I came across a couple while travelling in China to see the Great Wall. They seemed odd at first; the woman was excited and visibly vibrant, whereas the man was quiet and thoughtful. My wife, Kshema, even remarked that there was an obvious age difference – of say 20-25 years between them. We watched them through the journey in the bus and at Ming Tombs, as the woman dragged her partner around. Then we stopped at a site of the Great Wall, where it was a steep climb. I didn’t think the man, almost in his 70’s, would make it to the top. But he did! The climb did not deter him at all; on the contrary he was ecstatic! And as I watched they said goodbye to each other, the man took her hand and thanked her. They were total strangers, maybe having met each other the night before, and she helped this alien man see one of the wonders of the world. Who was she to him? A cheerful company in what may have otherwise been a journey of solitude? His guide? Or were they one-night lovers, choosing to part at the spectacular scene?

All my journeys are about the experiences they offer, the stories I witness, and the magnificent sights I capture.

Your stint as a scriptwriter has been commercially successful and critically acclaimed. How do you rate this success?

I have been statistically more successful as an actor than as a scriptwriter. But the movies that people will always remember are the ones I have penned. That is good fortune, I must say. I’m a writer by chance. I wrote because I wanted to stay in this industry and I had no other talents to show off! I cannot dance or fight, but I could write.

Do you have any preparation or regime as an actor? What kind of investment goes into each role that you done?

I’m only as good as my director. If the script is bad, and the director isn’t good, I’m horrible! The actor is perhaps the most powerless unit in a film. I only dish out the meat given to me.

Is photography only a hobby or does it helps in enhancing the visuals in your movies?

I do love visuals. I’m not sure what a hobby entails, but photography is very much part of my life.

Can you elaborate on your role as Akbar Ali in Kamal’s much discussed Aami?

I cannot give away that right now, let it remain a mystery.

You are a celebrity with much acknowledged fame and fanfare. Yet you keep your personal life guarded. How is a typical day in Anoop Menon’s life, away from all the limelight?

There is no typical day in Anoop Menon’s life. Each day is only a typical. Thankfully I got a partner who is happily familiar with my quirky and erratic ways. We have packed our bags with no plans and took off on some mornings. I like to be as dynamic as possible.

Words by Indu S Nair

Photographs by Mahadevan Thampy

Retouch by Goutham Narayanan

Vivid and Vivacious

At the start of your career, you played the ‘girl next door’ or ‘village girl’ archetypes in movies like Sneham and Randam Bhavam. Recently we saw you ride a bullet and make Bollywood debut through Airlift. How would you rate your career growth?

Well, I would describe my career graph as tree shaped! Seeds were sown in the form of village girl type characters, which when I started was the trend of story-telling in Malayalam cinema. But now Malayalam cinema has evolved to include diverse characters and plots from across the society. I believe I’ve grown along with the range of characters offered to me. I’m grateful to the directors who confidently gifted me with unusual roles. I’m always on the look-out for new challenges; it helps me push myself as an actor.

Although you were active in the industry from 1998, the watershed project in your career came in 2011 with your role in Traffic. Can you brief on pre and post Traffic phases?

My character in Traffic had limited screen time but was important in terms of storyline.

The plot was set such that each character had poignant presence. I had bigger roles before prior to the movie, but the character’s influence on the storyline in Traffic made people notice my performance. Since then I’ve been considered a serious actor; I received better results and more appreciation. I think it only proves what I believe, that the influence of a character matters not in terms of screen time.

You were a professional clinical psychologist and a strong academic. Did you leave all that for your passion for movies?

Yes, I did! Personally I grew up as a bookworm and was very particular about my studies. I was a rank holder in school and college, and have a postgraduate degree in Clinical Psychology. But when I began acting I realized my true calling and eventually left the academic path for my passion.

 You started getting more substantial roles after Traffic. The important ones being Left Right Left, Kanyaka Talkies, Vikramadityan, Ennu Ninte Moideen. How was that experience? Which is your personal favorite?

After Traffic I got quite a few characters that are close to my heart and it is really hard to pick a single one. But if I had to, I’d say ‘Supriya Raghavan’, the ASP in Spirit and ‘Anitha’ in Left Right Left. Ennu Ninte Moideen provided me with an exceptional chance to portray a real life character and in an age bracket that was challenging.  

It is quite rarely that mainstream actresses accept ‘mother roles’, whereas you splendidly delivered two such roles in succession. What motivated you to take up those roles? Will you take up such roles again?


The way I see it, as an actor, when you play a character, it doesn’t matter what the ‘role’ is, but its contribution to the storyline or its influence on the final outcome, and more importantly the challenge it offers. I do not look at characters in terms of archetypes like ‘police role’ or ‘mother role’.

Do you have a ‘dream character’?
There are a lot of characters that I would love to portray! Like a character with psychiatric issues. Maybe because of my background in psychology, I can relate to it.

Your upcoming release Adam Joan will be in theatres soon. What’s your expectation?

It’s an Onam release and was shot extensively in Scotland. The setting is different from the usual and some technical aspects are what we have never before seen in Malayalam cinema. Scotland was extremely beautiful and compliments the story well. I was happy to share screen space with Prithviraj as we have good rapport and have acted together in the past. It made it easier to work with him and yes, I have high hopes on Adam Joan!

 You have shared screen space with Mohanlal and now with Pranav Mohanlal in Aadi. Please share your experience.

Mr. Mohanlal is everything that we have heard about him. He is an energy powerhouse, with immense talent and a great human being. He has an incredible ability to inspire others to do much more than they believe they can and is really down to earth. So, everyone expects Pranav to be the son of that great man and is waiting to see how he is. But frankly Pranav is exceptionally down to earth, humble and very hardworking. I believe he has inherited all the energy and positive attitude from his father.

You became a household name through the character ‘Jancy’ in a TV serial, where you played a simple girl. Is Lena really like Jancy in life?

I had taken a break from movies for my post graduation and my return to screen was through Jancy. It was a character whom anyone would love and I did too as soon as I heard the script. When you act in a serial, you get ample time to improve your skills. You can continuously evaluate and polish your acting skills and I believe it really helped my career.

About me and Jancy, well there’s nothing in common. I’m not like her at all but she gave me a chance to improve as an actor. The best part is that people loved Jancy and through Jancy, they loved me.

 Many actors start business ventures like boutiques and hotels, but you were different there too. What motivated you to start ‘Aakruti’? How’s it going?

Actually, I wasn’t planning to start a business but only looking to lose some weight very quickly for a photo shoot in 2014. I wanted to change my entire look. I tried dieting and exercise, but to no avail. That’s when a friend of mine introduced me to ‘Physiotherapy Slimming’ and in 15 days I lost 7 kg! This helped me change my image and it was a complete transformation. So when she told me about her plans to start a clinic in Calicut, I joined in. It has been successful and now we have plans to take it to the next level.

Your take on social media and trolls? How active you are in social media?

I think it’s a part and parcel of contemporary life and ‘trolls’ are an important peg in it. It’s the new form of social satire. Some are positive and some are hilarious. The key point is not to take it too seriously and to enjoy the humor it offers. And I’m not very active in social media, save a Facebook page.

 Do you have a life motto that you would like to share with the public?
I really do not believe in any single motto that can take you through your life. Life is all about constant change and you need to change with it. Stay with the flow and be a part of that change.

 

Favorites

  • Actor:  Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, and Mohanlal
  • Film:   Forrest Gump
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Song:  Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh…
  • Hobbies: Craft work, Reading and Travel
  • Phone: Oppo.
  • Car: No clue!
  • Destination: Scotland
  • Brand:   None in particular for clothing, but in cosmetics I prefer Christian Dior and Shiseido.

Content Copyright@2017creamlifemedia

Cricket to Celluloid-Vivek Gopan

Vivek Gopan rose into limelight through CCL. In a journey where cameo roles highlighted him, the mini screen gave a perfect entry into the minds of people. In an exclusive interview with Cream life, he opens up about his personal and professional life.

Entry into films?

I debuted through Priyadarshan sir’s ‘Arabiyum ottakavum P Madhavan Nairum’. It was a cameo role.The chance came through my cricket coach Biju George who suggested me to Priyan sir’s associate Suresh Krishnan. I never thought it was a serious approach and when I got the chance it was like a dream. Later I went onto play minor roles in films like Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty, E Adutha Kalathu, My Fan Ramu etc. However, it was the entry into mini screen which gave me a major breakthrough. People even identified my cameos after the serial was aired.

Taste for art

I always wanted to be a cricketer. My grandmother was a singer in radio station. She and my mother took music classes at home. So I had the chance to learn music till 5 th standard. I used to participate in light music and carnatic music competitions and won many prizes at school level. The other art form I tried was Bharatanatyam. My mother wanted me to learn it and was really a tedious affair. It took me 2.5 years to learn what others learned in the span of a year. I said goodbye to that once I did arangettam. To be honest, stage fright is something which haunts me then and now. I lost my interest in music after 5 th standard and they never compelled me to pursue it.

The cricketer in you!

As I said, my dream was always to become a cricketer. I had the chance to play for Kerala U-19 team and even represented my school at national level. I always dreamt of getting a government job and resume my career in cricket. However, financial constraints hindered my dream and had to give up cricketing career. I still say to my wife that cricket is my first wife.

Taking up a career in pharmaceutical sector?

As financial constraints were there, I was forced to take up a job after my studies. I started with small companies and ended up as Area Business Manager in US Vitamins Company. My 7 year old stint with pharma broke once I became an actor. But still I’m updated about the field so that I can move back if something goes wrong in between. Hope everything goes smoothly!

Roles you love to do?
An actor should be ready to play any character he is bestowed with. I love to do any character which I get irrespective of its length in movie. But I’m slightly inclined to negative characters. But when I say this many of my friends and colleagues say my face and expressions are not suited to play a villain role. I was so fortunate to act in Priyan sir’s Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal (remake of Marykkundoru Kunjadu), where I got the opportunity to act with actors like Nana Patekar, Om Puri, Paresh Rawal, Shreyas Talpade etc. it was really a novel experience. I believe seeing this actors in action has bettered by acting skills.

Favorite actors?

It’s Mohanlal and Mammootty like any malayali. But I’m more of a Mammootty fan. Among the new generation, I’m a fan of Dulquer Salman and Prithivraj.

Films that inspired the most

Nair Saab, Yodha, Irupatham Noottandu are some movie which I watch repeatedly.

Working with big M’s!

Working with Lalettan and Mammookka presents us two extreme experiences. It’s always very cool and relaxed to work with Lalettan. Tension crops up when we are acting with Mammookka. It’s not because he gives us tension, it automatically sprout inside us. Otherwise, it’s super cool to work with him. I have just done a film with Lalettan, so not sure how it will be next time.

Best experience after coming into limelight?

People started recognizing me wherever I go. Before I had the fortune to go anywhere without any privacy concerns. But nowadays people come to talk to us irrespective of time and location. Sometimes I won’t be in the best of moods, but will have to co-operate with them. I don’t know whether it can be termed as a best experience. There are instances where people have treated me as their family member. That is the best gift an artist can get.

Dream role?

As I said, I love to do any character. I was so impressed by films like Bahubali and Veeram. It will be nice if I get warrior type roles.

Dream director?

I love to work with all directors. I respect and I’m happy to work with different directors. To give our 100% to what director demands is our duty and I’m more concerned about that.

Off to mini screen?

Though I did minor roles in some movies, I gained popularity through CCL. There was a considerable gap after Priyan sir’s Hindi film. So I was planning to get back to pharma sector. That’s when the serial’s audition happened. I send my photos to its producer and was selected. The audition had many phases.We say that the best comes when we wait patiently. Finally I was selected to play the lead character.Then I started watching Hindi serials and movies more. It was so difficult to get into the track at the beginning. But I got into the groove after a month.

Difference between mini screen and big screen?

Regarding acting, there isn’t any difference. Mini screen is like a jet. We hardly get any time between shots. Everything is fast so that we have to adjust with its pace. Films are little more relaxed. Even if you want to change the physic, films give us time. After 30-45 days, we move to another set. There its entirely new crew and cast.

Morality issues?

It’s an unwanted discussion. Take films and serials as a medium of entertainment. I don’t believe that people gets defective on watching them. There are many who do crime without watching these. Serials and films are not injurious to health. If they addicted to this and get hooked onto TV or theatres, it’s actually nice.

Balancing family and profession?

It’s the most difficult thing to do. I get very less free time these days. My motto is to spend the quality time wisely with family. I and wife hangs out or goes to eat out when I’m free.

About family?

My marriage was actually love marriage. My wife Sumi is working in Allianz Cornhill. Our son Sidharth is studying in 2 nd standard in St Thomas school. Sumi is my best critic and she never demotivates me. As an artist, it’s the best thing I can get.

One actress you love to work with?

I would love to work with Bhavana. She is very close friend and would love to share space with her. I have expressed this to her too. Maybe someday it may happen!

One wish you would like to ask to god?

I don’t crave for much. I need to live happily and peacefully like this.

Fashion statement?

I keenly follow the new trends. Even if it’s a torn shirt or jeans, if I’m comfortable and confident with
that, I’ll surely wear. My fashion statement lies there. I don’t care how people judge me, if I’m confident
I’ll wear anything that suits me.

Fitness?

I’m a fitness freak. As a cricketer, I was very particular in keeping fit. Nowadays I’m working very hard at
gym. Everyday workout is must for me. All we need is to live healthily and keep our look perfect; that’s
how people judges you!

Role models?

Yes, it’s always Mammooka. The way he maintain his physic at his age is outstanding. Also I’m a fan of
John Abraham, Salman Khan and Vidyut Jamal.

Favorite cricketer?

It’s MS Dhoni. He is a cricketer who struggled, fought and came up. It’s an inspiration for all of us.
Whenever I’m double minded, I think about his life.

Dream car – Porsche Cayenne
Dream destination – Mauritius, Thailand, Dubai, USA
Current Phone– Samsung S7. Planning to upgrade to S8
Favorite brand – Puma

View on social media?

I generally find social media as a good platform. It really keeps us updated. It’s really useful to people
who travel a lot. It has its negative sides, but I enjoy being there.

Getting trolled?

Personally, I like trolls. I take it very positively. We are trolled in social media since we are in the
limelight. There are many trolls about me, I take it in a light sense, enjoy and forget.

Your words to upcoming artists?

Whatever you do, give your 100%. Plan the journey to your dream in a systematic way so that it will be
executed perfectly!

 

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