Jayasurya:’Money doesn’t matter anymore’
It’s no secret that Jayasurya can slip into any role with ease. Be it a villain, comedian, sidekick or hero – you name it, he’s done it.
Despite the variety of roles and outstanding performances, he still remains one of those brilliant actors who is yet to get his due.
The Apothecary actor gets candid about what keeps him positive, why he will be selective from now on and more…
You are teaming up with the Classmates co-stars Prithviraj and Indrajith, in your latest movie. How has the relationship evolved over the years?
We are all experienced now – professionally. We have done a lot of movies and now we love cinema several folds more than we did during Classmates. The way we approach each character has changed. We are frank and open to each other and that’s what helped in the combination scenes in our film too. Personally, the friendship is not just between the three of us but our families too. Then there’s a Whatsapp group I created with Narain and the three of us that is still active. But that’s just the four of us, no family allowed there (laughs).
Do you find yourself competing with each other for roles now? The truth is there is no such competition between us at all. I think a scriptwriter approaches me with a role that would turn out great only if I do it. What’s special about the three of us is that we can slip into any character. That’s the prime reason we have been in the industry for so long and still have movies coming our way.
Fourteen years in the industry; how has been the journey and what keeps you going? I don’t perceive movies now the way I did a decade ago. If someone puts Rs 2 crore in front of me now and asks me to do a film, I won’t! Money doesn’t matter to me now. I said no to five projects by big banners this year. Apart from one more movie, I haven’t signed up for anything else. If I think I am not apt for a role, there’s no point in me doing that. As far as I am concerned, I want to play characters that people would remember and I am ready to go to any lengths for that.
Does it mean you will play a supporting role to the younger actors and newcomers? Why not? That’s not a problem for me. I played villain to Fahadh Faasil in Iyobinte Pusthakam last year. I can play a supporting role, a villain; it doesn’t matter as long as there is scope and space for me to perform. But it has to excite me that much. Otherwise I am better off playing the lead. I am saying that because then it becomes my project and the onus is on me to carry the movie.
Have you ever felt your audience likes you more in entertaining roles so it would be better to stick to that?
You can’t do the same thing over and over and expect different results. I am someone who wants to try different things and not be bothered about the results. When you take risks, you might succeed or fail. My career won’t ever be of someone who played it safe and never dared to do anything different.
Despite your stellar performance in films such as Apothecary, you didn’t get your due. Does that discourage you?
Discourage? No. But it disappoints me when I put in so much effort and do a role. See, the award jury comprises 10 well-informed people and I might not have been able to please all of them with my acting. However, there are common people, who might not have that much knowledge about cinema, and I think I have been able to please them with my portrayals. One thing I can assure you is that I have approached Apothecary with utmost sincerity. And it’s the same for Iyobinte Pushtakam and other films that failed to make their mark. I have only taken up characters for which I can give it all. Else, I wouldn’t have accepted them at all.
A lot of your movies last year didn’t do well. What went wrong? They were movies I now think I shouldn’t have done at all. As a proven actor I realised you’re just cheating yourself by taking up those roles. People come to watch my movies in theatres only because they have confidence in me. By doing such projects I am diminishing that. So, in the future I am not going to take up such roles. I might not give a blockbuster because of that but I will ensure the people who watch the film will be pleased with it and my character will be memorable. In fact, all the movies I did this year are close to my heart.
Do you have a support system in the industry? Honestly, I don’t have anything like a friends’ circle that cocoons me. But I can guarantee that if directors work with me once, they will definitely call me for their next project too. It’s only because of the enthusiasm and dedication I show for the role.
You seem like a very positive person. Where does that come from? I am someone who wishes to talk to positive people and also talk positively. There are those who light up the room when they come in and those are the sort of people you want to be with. I try to spend time with such people and also fill my mind with positive thoughts. For instance, if a movie fails, instead of being disappointed and regretful of the decision of taking it up, I rather learn from the mistakes and move on.