Actor-director Soubin Shahir talks about why he is tensed to appear in front of the camera and his memorable meeting with megastar Mammootty.

Why are you scared to act?

‘It’s not fear, but tension. I’m not interested to show my face on the screen for much time. I just want to render the dialogues as quickly as possible and leave. That’s all.’ Soubin revealed.

But people are interested to watch you on screen.

A reply came with the natural ‘Soubin-style’ smile, ‘Maybe because my face is too ugly’. Then he turned serious. ‘I’m not talking about fear. Not even shyness. It’s lack of interest. I’m more interested in making people act than acting myself. Many directors have their own politics. If we want to tell the world what is our politics, we have to make films.’

Did you change after becoming an actor?

A drastic change has occurred. Nobody knew me, when I worked as an assistant director. After becoming an actor, people has started to identify me. But I’m not comfortable with it. I want to roam around outside, eat from the street vendors, take a ride on bike with my friends…

Is there any discrimination on the sets between hero and comedian?

Everyone is equal on the sets. Even Mammookka (Actor Mammootty) pretend to be a serious person. He is actually a fun-loving man. But people will not give him a respectful distance, if he starts to talk freely to them. So, he has to maintain a serious nature.

I used to visit Mammookka’s home with Dulquer. Once Mammookka said, ‘Give him some ‘kummattikka’ juice. I got the trick and refused the offer politely. But he wouldn’t leave me and asked me to sing the ‘kummattikka’ song for him.

I sang it loudly, ‘Juice juice juice, Kummattikka juice, Mammoottikkakk ishtappetta kummattikka juice’ (Mammoottikka’s favourite water melon juice).

He said, ‘Well done. You stole the show using my name, right? Good.’ Mammookka is so friendly.

Soubin’s admiration for Mammootty reflected both in his words and eyes.

(Excerpts from an interview published in Grihalakshmi)

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