Sathyan Anthikkad played this trick to make Innocent act in 'Manassinakkare'
“Chirikku Pinnil” is a memoir written by actor Innocent about his experiences in the film industry. The book is written in a hilarious tone which Innocent usually maintains in his writing style. Director Sathyan Anthikkad penned the foreword for the book. Read an excerpt from the foreword…
“Innocent played a very interesting role in the movie ‘Mazhavilkavadi’ scripted by Raghunath Paleri. A stubborn family man named Kizhkkamthodiyil Sankarankutty Menon. He acted beautifully and won the state award for best actor in supporting role.
Dubbing of the movie was held in ‘Suresh Mahal’ studio in Madras. Innocent had acted very well delivering even long dialogues with perfection. But while dubbing, the actor need to record the same with accurate lip sync. Innocent struggled to lip sync with long dialogues. When the sync was correct, the expression would not be perfect and vice versa.
When it exceeded 15-20 takes, my patience was lost. I went to Innocent and told him secretly:
“You have acted very well. But you cannot dub well. Something like God’s fury has affected you. I am going to pray to God that I will take you to Mookambika temple after this movie.”
Hearing this, Innocent turned to me and asked:
“Who told you to cast me in such a big role? If you had given some small role that appears in one or two scenes, this would have been much easier, right? This is your fault. So, you have to suffer the punishment too.”
I did not expect this response and I could not resist laughing. But somehow everything went well after this and dialogues also was dubbed easily. I don’t know what helped us, whether Innocent’s effort or blessing of goddess Mookambika.
I have a freedom of friendship with innocent. In the movie ‘Manassinakkare’, the role of Chacko Mappila is as important as Kochu Thressia played by Sheela. Ranjan Pramod and I created that role with Innocent’s figure in mind. When the shooting was about to begin, Innocent had some personal issues and could not be with us.
He called me and asked to remove him from the role. I said a clear no to him. Shooting continued expecting Innocent. But he could not come on the days of shoot. I told him that we would not let anyone else play the role.
With this, Innocent called me again: “I will come there tomorrow morning. I will talk to you personally. Then you will understand my problem.”
On hearing this, I planned the shooting for the next day. The scenes of Innocent and Jayaram were to be shot. The location was Jayaram’s chicken stall.
Everything was arranged. Innocent arrived and took me to a corner of the location and started talking: “My son is suffering from back pain. We are going to Mysore tomorrow. I don’t know how many days we will have to stay there. If I acted today and leave, how could you complete the rest of the shooting?”
Meanwhile, Pandyan started doing makeup and put the wig on his head.
I told him: “Nothing will happen. You act now. This character is for you only. I believe that this can be completed without causing any trouble to anyone.”
My belief was proved right. Innocent could play the role of Chacko Mappila without any problem. After shooting the song ‘Chendakkoru Kottundeda Mandakkoru Kolundeda’ with Jayaram, Innocent had to take bed rest for one week. He even started Ayurvedic treatment.
Amid this, he called my wife and said: “He only need to say start and cut from behind the camera. All the effort is for the actors.”
I think Innocent would not have taken that risk for anyone else. We can defeat him only with love. Driver Paulose, porter in Irinjalakkuda, Mammootty or Mohanlal all are equal before Innocent. His ability to filter out humour from everything he sees stuns me always. It reminds me of writer VKN.”