Renji Panicker is one of the most demanded scriptwriters in the Malayalam film industry, and many of his films including 'Commissioner', 'Ekalavyan', 'The King' and 'Lelam' had emerged as huge hits at the Mollywood box-office. The firebrand writer later directed some movies and recently forayed into acting where he continued his magic with his spectacular screen presence and unique style of dialogue delivery. A couple of years back, Renji Panicker's son Nithin made his debut in the entertainment industry as a director with the movie 'Kasaba'. Now, Nikhil, Renji Panicker's second son is also entering the industry, and unlike his brother, he is making his debut as an actor.
Nikhil Renji Panicker will be doing the lead role in a movie that is based on the life of Kalamandalam Hyderali, the first non-Hindu artiste to make a mark in the art of Kathakali. In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, India, Nikhil opened up about the movie, his future, and the influence of Renji Panicker in his life.
Nikhil, you completed your education overseas, and have not forayed into the entertainment industry until now. What made you accept the offer to act in the most happening biopic of Kalamandalam Hyder Ali?
I have worked in a few projects as a line producer and executive producer. After that, I moved abroad. I was offered this character while I was back home and I decided to take up the offer.
Being a Mollywood star kid, you could have utilized your privileges to get yourself launched in the industry under big production banners. Why did you choose this unique path?
Honestly acting was never a plan and I have never considered it a career option. (Smiles) I don't feel that there is anything unique about this path, I was offered the character and I decided to do it. I mean, that is supposed to be the normal path right?
Tell us more about the crew of this movie
Kiran G Nath, even though a debutant director is experienced as an asst director and asst cinematographer. MJ Radhakrishnan sir is the cinematographer of this film and he is one of the most experienced cinematographers in the country now.
Kalamandalam Hyder Ali's life was loaded with controversies. How good is the script of this movie to portray the reality of his life on screen without losing the soul?
The script for this movie is written by Aju K Narayanan and I believe he has done a great job.
Nikhil's father, Renji Panicker, the firebrand writer and actor of Mollywood is also acting in this upcoming movie. Tell us more about his role in 'Kalamandalam Hyder Ali'.
He is playing the character of Kalamandalam Hyderali, and I am playing his younger stages. Most of the important events in the script take place during the latter years of the character and I am sure you all can see a fine performance from him.
Your brother Nithin Renji Panicker entered the industry as a director with the movie 'Kasaba'. Do you have any plans to direct a movie in the near future?
No plans yet!
How do you like to see Renji Panicker, as an actor or as that firebrand writer who rocked the Mollywood screens during the 1990s?
I think Acha (Dad) is an awesome actor but still, I love his scripts more. I would like to put it this way, I love his scripts more than the characters he has played.
Tell us about the influence of Renji Panicker in your life.
I should say that he has influenced every bit of my life and the person who I am. It is from Acha that I learned that life is very simple and it deserves to be kept that way. I can write a whole essay if I keep thinking about this. He is a wonderful father and I am a very proud son.
After Kalamandalam Hyder Ali, what next?
As of now, no plans.