Chasing His Dreams – A Chat With Anwar Shereef !

After a dozen movies, he is now geared up for his latest release, Jallianwala Bagh

As a young boy from Puvathoor, it has been his dream to be a part of Cinema. Like every newcomer, he had his share of struggles and disappointments but after doing almost 60 ad films and 150 music albums, he finally got his first break in Mollywood. After a dozen movies, he is now geared up for his latest release, Jallianwala Bagh. RITZ is in conversation with Mollywood actor, Anwar Shereef.

Interview: Riya Sonny Datson

How did movies happen? Was it always your dream to do films?
Yes, very much. Ever since I completed my pre degree, I have been chasing my dreams of becoming an actor. I started by doing ad films and then went on to be a part of music albums. I did almost 150 albums after which I finally got a break. My first film assignment was in ‘Bharya Athra Pora’ under director Akku Akbar and since then, he has always given me a part in all his movies. Post that, I got to be a part of many memorable movies like Salala Mobiles, Ben – a movie that bagged national and state awards, Oru Vadakkan Selfie and Oru Mexican Aparatha to name a few. I also got an opportunity to work in Tamil with SJ Suryah.

You are in a completely new avatar for Jallianwala Bagh. Tell us about the movie and your character.
Jallianwala Bagh is a youthful movie about a group of students living in a government hostel. It has comedy, romance, drama and all the elements of a good entertainer that would appeal to the family audience. I am enacting the role of a senior student named Chicken Johnson. There is a dark shade to the character, which is what attracted me to it. I am really excited about my role as there is a lot of scope for performance. I have been doing only comedy roles until now and I felt I needed to try something different. The movie is produced by Prince Hussain and Linto Thomas, directed by Abhinesh Appukuttan and has Shalu Rahim doing the lead role. Since all of us are good friends, it was great fun on the sets and we really enjoyed making this movie. The promo song was recently launched by actor Vijay Sethupathi after which he called me and the director to congratulate us. I am looking forward to its release.

Without a background in cinema, it is a challenge to survive in the film field, how do you tackle it?

Yes, it is difficult. Of course, talent is important but what is equally important is networking and relationships. You also need to be lucky because you can never predict if a movie will be a hit or a flop. All you can do is wait for the right roles to come your way and do justice to the roles you portray.

What inspires you to move on in spite of challenges?
The support from my friends and family definitely helps. My wife, Loumy Majeed and my children, have always been a source of encouragement. I am keen on doing different types of roles because I don’t want to be stereotyped into a particular type of character.

How do you prepare for your roles?
I am very much a director’s actor and I follow whatever he tells me. But more than preparing for the role, I think as an actor, it is your own experiences and the memories of people you have met that really inspires you to perform.

Which is your favourite movie?
Sudani from Nigeria! I think it’s a wonderful movie, the director Zakariya, has really managed to capture the essence of Malabar. I have watched it thrice already.

Any dream roles?
It is my dream to do a film that has me donning the role of a romantic hero.

What are the other projects in the pipeline?
‘Yuddham’ is my next project with producer Ajith Thalapilly and director Rejin S Babu. There is also another major project in the pipeline by Sharath Haridaasan where I get to play the lead. Discussions are on but it is too early to reveal the details now.