Jomon K John sheds his chocolate boy image for Mangalyam Thanthunanena!
His first rendezvous with Cinema began as a dashing young hero but after an unexpected break, he was soon auditioning for the role of a villain! Initially, his chocolate boy image didn’t seem to be working in his favour but he kept his fingers crossed and hoped for the best! He had come to realise that it was not always smooth sailing with Cinema but he was determined to portray characters that would remain in people’s hearts. With ‘Mangalyam Thanthunanena’, Mollywood gets a sizzling new villain, who has been receiving rave reviews for his lethal performance. RITZ has a candid chat with the stunning Jomon K John, who is also the sibling of the national award winning actor, Jomol!
Interview: Riya Sonny Datson
We hear that you were extremely shy as a young boy, so how and when did the transformation happen?
Yes, that’s true. During the time when Jomol was active in Cinema, I had offers coming my way for younger roles but I didn’t have the confidence back then. There were times when I literally hid behind closed doors when someone approached my parents about a role! But as I grew older, I noticed the rise of a younger crop of actors and story tellers and I slowly felt the urge to find my own space. I bagged my first film without too much effort. Although, the experience wasn’t too positive, it was a learning of sorts! It has definitely not been easy since then and I have had my fair share of struggles and disappointments before I bagged my role in ‘Mangalyam Thanthunanena’.
Did you have any inhibition about taking up the role of a villain?
Not at all! As an actor I am happy to take up any role that has scope for performance. The satisfaction comes when the audience recognise you as the character you have portrayed.
So have the audience started to recognise you?
Yes! I can’t tell you how happy I felt, when some of them from the audience came upto me after the movie. There were small kids who seemed scared of me initially. Their parents had to explain it to them that I was a villain only onscreen and that it was ok to shake hands with me. That was indeed very satisfying.
“My only dream is to do good roles and work with a good team. I think I have miles to go.”
How was the experience chasing and punching the hero, Kunchacko Boban?
I have known him since the time he acted with my sister, which was many years ago. We share a very cordial relationship and he was very supportive throughout the film. Since I had never really done fight scenes earlier, I was tensed and would rehearse it a couple of times. Before the shot, he would give me tips and discuss the scene in detail. It was great working with him!
Since you have won great reviews, do you have any fears of being stereotyped into a villain role?
No, of course not. I have donned the role of a hero and that of a supporting character in my previous movies. I have no inhibitions about doing the role of a villain. The main idea is doing a character that has an impact on the story and remains in the minds of the audience. I am open to doing interesting roles.
Has Jomol influenced your career in any way or has it been a pressure to be identified as her brother?
During the time she was acting, I had no interest in films. But yes, as I started to act, the pressure was always there as people have a certain amount of expectation when they identify me as Jomol’s brother. I think that is normal and I would have had the same expectation or curiosity if I were watching a star kid or a star sibling. I think that was also the reason why I was waiting for the right roles…I didn’t want to take up every role that came my way for the sake of being in Cinema. Am not sure if I have done justice to the roles I have portrayed thus far, but I have tried to give it my best.
How was your family’s response to the movie?
My wife, Chinnu, was anxious about my pulling off a villain role but she is very happy that it turned out well! My parents and my sister’s family also liked my performance and they enjoyed the movie thoroughly. More than my role, it is heartening to know that people have accepted the movie as a family entertainer.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Getting the right role is the biggest challenge. People have to believe that you are capable of doing a particular character, only then, the right roles will come to you. In this industry, networking is vital. I generally shy away from the limelight and am not very active on social media either, which I think is something I need to work on.
I love traveling, going on drives, exploring new places and cuisines. I am very passionate about cars, enjoy music and yes, watching movies!
- Dream Holiday: A European road trip
- Favourite Dish: Kozhikode Biriyani
- I can’t do without: My family and friends!
- Favourite Movie: Godfather
- Fitness Mantra: Yoga and Cycling
- My ‘Me’ time is: Enjoying a movie or going on a drive!
- My Motto: Be honest and sincere in whatever you do!