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The Lucky Pair – Jayasurya and Ranjith Sankar

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This awesome twosome, Jayasurya and Ranjith Sankar, reunite to make yet another movie, Punyalan Private Limited

Words by Rheanna Mathews   Photographs from Jinson Abraham

No Malayali is unfamiliar with Mollywood’s power combination of much loved actor Jayasurya, and Ranjith Sankar, a director who has a number of successful movies on his mantel. Their fourth movie together, Punyalan Private Limited, released this November, as delighted audiences saw the actor revisit the role of Joy Thakolkaaran, from Punyalan Agarbattis.

The Lucky Pair - Jayasurya and Ranjith Sankar

Conversation with the duo goes as any fan would expect, with Jayasurya being his humorous, yet no nonsense self and Ranjith, with his gravitas, being a perfect foil to the actor. They spoke little about the new movie, believing their work would show for itself when theatres across the land screened it to the public, but were more forthcoming about their creative collaboration, on and off set, and the camaraderie they share with each other in real life.

The Lucky Pair - Jayasurya and Ranjith Sankar

One is offered a true, but brief, glimpse into the relationship that an actor and director build over the years, perhaps offering a formula for what goes as success in the Malayalam film industry.

The Lucky Pair - Jayasurya and Ranjith Sankar_0535
Find out who is the bigger foodie between the two, and who is more of a gadget geek; how does Ranjith Sankar go about his shooting schedules, and what would Jayasurya have been doing in a parallel universe. Read about all this and more in the November issue of FWD Life magazine, in stands now.

 

Photographed by Jinson Abraham
Makeup: Kiran Peter
Styling: Namrata George
Costumes: Marks and Spencer
Accessories: Top Grain
Watches: Oris, Swiss Watch Boutique
Shoes: ALDO Shoes – India
Retouch: Jeminighosh S
Location Courtesy: Mercedes-Benz Rajasree Motors, Aluva
Production: FWD Media

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Cover Story

Triumphing Over the Odds – Vijay Babu

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Vijay Babu is a tower of confidence, having established himself as a producer with his company Friday Film House, and is on the way to making it big as an actor

Words by Charishma Thankappan                                                Photographs by Jinson Abraham

“When you go through a lot of pain and then achieve a huge success, it is extremely rewarding.” And none other than producer and actor Vijay Babu can vouch for this truth of life. After facing a setback with the initial release of the film Aadu Oru Bheekara Jeevi Aanu, 2015(Aadu), Vijay is now basking in the success of Aadu 2, a product of his production company Friday Film House. Riding high on the wave of accomplishment, the past year was one of the best for Vijay, who was part of one of the biggest hits of 2017 – Angamaly Diaries.

Blooming Forth

Rising from the ashes

Read on to learn Vijay Babu’s experience in the Malayalam film industry so far, in the latest issue of FWD Life, Dec-Jan 2018 edition

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Cover Story

Destiny Steered her Career, Says Kajal Aggarwal

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The actress speaks to FWD Life about her life, roles and success, in between promotions for Nene Raju Nene Mantri and Vivegam and shooting for Mersal

Words by: Rheanna Mathews    Photographs from: Rahul Jaghania    Makeup and Hair: Loveleen Ramchandani 

If a busy schedule is the sign of success, Kajal Aggarwal has achieved it, and then some. Amidst a whirlwind of promotions for her two upcoming movies, in between airport sprints and a few precious moments of quiet relaxation, we were able to chat over the phone.

A full plate

With two movies, Nene Raju Nene Mantri with Rana Daggubati and Vivegam with veteran actor Ajith Kumar, releasing back-to-back and shooting for a third movie, Mersal with Tamil heartthrob, [Joseph] Vijay, in between promotions, Kajal has her plate full. But her upbeat personality seems pretty elastic, as even from her conversation, one feels that she is raring to go, to do more. Her years in the industry also seem to have honed a native talent for diplomacy, for when asked who her favourite co-star is, she easily sidesteps the baited question, as “all three of them are very special in unique ways”.

FWD Life Kajal-Aggarwal (3)

With a range of movies in different languages under her belt, Kajal has never felt language to be a barrier when it comes to acting. Whether Telugu, Tamil or Hindi, she places importance on the craft, and when that happens, a different language simply becomes a stepping stone to newer experiences and wider horizons. Then how come she hasn’t stepped into the Malayalam film industry, you ask? Missed opportunities, clashing dates and that busy schedule again. Kajal reiterates that Malayalam too is a language she’d love to work in, with the industry being famous for its “technicians, stories and amazing scripts. The directors have the most creative ideas; very out-of-the-box scripts. So of course I’d like to collaborate!”

As one would expect from an actor with a decade of movies in her portfolio, Kajal places importance on quality rather than quantity, expressing a wish for roles that satisfy her creatively, with a different sort of stories and performance oriented roles that, again, places emphasis on the craft. In terms of genre, she is looking to do action and comedy movies, perhaps, in order to stave off the typecasting that we are all wont to do.

FWD Life Kajal-Aggarwal (2)

Describing her childhood self as ‘Kajal the Menace’, a bratty child who needed her mother’s constant supervision to stay out of trouble, Kajal says that although acting was always a passion and a hobby, she never imagined in her youth that she would pursue it as a career. “I’m totally Destiny’s child”, she says as she credits serendipity, pure chance, for the choice of her profession.

On the meaning of ‘success’

By all accounts, Kajal is scaling the heights. Counted among the stars of the industry, Kajal is much sought after, loved, and perhaps more importantly, respected, by the populace and the film industry. How does such a person define success? Is it by the sheer amount of movies generated? The people one works with? Or by the trappings of success – the designer clothes, the jet-setting lifestyle, the luxury villas and sedans, the glitz and glamour of tinsel town? Maybe a combination of all the above?

FWD Life Kajal-Aggarwal (4)

Kajal is unsure if she can chart her success with just her career graph. She looks at success as something fleeting. There a moment, gone the next. For, as fallible as human nature is, one’s wants and desires keep changing. As soon as you achieve something, there’s something a little further down the road that you want more. A little bigger, a little better. So then, given this constant state of desire, when do you really succeed? She says, “Maybe I’ll look back in a couple of years and feel happy about my career so far, but I wouldn’t call it one of the most successful runs either. Of course, I’ve done great films, worked with fabulous people and I’m proud of all that I’ve done. I have no regrets. But, I equate success to something deeper than that. It is a very personal feeling, and the minute you are able to grow in some manner or able to change yourself at any level, then, you are truly successful. This lasts longer too.”

FWD Life Kajal-Aggarwal (1)

Looking now to remake the Hindi movie, Queen, Kajal is still unsure of the long term plan. She takes it as it comes, wishing to live a balanced life, and trusting to Destiny, who has steered her well so far.

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Cover Story

A Picture of Poise – Niranjana Anoop

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Niranjana Anoop on FWD Life (1)

Actress Niranjana Anoop strikes a self-assured mien as she looks forward to her budding career in the film industry

Words by Charishma Thankappan     Photographs from Jinson Abraham

It is not just her cascading hair and eyes full of depth that belie her age. Niranjana has a steady head on her young shoulders and a cultivated outlook towards her flowering career in films that places her far beyond her actual years. “I am a very direct, simple person. I generally don’t have a mask and whatever I have to say, I say directly. I am very much the same as an actress – a very rooted person.”

Actress Niranjana Anoop

Having made her debut in Loham with Mohanlal, Niranjana has gone on to act with the top actors of the Malayalam film industry in her subsequent films – C/O Saira Banu (Manju Warrier) and Puthan Panam (Mammootty). Asked if she found it intimidating to find herself on the same stage along with the veterans of the field, Niranjana said, “No. In fact, it is their quality to make the newcomers feel extremely comfortable that makes them so great.”

Actress Niranjana Anoop

Not a stranger to cinema, Niranjana’s entry into filmdom was thanks to director Ranjith, who is also her uncle. “When I was in 8th Std, I pestered him with my desire to act. At that time he did not encourage me to enter the field of movies. But as I was relentless over the years, he finally gave in, and that’s how I got the chance to act in Loham,” she says. That gives rise to the stereotypical question that every beginner with a film background is targeted with – is it, therefore, easier to be in the industry thanks to her famed aunt and uncle? Niranjana replies with vehemence, “It’s a very common misconception that people have – that coming from a film background makes it easy for you; but no, it actually makes it a little harder. One can always dream and aim higher, but there’s always the role of luck and blessings – it’s just destiny whether you go on to succeed.”

Actress Niranjana Anoop

Working with seasoned actors right at the outset has exposed her to the various styles and approaches adopted by them towards their profession. Niranjana relates her experiences with Mohanlal and Mammootty, which she claims are completely diverse. “Lal uncle wouldn’t let me sit idle any time. As we had many combination scenes, he would make me practice the dialogues. He did so by making it like a game, where he would come and ask me a dialogue out of the blue, even when I was wondering about.” Mammootty, on the other hand, “switches off from the environment and then suddenly comes straight to the scene,” she says. “I guess he depends on spontaneity, which is amazingly easy for him; but really difficult for others!”

Actress Niranjana Anoop

Talking about her experience with FWD Life’s cover shoot, Niranjana says that she was very happy with all the characters that were chosen for her “because it would be a dream for me to be like them and the fact that I was able to be them even for those brief moments, was something I’m extremely happy and feel blessed about”. With the opportunity enabling her to take a trip back in time, are there any fond personal memories she likes going back to? “I enjoy living in the present. I don’t like going back – I would just cherish a memory but wouldn’t long for it,” she says matter of factly.

Though she is still finding her feet in the trade, like every neophyte who comes with dreams in their eyes, does she have a dream role she secretly aspires to? “I do not have any dream role because whatever I imagine will be derived from something I’ve seen, and that won’t work out because it has already been done by someone else in its best and highest potential.”

Actress Niranjana Anoop

Not one to mince her words, the youngster is also averse to fixating over a role model. “I don’t have a particular favourite role model as then I will end up mimicking that person. I take the best of the many strong personalities or role models whom people look up to – everybody who is able to teach me something.”

As she takes baby steps into the film arena, Niranjana has managed to acquire big life lessons. “I have learnt that tension and anxiety – my weaknesses – don’t get me anywhere. I used to get myself worked up before any major event by overthinking. So I have started to tone down on that by taking every moment as it comes. I’ve started taking things a little more lightly and it has done me good.”

Styling: Teresa Boban & Sangeeth Vempala

Makeup & Hair Styling: Miranda

Costumes: AMRA by Soha, Marks & Spencer, Splash, Lulu Mall

Footwear and Accessories: ALDO, Lulu Mall

Retouch: Jemini Ghosh

Magazine Digital Version : https://goo.gl/7xMhuK

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