I badly wanted to play a negative character:Dhanesh Anand
The actor makes his debut playing a villain in the upcoming thriller Lilli
He plays one of the baddies who abduct a pregnant woman (Samyuktha Menon) and lock her up in an abandoned warehouse in the upcoming thriller Lilli. But debutant Dhanesh Anand has none of the menace you can see in the film's intriguing teaser, which was well-received and has brought him considerable attention online.
The actor, who worked as an assistant on the film Hotel California, recalls his interesting audition process. "I knew the director (Prasobh Vijayan) and I was initially told that there was no role for me. Actually, another actor had auditioned for this part, but then that didn't work out. Prasobh first suggested that I play a positive role, but I was adamant that I wanted the negative character."
Dhanesh credits Prasobh, executive producer Anooten Vargis, and assistant cameraman Faiz Siddik for being very supportive. "I was given the freedom to mould the character and improvise. I dropped 10 kgs and had only a month to prepare and get the look needed for the character. I believe one can do it if they put their mind to it."
Doing such a disturbingly misogynistic character was "a weird and surreal, but ultimately rewarding" experience, says Dhanesh. "We spent a lot of time in closed sets -- real locations that were isolated and away from the city. I had to be violent with Samyuktha's character and I was worried about how I would pull it off. I mean, I have female friends and it was a bit challenging to pretend to be a despicable guy with another woman. There were times when I asked myself if I was really in this world (laughs). But everyone around helped and encouraged me. This helped me do the role in the way the script demanded."