‘Playing Joseph was an extremely emotional experience’
..says Unni Mukundan, who plays the role in director Harikumar's Clint, which will hit the screens this Friday
In his six-year-long career, Unni Mukundan says this is probably the first time that he got so emotionally carried away by a character. For, his character Joseph, in director Harikumar’s Clint, altered the way he perceived life and family values.
As the movie readies to hit the screens this Friday, Unni says playing a real-life character was a challenge unto itself, especially the kind of extraordinary personality that Joseph was. “It is not like playing fictional characters. I am enacting someone who was with us on the sets. I wanted to bring on screen the positive vibe he has and it was challenging and emotionally taxing at the same time,” he says.
After he signed the movie, Unni began getting into the skin of the character by reading A Brief Hour of Beauty by Ammu Nair. “I met Joseph uncle only after reading the book. I was intrigued by the character that he was. First, when he used to come to the sets, I would avoid talking to him about Clint. But, then I realised that he was someone with immense positivity even at his 70. They still live in the memories of Clint and do not consider him deceased even after so many decades.”
The actor says his experience with Joseph helped him get into the skin of his character. “I may not share physical similarities with Joseph uncle. But, I stole his thoughts and perceptions to play the character.”
Unni says one can see his version of Joseph in the movie. “He is a role model. His thought process was much ahead of the times,” he adds.
However, there were many incidents that upset him during the shoot. “Child artist Alok who plays Clint is very dear to me. I am very fond of kids as such. So, while shooting sequences where Alok looses his hair, I was devastated. I was upset the whole day that in fact, I vowed never to do a film on similar lines again,” he adds.
Unni believes that Clint will be a milestone in his career graph, and he is extremely thankful to director Harikumar for offering him the movie. “I have done a movie, Kaatum Mazhayum, with him before. Though the movie didn’t get a theatre release, it was praised at the festival and award circuits. So, when he offered me Joseph, which was very performance-oriented role, I was ecstatic. I am grateful for the kind of trust he placed on me,” he says.
The actor says he wants Clint to be watched and praised because it deserves that. “Despite its commercial aspects, Clint is a well made movie. It handles beautifully the life of the child prodigy and his parents,” he adds. Rima Kallingal plays Clint’s mother in the movie.