'Pranav Mohanlal has his own identity as an actor'
Aadhi director Jeethu Joseph says the actor's approach to performance is very different from that of his father, Mohanlal
This is Jeethu Joseph's ninth directorial venture, but Aadhi is giving him the jitters unlike anything before. And it's all because of the hype and expectations surrounding the film, thanks to it beind the debut of Pranav Mohanlal. With a surname that will be a real challenge to live up to, a lot is expected of Pranav, and the mantle rests upon Jeethu to give him that platform.
The director realises it. "Lal (Mohanlal) sir and Suchitra have entrusted me with their son's career launch. That is indeed a great responsibility. My job is to explore his talent and bring it to the fore. So far, things are great. They have seen Aadhi and are happy with it. But it is the audience who have to give the final verdict," he says.
Pranav made his debut as a child actor in Onnaman (2002) but it was his role as Appu in Punarjani, in the same year, that brought to light the actor in him. His performance won him the State Award for Best Child Artist.
Naturally, Jeethu wasn't very worried about the talent part. "Pranav has already proved his potential. So, whether or not he can act wasn't the question here. But, like any other newbie, he had his share of hiccups, too. That is something that can be overcome with experience," the filmmaker says.
The actor's transformation to Adithya Mohan, the protagonist in Aadhi, was easy too, says Jeethu. He thinks that may be because Adithya shares a few similarities with Pranav. "The process was natural, though Pranav took two days to warm up. He would observe other people working. After that, he easily got into the groove," says the director.
So how much of Mohanlal can we see in him? Jeethu says, except for dedication and passion for the craft, they're both very different in the way they emote and approach a character. "But, the whole point is not to replicate Mohanlal. Pranav has a different identity as an actor," he adds.
The trailers of Aadhi have already created a lot of buzz, but Jeethu clarifies that the film isn't a suspense thriller. "It is an action thriller. There is no suspense here. What I aim to trigger is curiosity," he says.
Jeethu has clearly taken an unconventional approach this time. His hero has no romantic thread. The filmmaker says he is aware that this is not the norm when launching an actor. "Yes, it is uncommon. But, I think that adds to the freshness," he says.
Aadhi will hit the screens this Friday.