Tinseltown dreams brought me here…– Tovino Thomas
Son of an advocate and having graduated in Electronics Engineering, Tovino says that Engineering was never his cup of tea. “I had always dreamt to be a part of the magical celluloid, but never had I thought that I would become an actor”, says the latest heart-throb of M-town.
He has been a part of multi-starrers in different shades – Prabhuvinte Makkal, ABCD, August Club, 7th Day and Koothara. The Irinjalakuda lad, made his debut in Sajeevan Anthikkad’s Prabhuvinte Makkal. He earned positive reviews for his performance as Akhilesh Varma, politician who played the baddie opposite Dulqar Salman in ABCD andwas recently seen in the threesome gang of Srinath Rajendran’s Koothara as Tharun, with Bharath and Sunny Wayn.
1. How can one define Tovino Thomas?
I have a unique name, which means ‘beloved’, which I am (chuckles). I smile everytime, spreading love and happiness to those around. I am ambitious and hardworking too!
2. From where do you draw inspirations?
The life history of Charlie Chaplin, Mark Wahlberg, Sylverster Stallone etc have influenced me to a great extent. Mohan Lal and Mamootty are the two pillars of Malyalam Film Industry who have inspired many. SRK and Kamal Hassan are two other actors who I look up to because they have made it big in life coming from a small and a non filmy background. Would like to follow their footsteps to mark my name here!
3. Journey to stardom
It has definitely not been a bed of roses. I had to sacrifice my IT job, to make my dreams of tinseltown, a reality. I have had my fair share of struggle to reach here. I started with modelling and did 2-3 short films to prepare myself to face the camera. My approach towards cinema changed when I attended a Film Festival in Trivandrum, understood that cinema is a lot more than what we think. Then assisted Roopesh Peeethambaran in his ‘Theevram’ and that is how I was offered ABCD…
4. What pushed you to choose acting as your craft?
Cinema is something which I crave for. As a child, I was drawn towards the world of glamour. Later this love turned out to become a destination to achieve. Fame and money are secondary.
5. Coming from a non-filmy background, has it been difficult to establish yourself?
Without a filmy background surviving in the industry is a bit hard, at the same time it pushes you to work harder. But I believe for someone who is passionate, ready to work hard and face rejections in life, there is a space for them in the film industry. I struggled for almost two years to get my first break. Still not sure if I am established here as an actor. I learn with each step that I take and am sure that I would find my path to success.
6. When you watched films as an audience, what was your idea of a film star?
I had always thought that these actors are the luckiest people on earth, who get to appear on the 70mm silver screen. But once when you come into this field, you do realise that movies aren’t a cakewalk. A film is an output of each person involved in its making, right from the spotboy to the producer.
7. What does success mean to you?
I have learnt from my father that ‘there is no shortcut to success.’ Success has its price and the price is hardwork. I guess my hardwork has brought me here, where I stand today. On the sets of 7th Day, one of its associate directors had asked me from which film school I had graduated and that my character in ABCD was not less than any star performance. I think this was my first step towards success.
8. How do you feel after receiving appreciations for your black hat performance in ABCD?
It was a team effort and I am happy to be a part of ABCD. It was just because Martin Parakkat had a faith in me that I could pull off the negative character of Akhilesh Varma.
9. Koothara journey … Sharing the screen space with the legend Mohan Lal!
Koothara is a fabulous movie and Mohan Lal was a dream co-star. Each day of shoot had been a new learning experience. I have grownup watching Lal ettan’s movies. He has been a true inspiration for everyone. There is so much to learn from him. When on the set, he is just another person who is fun to be with. But once the cameras start rolling, he is into the mysterious character of Usthad Sali. Like the inseperable trio- Koobrin, Tharun and Ram, I too have become best friends in real life with Bharath and Sunny Wayn…
10. Fit for life
I do hit the gym regularly to maintain a good physique. It helps me to maintain a neutral body so that I can slip into any character as the script demands. Unfortunately because of the different looks people fail to recognize me off-screen!
11. Any dream role that you have in mind
It was my dream to reach here so for me every character I play is a dream and I try my best to live that character. I would love to do a warrior role in a period movie…
12. Where do you want to see yourself in future? Your vision.
I would give my 100% and would never cheat my craft! I just want cinema to accept me and would like to mark a change in the new wave cinema that we see today.
13. What are your other interests?
I love watching movies, I have a huge collection of movies. I am an avid reader and traveller too. It helps me find myself.
14. Next on cards
R S Vimal’s ‘Ennu Ninte Moideen’,a periodic film of 1960s where I don a character role of Perumparambil Appu , Albert Antony’s ‘Starring Pournami’ and Roopesh Peethambaran’s ‘You Too Brutus’.