Three years after his last acting stint in Manoharam (2019), director-actor Vineeth Sreenivasan will be next donning the lawyer’s coat in Abhinav Sundar Nayak’s dark comedy Mukundan Unni Associates. In a conversation with Anupriya Raj, Vineeth reveals that his character in the film is very different from his personality. He had to work on his body language, and sometimes even perform without blinking his eyes.
Going by the trailer, advocate Mukundan Unni (Vineeth) comes off as a morally grey character who starts employing cunning methods after an unsuccessful stint. Vineeth terms Unni as ‘self-centred’ and ‘different’ but not necessarily ‘negative’. “Playing negative roles gives one the space to do something character-driven. That could be the reason why many people are drawn to take on negative roles. But I don’t know if Unni can be called a negative role. He doesn’t care about what happens around him, he just wants to be successful. When a self-centred person is willing to do anything for his success, he cannot be called a social being because he doesn’t have any attachments or friends. Doing such a character was exciting,” notes Vineeth.
The last time Vineeth played a negative role was for Thanneer Mathan Dinangal (2019), where he played Ravi Padmanabhan. Comparing Padmanaban and Unni, the actor says the latter has a more controlled body language. “The character in Thanneer Mathan Dinangal is more of a fraud than a negative character. He evokes comedy and such characters are interesting to see on screen. In Mukundan Unni Associates, the character is completely different. In some places, I had to perform even without blinking my eyes. After dubbing, I felt like he was a different person compared to me.”
The actor recalls filmmaker Nayak helping him get under the skin of his character. “While working on this movie, I was quite confused initially. So for the first two days, the director would tell me not to walk or shake my head a certain way and change my body language. Around the third day, I got an idea of how to take this character forward and it became very easy for me,” shares Vineeth.
While the actor finds morally grey characters fun to explore, stories with happy endings are the ones that eventually end up giving him peace. “It’s very difficult for me to detach life from movies. It’s easier while acting because, after shooting, you come back to your life. But while directing, I will be thinking about the story from morning to night and it would create a disturbance. One cannot take the thoughts away, so I listen to lighter songs, and think of lighter stories. It helps me get out of that zone,” concludes Vineeth.