Roshan Mathew, who predominantly acts in Malayalam films, has made a name for himself across other industries such as Tamil and Hindi languages – he was recently seen in Vikram’s Cobra (2022) and Alia Bhatt’s Darlings (2022). While the actor has been receiving appreciation and acclaim for his performances across languages, Mathew still feels like he hasn’t arrived yet. In a conversation with Vishal Menon, the actor reveals that he holds himself to high standards.
He further admits that he is so critical of his performances that he is often left dissatisfied after watching himself on screen. Although Mathew always feels he could have done certain scenes a little better, he says that one can’t give a completely honest performance at times. “I can tell exactly where I was 100% honest with a moment. I can tell when I was 95%, 70%, or 30% honest. I actually don’t even need to watch the scenes. Even before I watch the film, I know that these are the scenes I am going to like and these are the ones that I am absolutely going to despise. So, it gets interesting to see what’s going to come out in the scenes that fall between these extremes,” says Mathew.
However, he asserts that some films may still end up surprising him, thanks to an exceptionally talented crew. “When you are working with a great director or a brilliant editor who irons out a lot of your mistakes, sometimes the scenes work better. They will pull you out when you are watching the film and get you to watch the story as it is instead of focusing on yourself. You also get to zoom out a bit to get that perspective and look at the scenes objectively.”
While he may have his own share of insecurities, Mathew is mindful to not undervalue what he has managed to do in his career. “After Moothon (2019) came out, I remember thinking if I died today, I would die as somebody who did Moothon (laughs). So what I have done in my career really matters to me and this is my identity. But I do not think I am successful. I don’t know if I can tell you exactly why I say that. One of the reasons is that I set some really difficult targets for myself. So, what I end up doing always feels inadequate. There are so many talented people around me who are doing great work, so I can’t help but hold myself to the same standards that they are achieving. I am happy about how I do my job today as compared to how I was doing it three years back. But I can also see where I want to get to and I am still not there. When I get there, I will be happy,” Mathew concludes.