Kay Kay Menon has been working in films with characters that are serious and have a depth. He is also considered one of the few actors who has done exemplary work in the recent times. Be it his performance in Haider, Bombay Velvet or Baby — he has been critically acclaimed for his performance. His role in the upcoming film The Ghazi Attack is along the similar lines. Kay Kay portrays a hot-headed and obstinate naval officer. In a candid conversation with IndianExpress.com Kay Kay talks about his experience and expectations or lack thereof from his upcoming release, The Ghazi Attack.
Tell us about you playing Ranvijay Singh in The Ghazi Attack. What are his finer nuances and why did you choose to do this film?
The character that I play is commonly known as the problem child. He is the officer who is stubborn, obstinate and doesn’t respect the chain of command. He believes in his own principles and if the rules do not go with his belief system, he breaks them. On the line of duty, he doesn’t wait for the command to make the decision. He doesn’t believe in being a martyr by waiting for orders from the ‘babus’. So he does what he thinks is best for his country.
WATCH VIDEO | Kay Kay Menon & Atul Kulkarni- Cinema Always Threatens To Change, That’s Our Hope
We have actually lost a lot of soldiers because of the command chain system. They can’t take a decision because of bureaucracy, and it is the soldiers who get mauled over and killed as the command doesn’t come.
What are your expectations from the film?
Paanch has taught be an important lesson — to not have expectations. So, when I am on sets and performing — I am passionate about my work. The minute it goes into post production, I am disconnected from the project.
In the past 20 years of my life, I think I am doing well for myself because if I were to pin my hopes on every film that I did, I would be a wreck by now. For me, Ghazi is a film we’ve attempted. It is a well-made film, made with good intentions and all of us have put in a lot of effort and have given it our best, and now it is out there for the public!
With heavy star-power films coming up, you think we have the audience for realistic films or say actor-oriented films like The Ghazi Attack?
Things only threaten to change, nothing actually changes, and I have seen that! We have always had a parallel cinema movement starting with Smita Patil and Naseeruddin Shah. But there is not much change when it comes to audiences’ expectation. I think it is because we Indians are jingoistic and we seem to adore dynasty. It is only when we put an end to this can we understand and appreciate the art of cinema, but till then nothing will change.
Both actors, Atul Kulkarni and Rana Daggubati have spoken about their own challenges of working on the sets of The Ghazi Attack; tell us about your experience.
The set was so realistic that I actually felt like we were in a submarine. All the parts, including the smallest of meters and dials, were close to reality. There was no decorative addition from the art and design department. It is the first film in India to portray the lives of officers on a submarine and so I am glad to be a part of this film.
All of us were put in weirdest of conditions, and we have gotten used to it. It is tough, but these situations that we were put in brings authenticity to the scenes. So we enjoy such situations and we try to make all of it genuine and not just for the frills and tantrums of normal mainstream cinema.
When I began my career, I had decided that I don’t need a background score as I stepped out. It was quite clear to me that I didn’t want to feel threatened. I didn’t want the jingoism or the narcissism; I can’t look at myself in the mirror for more than two minutes, in my case narcissistic qualities are close to zero. But I don’t have any umbrage towards those for whom all these things matter; it is the life they have chosen. I can’t act away from the camera; I don’t like to act in real life.
It is easy to become a star; a star needs to walk and talk like one. Actors, on the other hand, are born. A star is made and trained to act a certain way, and there lies the difference. I didn’t want to be made, I think I should hone the skills that the almighty has given me, and take it as far as I can.