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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Mammootty turns 70: A director told Mammukka to give up movies, here are 4 secrets to actor’s longevity

Mammootty turns 70: Five decades, over 400 films, three National awards, one Padma Shri and two honorary doctorate degrees later, Mammootty is still busy churning out an average of five to seven films a year. What is the secret behind his longevity?

By: Entertainment Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: September 7, 2021 10:13:52 am
Mammootty is celebrating his 70th birthday today. (Photo: Instagram/mammootty)

Malayalam superstar Mammootty turned a year older today. As the actor turns 70, he seems to be simply getting younger. With multiple movies in the pipeline, the actor is quite active on Instagram account and keeps posting pictures from the photoshoot. At a time, when there is so much gloom and uncertainty around us, it gives us the much-needed comfort to see Mammootty, who is 70, going strong and trying to make the best of opportunities presented to him.

You can call him him blessed, but at the same time, without certain discipline and sheer will, it is impossible to reverse the natural order of things and continue to perform age-defying stunts in movies. So how does Mammukka do it?

Never lose your heart

Mammootty has been acting in movies for 50 years now. But, during the early days of his career, a director told him to quit movies. “It is better you go back to practising law. You are not cut out for movies. You can’t act or dance. But, Mammukka kept quiet and he didn’t react at the time,” actor Kalabhavan Prajod recalled during a stage show. Can you imagine what a great loss it would have been for the Indian film industry if Mammootty had taken to heart that director’s comments and lost his determination to pursue cinema? Five decades, and over 400 films, three National awards, one Padma Shri and two honorary doctorate degrees later, Mammootty is still busy churning out an average of five to seven films a year.

Never hesitate to ask for work

An actor truly dies when there is no screenwriter or director who is ready to imagine and create a role for him or her. An actor requires the help of many talents to stay relevant to changing times. In a way, Mammootty needs filmmakers more than filmmakers need him. And Mammootty understands it fully without an iota of pompousness. Maybe that’s the reason why he shows such interest in working with debutant filmmakers. “Even today, I don’t hesitate to ask for a chance. As far as I know, filmmakers don’t need me. Adoor or Joshiy or Hariharan or MT don’t need me. But, I need all of them as an actor. Then, what’s wrong in asking these writers and directors for a chance?” Mammootty had said.

Hard work beats talent

Mammootty believes he was not born with talent that made him one of the finest actors of Indian cinema. It was his hard work and passion for cinema that got him where he’s today. “I don’t think that acting was in my blood. Nobody in my family was acting to push me towards it. I believe it is my fixation with cinema that made me an actor. I have not discovered an actor in me. When I see other actors perform, it creates a desire in me to perform like them. And that desire makes me work really hard. And whatever you see in me now, it is because of that continuous effort. That gives me the confidence that if I continue to put in the effort and keep polishing my skills, I can shine brighter,” Mammootty had said.

Be greedy, perpetually hungry

At 70, Mammootty shows no signs of slowing down. He is one of the busiest actors in Malayalam cinema. He averages about five films a year and manages to do a couple of films in other languages, mainly in Tamil. How does he do it? “I don’t know what’s the secret. But, I have this (insatiable) urge to act in movies. And that urge is not dying. I pray that it should only die with me. I’m a greedy actor. I’m always hungry. I will keep digging to discover how much more potential I have in me,” Mammootty had said.

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