The prolific Priyadarshan has been to hell , and back. A messy ugly divorce played out in the public domain left him shattered. He finally broke his career-brake with the hit Oppam last year.
Breathing a sigh of relief Priyan says, “It has been a traumatic time for me. I can’t even begin to describe what I went through. I stopped making films for three years. I couldn’t think straight. I felt I had lost my ability to make films.”
It was his friend, the amazing actor Malayalam actor Mohanlal who pulled Priyan out of his depression. “He told me I had to get back to work, and not with another comedy. Mohanlal and I have done nearly 40 films together, many of them comedies. I could’ve easily done another comedy with him. But he insisted we do something we haven’t done before.”
Priyan chose to do a thriller this time with Mohanlal. “I’ve done so many genres of films in my career.I’ve done 91 films so far. But never a thriller. That’s how Oppam happened.”
When Oppam became a boxoffice hit both Priyan and Mohanlalbreathed a sigh of relief. “It was very important for me to come back with a bang.And Mohanlal was worried for me. He never needs to worry for himself. Luckily the film was a success and I was back in business, though movies are not a ‘business’ for me.My big moment of vindication was when Kamal Haasan called me and said he couldn’t believe I had made this film after what I had gone through in my personal life.”
Priyan can’t get over his leading man’s versatility. “Mohanlal can play anything , and it is not ‘playing’ . It is becoming the character. InOppam he plays a blind man. You have to see how natural he looks. No attempt to LOOK blind. Watching him we just know he can’t see.”
Priyan’s Tamil film Sila Samayangalil last year about AIDS, was up for the Golden Globe awards.
“We didn’t make it to the short list. But it felt reassuring to have done something so meaningful after such a long time. Frankly ,I was overdoing it before this break. Too many films and too much of it being done for business purposes. Now I only want to make quality films,” vows Priyan.