For years, there was a joke running among Roshan’s friend circle: every time he received a phone call from an unknown number, people said it must be from director and scriptwriter Anjali Menon, calling him to cast him in her next movie. The joke kept going, until one day, he actually got that call.
With just a few more days remaining for the release of his next film, Koode, directed by Anjali Menon and starring actors Nazriya Nazim, Parvathy and Prithviraj, actor Roshan Mathew admits that he has a wide smile as he speaks to TNM over phone from his home in Kochi.
From his days as a Physics graduate from Madras Christian College Chennai to chasing his theatre dreams at the Drama School Mumbai, Roshan has come a long way. "When I sit and think about it, it feels like a long journey. I normally don't think about it much," says Roshan.
Although he made his debut in Mammootty starrer Puthiya Niyamam and acted in a small role in the movie Adi Kapyare Kootmani, Roshan became a familiar face in the industry following his role in the 2016 film Aanandam, directed by debutant Ganesh Raj. This movie which had fresh faces both on and off the screen, acted as a launchpad for many of its young actors, who have gone on to act with some of the big names in the industry.
Entry into Koode
One of those days after the release of Aanandam, Roshan and the director, Ganesh Raj were having coffee when Ganesh, who had earlier worked as an assistant director in many films including Anjali Menon’s Bangalore Days, told Roshan that Anjali had seen the film and has conveyed her wishes to the director.
“I was really thrilled to hear that, especially when Ganesh ettan told me that she had asked about me,” Roshan says.
Roshan admits that he has been a fan of the director and has been wanting to act in one of Anjali’s films ever since he saw Manjadikuru.
He recalls that it was sometime in early 2017 when he got a call from his favourite director asking him to meet her for a discussion. “She was in Mumbai and I was in Kochi that time. But it didn’t matter, I rushed over to Mumbai, secretly hoping that it was to cast me in her movie,” says an excited Roshan.
Roshan was right. Anjali had called him to talk to him about her upcoming movie and about a character in the movie that ‘might’ be appropriate for Roshan.
“But I was not given a confirmation that I will be in the movie. Anjali ma'am said she’ll get back to me if there is anything,” Roshan says.
“Days passed, and I didn’t hear from Anjali ma'am; one day, I heard that Anjali Menon has announced her new movie starring Prithviraj and other actors. After that news, I was sure that I won’t be in the movie,” he says.
A disappointed Roshan spoke to Ganesh about this and it was Ganesh who told him to confirm with Anjali once.
Roshan hesitantly calls Anjali and that was when Anjali said that she felt that Roshan might not be able to do the role and that they can work together in another project.
“Hearing it from the director itself made It even worse, but I wasn’t ready to give up yet and called Anjali ma'am once more saying I won’t bother her again,” quips Roshan.
“I told her that when she wanted to meet me, there must have been something about me she thought would fit the character, so I asked her to give me an audition once,” Roshan recalls.
“Anjali ma'am said that she likes it when people are straightforward and agreed for an audition and that is how I achieved my dream of acting in an Anjali Menon film,” says an elated Roshan.
Roshan in Koode. Courtesy: Instagram/Roshan Mathew
Speaking about his character in the film, Roshan doesn’t want to reveal much, but says that he is an introverted college student who is also a guitarist (totally different from “Rockstar Gautham” in Aanandam, he quips.)
The shoot for the film began in November last year and is expected to hit the screens in the first half of July.
Koode, apart from being Anjali Menon’s much awaited film after Bangalore Days, is also the come back film of actor Nazriya, who was on a break from movies.
Apart from Koode, Roshan is also part of another major project with a star-studded team – Moothon, directed by Geetu Mohandas and starring Nivin Pauly.
The film is in its post-production stage, says Roshan.