Yes, it seems lady luck was smiling on Suraj as three major actors had initially turned down the role for various reasons!
Dr. Biju, the director of the movie, is known for his critical acclaim and not his commercial hits. His movies which focus on social issues and the ‘real’ human element hardly ever get much mass popularity or any real box office success.
So, it is not much of a surprise to learn that when the director approached Dileep, the Janapriya Naayakan (the popular hero), he found many excuses not to commit to the project and kept delaying the shoot. In fact, it apparently got to the point that Biju had to constantly ‘disturb’ him with phone calls and such. And much to the director’s shock, Dileep quit the project and refused to commit after delaying the shoot for a year and a half!
The determined director then approached Jayaram but he had already committed to Kamal’s movie Nadan. Jayaram, ironically, lost to Suraj in the final shortlisting for the Best Actor category, for his performance in the Shaji N Karun film Swapaanam.
Dr. Biju met with the same ill luck with the rather busy Jayasurya before approaching Suraj with the role. He, however, readily agreed to do the role and call it destiny or just plain talent, led to perhaps the highlight of his career.
One of the jury members at the Awards actually compared Suraj’s performance to that of Mohanlal’s!
When asked if he would now rather focus on dramatic roles in his career, a much grateful national award winner Suraj replied that comedy was his strength and his bread and butter. That wouldn’t change.
Whatever the stars have in store for Suraj, it is certain that Mollywood and its fans can definitely look forward to seeing more great things from this humble and gifted artist.