CNN-IBN 'Being' to feature Mohanlal on 20 May

It is said that acting is half shame and half glory. Shame at exhibiting yourself and glory at forgetting yourself. In 300 films, over the past 25 years, Mohanlal has forgotten himself in characters who have varied from the everyman to the superman. He has played the fool, the lover, the hero and the anti hero with equal ease and been feted for his effortless portrayal of characters with a Padmashri and two National Awards.

And yet people outside of Kerala only know him as the tough as nails, sharp shooting cop, Srinivasan in Ram Gopal Varma's Company. He defends his decision to stay within the confines of Malayalam cinema by saying, " I have to be comfortable in the language if I am going to move out of Malayalam films." But Company was "an irresistible role". Mohanlal soaked in the ambience of the sets and refused to retreat to his trailor between shots. Instead he would memorise his lines, almost like a disciplined schoolboy. And yet, discipline is one characteristic that Mohanlal claims he never brings to his preparation for his roles. He says "I don't prepare knowingly but unknowingly."

The rare exception was his last National award winning role, in a film he produced himself about a Kathakali dancer living on the brink of illusion and reality called Vanaprastham, which also made it to the Cannes Official selection in 1999. He brought a tinge of method acting to this role by learning Kathakali, and he says, "Characters in films are dead people and actors breathe soul into them."

To find out more about this effortless, talented actor tune into Being Mohanlal on CNN IBN at 8:30 pm on Saturday and 3:30 pm on Sunday .

BEING showcases all celebrities from various walks of life –Sports, Politics, Films, Art and Business, too. In this half hour programme,, CNN-IBN will get under their skin and walk in their shoes to taste what its really like BEING.....And whether its worth it. Keeping them company through the ups and downs of that trip is Anuradha SenGupta.

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