Acclaimed film personality Santosh Sivan will make his first appearance as an actor when he plays the role of Raja Ravi Varma, the famous painter, in Lenin Rajendran's Malayalam film titled Makara Manju.
"It was Lenin who approached me with the amusing idea of playing Raja Ravi Varma, the world renowned painter," Sivan told IANS in an e-mail.
"I never really wanted to act. I used to do mono acts like kids do. My grandmom used to illustrate mythological stories with pictures painted by Raja Ravi Varma. It was that which prompted me to incorporate a song based on his paintings in my film
Anandabhadram. I think these were unconsciously my first lessons in visual education," said Sivan.
Varma was born in Kerala on April 29, 1848 and his paintings are considered to be among the best examples of fusing Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art.
Varma is most remembered for his paintings of beautiful sari clad women, who were portrayed as comely and graceful. He received international acclaim when he won the first prize at the Vienna Art Exhibition in 1873.
Sivan over the years has won five national film awards, three Filmfare awards, and ten international film festival awards.
Asked how he felt before his acting debut, Sivan replied: "In front of the camera is a different viewpoint, a diametrically opposite one." The shooting will commence in two weeks, Sivan said.