Malayalam superstar Mammootty donned the role of a cop for the 25th time in his latest film Roudram, which was released last Friday and has all the makings of a huge hit.
It was as a cop in the 1980s film Yavanika that Mammootty became a star. In a few years, he had a smashing hit in Avanazhi, where he played a cop once again.
The veteran actor has since then established himself as a superstar in his career spanning nearly three decades.
Roudram had been in the news ever since shooting began in September. It is the second film by Renji Panicker, who is known as the 'man with the golden pen'. Panicker's writing skills have been credited for the success of many films starring Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi in the late 1980s and 90s.
He is also believed to be responsible for breathing new life into actor Suresh Gopi's career with his directorial debut "Bharatchandran IPS" a few years ago.
Talking about the huge response to Roudram, a pleased Panicker said that Mammootty's devotion and commitment towards the film was truly unbelievable.
" Avanazhi was released 18 years ago when Mammootty was at the prime of his youth and he has proved that he continues to be the same in my film," Panicker said.
The director was amazed that during the shoot, which lasted nearly two months, Mammootty would unfailingly work out at the gym every day after work.
"He was so hardworking that he kept himself fit and trim to fit perfectly in the role of a middle level police officer," Panicker said.
Mammootty, who has over 300 films to his credit, said he worked hard to keep fit because he was "in the business of competition".
"It is not the talent that I am competing with, instead it is the age of my rivals that I have to compete with," Mammootty told IANS.
But he clarified that his role in Roudram was different from the one he played in Avanazhi.
"Years have passed since I played the cop in Avanazhi and the two situations are different because the story is different. And from the response that I am getting now, it is really satisfying," said the actor who is in his early 50s.
Mammootty's next eagerly awaited film is Pazhassi Raja, where he plays the title role of the 18th century king who fought the British in the jungles of Wayanad in Kerala.