Actor Redin Kingsley is the talk of the town following his loud and quirky humour in recently-released ‘Doctor’ and ‘Annaatthe’
In the last quarter of the recently-released Doctor, two comic actors, along with a battalion of lead characters, are captured by the villain and are taken on a boat to an island. Knowing that they are on the way to be executed, one of the comics, a straight-faced character called Bhagat (Redin Kingsley), asks the other (played by Yogi Babu) how much longer it will take for them to reach.
It doesn’t end there. Bhagat tells him he is feeling nauseous and asks if he has a lemon, leaving the audience in splits. This genius of a stretch is just the cream of the film’s deadpan humour that set the cash registers ringing. The man responsible for writing the comedy is director Nelson Dilipkumar, but the man who made sure the punches landed is Redin Kingsley.
The inventiveness in writing and the way Nelson draws humour from near life-and-death situations can be attributed to Doctor’s success — Redin, too, believes this. “Nelson understands the pulse of the audience and that shows,” says Redin, over a phone call, “But none of us expected such a response. We were confident that people would enjoy it, but none of us knew of the proportion.”
Redin says he was with Nelson when Doctor’s script was taking shape. At one point during the post-production, the director felt comedic portions were too much that he had to trim, in order to give it a breathing space. “The most-loved metro sequence was supposed to be a dialogue comedy. But Nelson had interspersed with music because it was too funny,” he laughs, “After watching the film, Nelson said to me, ‘People would have gone mad if we had retained those edited scenes.”
- Redin Kingsley says he was never interested in films. Starting out as an entertainment in-charge for MGM Disney World, Redin is a professional dancer and even ran a dance school called Spellbound doing shows for popular channels.
- His claim to fame includes managing the 2008 ‘Chennai Pani Mazhai Kondattam’, organised by Tamil Nadu Tourism, in addition to scores of exhibitions in Chennai and Bengaluru. “I haven’t organised any exhibitions in the last couple of years. And now, I have become a full-fledged actor, thanks to Nelson,” he says.
- Redin has been part of all of Nelson Dilipkumar’s films and will also be seen in Vijay-starrer Beast. “I will get into trouble if I say anything about Beast,” he says with a laugh. “What I can say is, the film is coming out well and will be true to its title.”
- He will also be seen in films such as Simbu’s Pathu Thala, Vijay Sethupathi’s Kathuvakkula Rendu Kadhal, Agent Kannariyam, Idiot and Naai Sekar.
Redin and Nelson go back in time; he was supposed to be the lead comedian in the latter’s debut film Vettai Mannan, a gangster film with black humour. Since the film was shelved, Redin went back to his job as event organiser for Government exhibitions in Chennai and Bengaluru. Every year, Redin says, he would get a call from Nelson asking him to send a latest photo for a possible film he was making.
“He somehow found an actor in me,” says Redin, who played a small yet effective character called Tony in Nelson’s debut work, Kolamaavu Kokila, another dark comedy. Asked if Nelson would first finalise him before writing the script, Redin says, “It is not like that. The story is what comes first. But which of the characters is going to score is something only Nelson knows.”
But Redin felt he finally arrived when Superstar Rajinikanth himself enacted a dialogue from Kolamaavu Kokila during the making of Annaatthe, which is currently running in theatres. Redin plays a small role in the film and says he felt motivated when Rajinikanth appreciated his spontaneity in a scene that didn’t have dialogues for him.
“But I said something on the spot and Rajini sir really liked it and asked Siva [director] to keep it. I am not sure if I would have got such liberty with another star,” he says, adding, “Rajini sir is the most active and always jovial on set. Likewise, when it comes to appreciating talent, he has been consistent.”
All said and done, the true validation came for Redin when he got a call from Vadivelu’s team for a role in the actor’s upcoming Naai Sekar. “I met Vadivelu sir; he has seen all my comedies. He appreciated my comic timing and said, ‘You are doing well’.”