Kay Kay Menon: ‘Roles can be finite in nature, but people are infinite’

Debarati Palit Singh
Saturday, 21 March 2020

Kay Kay Menon is convincing in every character he portrays. Now, as Himmat Singh in the Neeraj Pandey-directed Hotstar Special’s Special Ops, he again demonstrates his powerful acting skills and innate talent.

Kay Kay Menon is convincing in every character he portrays. Now, as Himmat Singh in Hotstar Special’s Special Ops which started streaming a couple of days back, he again demonstrates his powerful acting skills and innate talent. The web series directed by Neeraj Pandey, (creator and co-writer) and Shivam Nair also stars Muzzamil Ibrahim, Vinay Pathak, Divya Dutta, Karan Thacker, Sana Khan, Meher Vij, Saiyami Kher and others.

Neeraj and Kay Kay’s association goes back almost two decades when the two worked together in television. Neeraj also directed him in Baby and the actor says that he is 200 per cent sure of the filmmaker’s writing skills.

“Neeraj has always been a brilliant writer. The way he writes screenplays and dialogues is remarkable. He can bring out a sense of humour even in the darkest of situation,” says Kay Kay adding that when the filmmaker had sent him the script of Special Ops, he finished reading the entire thing at one go. 

“That was enough for me to say yes because our relationship is such. Also the character, I am playing is very interesting. He has his own way of dealing with things of national importance. There is a certain kind of poise about him,” he says.  

About his experience of working with filmmakers like Neeraj who are clear about their vision, Kay Kay says, “If there is a certain issue, we discuss. All this is a part of the creative process. The whole journey has to be exciting. If I am shooting 60-70 days for a project, it has to be interesting for me.” 

However, he adds that the outcome of the product is beyond their reach. 

This is not the first time that the audience will see him playing a law enforcer. The actor played the character of Rakesh Maria in Black Friday, a CBI investigator in Rahasya, and now a RAW chief in Special Ops. The characters are similar so how does he add a unique touch to them? 

“The perspective of the actor makes it different. I have always maintained that I do not play roles, I play people and that is very important. For me, no two people are the same. Roles can be finite in nature but people are infinite. I play the person Himmat Singh and not the RAW chief, and that’s when the differentiation happens.”  

Kay Kay, who is making his debut in a web series, feels that the makers need to feel responsible towards the medium. “For the big screen, the filmmaker has to keep in mind mass psychology. But that’s not the case with web series. It’s a wonderful medium which gives makers an ample amount of time to juice out the screenplay. Television too is a wonderful medium but people have spoilt it. The medium is not to be blamed for any downfall, it’s the content and what you do as a responsible maker,” he says. 

Over the years, Kay Kay has bowled us over with films like Haider, Sarkar, Life in a Metro, Black Friday, Gulaal, Bheja Fry and many others. But we haven’t seen him on the big screen for a while now. Is there a sense of dissatisfaction over the lack of good offers and he replies, “Stories have to be made. Now the content is booming because of television and OTT but we come from an era of cinema when the good actors ended up playing either the villain or supporting role yet we stuck to quality.” Despite the content changing, we do not get to see talented actors like him, Neeraj Kabi, Tisca Chopra and others often on the big screen. Why? “You need to be in that game also. The equation has to change, once that happens you will find people. The maturity level has to grow in cinema,” he answers, adding, “Also, there must be stories for actors like us who are in a certain age bracket.”

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