Reality Talk : In Conversation with Popular Indian Actor Kay Kay Menon

Kay Kay Menon aka Krishna Kumar Menon needs no introduction. Famous for playing realistic characters, He is one of the finest actors of Indian Cinema. The popular actor, who is currently in the headlines for his recently released Hotstar Series titled ‘Special Ops’ recently talked to us about the series, the current lockdown situation in the country and a lot more.

Here are excerpts from our interview with him…

As we all know that the whole world is going through difficult time due to Corona Virus, and India is under 21 days Lockdown. What’s your thought on that ?
Well ! It’s the need of the hour to have social distancing. Social Distancing without Emotional Distancing, You know. Be socially distant but at the same time have the emotional tide intact. So, That’s one thing and It’s important for the benfit of the human kind. So what we need to be is aware of the fact that it’s a big responsibility all of us have. I know that there are a lot of problems people are facing (because of the lockdown) and I am sure that our government is doing their best to overcome all the problems. And, I think it’s a phase which we all need to fight together. Otherwise, what will happen is that this phase will become never ending, and that’s not good, So the more we adhere to this is better.

Kay Kay Menon in Special Ops

How you are spending your quarantine time ?
I have been doing all the househeld work like all of us are doing to pass the quarantine time as everybody is in their homes and have been strictly told not to go down during the lockdown period, so all the housework etcetra etcetra is being done by me and my family. So, It’s a lot of work and most of my day goes in that, and yeah, I attend to my plants on my little terrace as I love plants. There are a lot of them, so I attend to my plants, and of course there is reading, there is watching,stuff like that and doing a little bit of workout whenever its possible. So all that and yeah trying to get your vocal cords intact with little rehearsals. You work on yourself and be with yourself and family.

Sir, How did acting happen to you ? As we are all ware that you have done B.se in Physics as well as MBA, What made you go for acting field ?
I was acting from the age of 9 on the stage, so for me that was something that was always towards my life. It’s just that after a point in time, I realised that acting is my true calling. So I completed my education and after MBA I was working also, and then I realised that acting is my true calling. And that’s the thing I enjoy the most, when I am acting, and it comes quite easily, effortlessly also, so something is there. And when you are blessed with something, you might as well pursue that. So I did that, and I quit everything and got back into theatre, and then ofcourse all the stuff.. Films and Televison all happened.

You have done a lot films and you have played a lot of realistic characters. Which one according to you was the most challenging one ?
See, I don’t look at things as challenging or anything like that, I look on things as either interesting or not interesting. Normally, I will not do anything that doesn’t interest me. It’s a different thing that it might succeed or fail, that’s a post analysis, but.. for me.. I attempt everything because it is interesting, so whether it’s mainstream cinema or any other cinema, I do stuff which interests me.

OK Let’s rephrase it then. Which one character played by you was the most interesting one ?
Well, I find it difficult to answer questions like, which is your best ? which is your favourite ? and else because in art you can not have that. So, if you have this one that means you are very narrow minded, and you can not be narrow minded in art. You should have atleast 50-60 favourite actors, You should have50-60 favourite films, which are the best films/actors you like. So there is so many of them, and that way what happens is that as an artist also you are allowing things to get into you, and enjoy different zonre of things, and that’s very much important. I won’t have the best,the most favourite or anything ever in my life (chuckles).

Coming to Special Ops, How did that happen to you ? Any Particular story about the series would you like to share with us ?
Umm.. Nothing.. !! Neeraj (Neeraj Pandey) Called me, Neeraj,Shivam and Shital. We have known each other for almost 15 years now. So there is a level of trust which I have and which they also have in me. So they called me and told me that ‘ye karna hai’ so I blindly said yes to that, as I have trust on them. When He gave me call and he briefly told me that this is what I am thinking about, I said ‘That’s fine, let’s go ahead with it’ and ofcourse when we wrote the entire screenplay, and I started reading the screenplay, I began with first episode and ultimately I landed up in one sitting with entire eight episode. It was so much interesting that I just could not put down the script. So, I realised that here we have something majical that Neeraj has written as a screenplay, you know. And there was some amount of genious also in the screenplay. So, I realised that all we need to do is implement it well, and we tried our best, and the result is there.

Recently, There was a controversy related to Filmfare Awards, Many celebrities said that most of the awards are fixed and so on. What do you have to say about Bollywood awards ?
“Yaar.. Mujhe kuch lena dena hi nahi hai issey.. Mujhe pata hi nahi hota hai..” I don’t enter that area , nor do I understand anything that goes on behind or infront of it. For me, I don’t understand these things and It will be very wrong on my part to even comment.

So you preffer an award or reward ?
I normally preffer rewards. I have got awards, I have got filmfare, I have got Maharashtra State Award for my first and only Marathi film. But I don’t really think too much about it, I would suggest that one should remove the category called ‘the best’, that’s all. Because in art you can not have ‘the best’. I think all the awards should be categorised as ‘this an award in appereciation of your work in this film’ that’s it. That should be the award, instead of saying ‘the best’. The moment you have ‘the best’, it only suits your ego and nothing else. ‘The best’ doesn’t exist in art, It’s always appereciation and nothing else.

In The Current scenario, Digital Cinema and Content of OTT Platforms like Hotstar, Netflix,Amazon Prime and others are gaining more attention and appreciation than mainstream cinema. What you would like to say about that ? What is the one major difference between films and digital cinema according to you ?
Well ! I think these are all platforms, Films are a platform, TV is a platform and OTT is a platform. They have their own role to play. Each one adjusts itself and peacefully co-exists, this is what I feel. There was a time when TV became more popular and people started saying that no one is going to Cinema, but ultimately everything balanced itself. So, It’s not that one will eat into the other, I don’t think that will happen.

We have seen you playing different characters, but what kind of person Kay Kay Menon is in real life, off screen ? Any character played by you with which you can relate with real like Kay Kay Menon ?
‘’Mujhe Pata Nahin Hai Yeh”, See to understand yourself is like you have become God by now, It’s not possible to understand yourself and secondly I take my work very seriously and I don’t take myself very seriously. I don’t take myself so seriously.. I am ok.. I am just fine. So, I don’t do all that analysis, for me, what all I do is when I am acting, I try to surrender my ego completely, I surrender my own personality completely and I take on the personality and ego of the character that I am playing. So, that’s all I do. That’s the way I function,and hence I am allowing some magic to happen where my ego is not coming in between. That’s what I do, and whenever I am playing. I don’t play roles, I play people. Roles can be the same but two people in this world can not be the same. I have played the character of a RAW Agent Himmat in Special Ops, and suppose I play a RAW Agent in another show, with other name of the character, So I will not play Himmat but I will play the character with other name. Automatically I will be different, so that’s what I do, I try and play people.

Critics as well as viewers are going gaga over your character in Special Ops and they is lots of appereciation and love for that. What you would like to say on that ?
I am actually quite overwhelmed and humbled. We knew that we have made a very good series but we didn’t expect ki itna overflow hoga. We are quite overwhelmed and humbled by the responses we have recieved from the critics as well as the audiences. It is a good feeling, and at the same time i would not go into cloud nine because i normally live my life. Appereciation should be respected and we should feel humbled and failure should not also affect you so much. So, for me, i welcome all the appereciation and grateful for all the reviews.

Please tell us about your upcoming projects !

At the moment, there are a lot of projects but i am not allowed to speak about it. So, once they will allow me to speak about it i will definitely let everyone know.  There are couple of films and couple of webseries i am working in. We stopped shooting because of the lockdown and we will resume it once it’s over.

Now coming to the Final and Most Awaited Question, Will there be a season 2 of Special Ops ?

That’s actually Neeraj’s (Neeraj Pandey) call. If Neeraj feels that there is something we can go ahead with .. He will take the call once the lockdown is over, because it is upto him since he is the creative person who’s written the entire thing. So He will take a call how he wants to do it. So, There is all speculations at the moment, we will leave it to Neeraj to decide and act accordingly.