The highest paid multi-talented actor of Malayalam film industry, Mohanlal, is listed amongst the greatest actors not just in India, but also the world. His achievements and accolades are incomparable. The beloved Lalettan has the biggest fan following in Kerala. His career span of more than 37 years is worth talking about. Here are some of the lesser known facts of superstar Mohanlal…
A new release every 15 days!
Mohanlal started his career in the Malayalam film industry in the ‘80s. Between 1982 and 1988, he had films releasing every 15 days! In the year 1986, he had about 35 releases. In the ‘80s, he had almost 170 releases in 10 years. Some of his iconic films from that period include ‘Manjil Virinja Pookkal’ (1980), ‘Nokketha Doorathu Kannum Nattu’ (1985), ‘Hello My Dear Wrong Number’ (1986), ‘TP Balagopalan MA’ (1986), ‘Gandhinagar Second Street’ (1986), ‘Thalavattam’ (1986) and ‘Thoovanathumbikal’ (1987).
Mohanlal, the wrestling champion
Mohanlal was declared as the wrestling champion in Kerala in 1977-78. He has won several accolades in the sport. He was also selected for the National championship which was to be held at New Delhi. But he missed it as he was called for an audition for his debut film ‘Manjil Virinja Pookkal’, which was directed by Fazil. Thus, Mohanlal went on to become one of the best actors of India and did not pursue wrestling as a profession.
Achieved ‘black belt’ in Taekwondo
In the year 2012, the World Taekwondo Headquarters situated at Seoul, South Korea, conferred Mohanlalwith the honourary title of ‘black belt’ in Taekwondo. He is the first South actor to receive this honour and third Indian after Shah Rukh Khan and Mizoram Chief Minister, Lal Thanhawla. The sports enthusiast, Mohanlal, received this honour from the Taekwondo Federation of India after he popularised the art in the state of Kerala. The award was conferred to Mohanlal for his undying spirit towards sports, games and martial arts and even in his performance in films that depicted much of the martial arts.
Aishwarya Rai’s first hero
Former Miss World Aishwarya Rai made her debut in the film industry with Mani Ratnam directed film ‘Iruvar’ that released in the year 1997. She was paired opposite Mohanlal in this alleged biopic of Tamil superstar MGR played by Mohanlal and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and writer M Karunanidhi portrayed by Prakash Raj. While Aishwarya Rai played dual characters, one of a village belle and other allegedly based on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha. When Aishwarya was asked about Mohanlal, she reportedly said that Mohanlal’s acting is a gift from god. The film went on to win two National FIlm Awards – Prakash Raj won the award for Best Supporting Actor and Santhosh Sivan for Best Cinematography.
First film released after 25 years
According to a report, Mohanlalmade his debut in the year 1978 with ‘Thiranottam’. The film was helmed by the actor and his fellow friends and co-stars Maniyan Pilla Raju, Suresh Kumar, Unni, Priyadarshan, Ravi Kumar and others. The report stated that it was just like a film scene when one fine day Mohanlal’s friend told him to enact a role for ‘Thiranottam’. He happily did it and after that there was no stopping for the actor. Mohanlal faced the camera for the first time, oozing with excitement. He played the role of a mentally disabled servant in the film and the plot revolved around him. The censor board took 25 years to censor and release it. In the year 2013, the film was telecast on a Malayalam channel.
Band of Mohanlal
In the year 2014, Mohanlalformed a band named Lalisom – The Lal Effect. This was a joint venture with music director Ratheesh Vegha. The first ever performance of the band was at the 2015 National Games of India. Rumours suggest that the band was criticised on social media for reportedly charging Rs 1.60 crore for their show. Mohanlalannounced that he will be returning the amount to Government of Kerala.
Worked with Mammootty in 55 films
The superstars of Malayalam, Mohanlaland Mammootty have acted in 55 films together. The two being cast together has always been a hit at the box office. ‘Padayottam’, their first film together is the only film wherein Mammootty played the character of Mohanlal’s father and even a character with negative shades. While in other earlier films, Mohanlal was the villain. Other films that they did together include ‘Paavam Poornima’ (1984), ‘Enthino Pookunna Pookkal’ (1982), ‘Angadikkappurathu’ (1985), ‘Avidathepole Ivideyum’ (1985) and ‘Vartha’ (1986).
The Absolute Actor
The year 2012 happened to witness a milestone in the history of Malayalam Movies. Drishyam starring Mohanlal happened to become the first Malayalam movie to cross 50 cr at the box office. The year 2016 added another colourful feather to the cap of Mohanlal. Pulimurugan became the first Malayalam movie to enter the 100cr club. It was one among the top three South Indian movies to gross 100 cr in the year 2016. Besides Malayalam, Mohanlal’sroles in Telugu movie proved to be a big success. Mohanlal’s aura turned to be a crowd puller in Telugu also.
Padma Bhushan – Third Highest Civilian Award
Mohanlalreceiving Padma Bhushan, the third-highest Civilian Award, from the Honorable President of India.
Honorary Lieutenant Colonel
Mohanlalhas been honoured with the title of Lieutenant colonel by the Indian Army on 9th July 2009.