One of the most dynamic actors of contemporary Malayalam cinema, Jayasurya’s evolution from a mimicry artist and tv host to a star has few parallels in the industry. In the course of a career spanning over two decades, the actor has appeared in over a hundred films, winning several accolades along the way including a Special Mention at the National Film Awards in 2016.
Equally at ease playing roles with comic, dramatic and negative shades, some of Jayasurya’s most memorable performances have come in movies like Cocktail (2010), Beautiful (2011), Trivandrum Lodge (2012), Punyalan Agarbattis (2013), Iyobinte Pusthakam (2014), Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam (2015) and Aadu 2 (2017), the last of which gave him the most iconic character of his career – Shaji Pappan. Besides acting, he has also ventured into production and playback singing, and has also appeared in a handful of Kollywood movies.
Born Jayan Maradu in Thrippunithura, Kerala, Jayasurya did his schooling at St. George U. P. School, Chambakkara and Government Sanskrit High School, Tripunithura. Following this, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in commerce at All Saints College in Ernakulam before joining the mimicry troupe Crown of Cochin.
In 2004, Jayasurya married his longtime girlfriend Saritha. They have two children together.
DEBUT & INITIAL YEARS
Though he had previously appeared in minor roles in a few films, the romantic drama Oomappenninu Uriyadappayyan (2002) is widely considered to be Jayasurya’s debut film. The 2003 romantic comedy Pulival Kalyanam was the first blockbuster of the actor’s career, and in the subsequent years, he largely essayed lead characters with a comedic touch in movies like Chathikkatha Chanthu (2004), Classmates (2006) and Chocolate (2007). However, negative roles in the acclaimed comedy-drama Arabikkatha (2007) and Kangaroo (2007) opened up new vistas for Jayasurya in the years that followed.
BREAKTHROUGH & BEYOND
In 2010, Jayasurya starred alongside Anoop Menon, Samvrutha Sunil and Fahadh Faasil in the thriller Cocktail, which was a remake of the British-Canadian mystery thriller Butterfly on a Wheel (2007). The film went on to become a sleeper hit, with many citing Jayasurya’s quietly menacing portrayal of a jilted husband as the linchpin of the plot. In the following year, he essayed the role of quadriplegic millionaire Stephen Louis in the musical drama thriller Beautiful (2013) – a performance that won over both the critics and the audience alike, and marked his coming of age as a versatile actor.
Subsequently, Jayasurya went on to underline his ability to essay a diverse range of characters through well-received films like Trivandrum Lodge (2012), the crime thriller Mumbai Police (2013), English: An Autumn in London (2013) and Punyalan Agarbattis (2013), the last of which remains one of the biggest hits of his career till date. In 2014, Jayasurya starred alongside Fahadh Faasil, Lal and Isha Sharvani in Amal Neerad‘s period thriller Iyobinte Pusthakam. The film opened to rave reviews and the actor received praise from all quarters for his impeccable portrayal of the scheming, manipulative antagonist Angoor Rawther. Iyobinte Pusthakam eventually went on to win five Kerala State Film Awards, while Jayasurya won the SIIMA Award for Best Actor in a Negative role for his work in the movie. The medical thriller Apothecary, which released in the same year saw yet another stellar performance from Jayasurya, and earned him the Filmfare Award (South) for Best Supporting Actor that year.
His work in Ranjith Sankar‘s coming-of-age comedy-drama Su Su Sudhi Vathmeekam earned Jayasurya a Special Mention at the National and State Film Awards in 2015. Subsequently, he reunited with the director for the horror comedy Pretham (2016) and the comedy Punyalan Private Limited (2017), the latter of which was the hundredth film of the actor’s career and a sequel to the 2015 film Punyalan Agarbattis. Both the films did well at the box office.
In late 2017, Jayasurya reprised the role of Shaji Pappan in the comedy Aadu 2, which was a sequel to the 2015 cult comedy Aadu Oru Bheegara Jeevi Aanu. Unlike the original, the sequel earned favourable reviews and turned out to be a box-office phenomenon, eventually going on to become the biggest blockbuster of the actor’s career. The character Shaji Pappan and his gang of misfits have since earned a permanent place in pop culture.
The biographical sports drama Captain and Ranjith Sankar’s Njan Marykutty are some of Jayasurya’s other notable releases of 2018.