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Malayalam director Haneef Adeni, who debuted with the Mammootty film ‘The Great Father,’ returns with his second film ‘Mikhael.’

The trailer is interesting as it reveals two Malayalam stars in a duel — Nivin Pauly and Unni Mukundan. While Pauly plays the titular role of Mikhael, Mukundan is Marcos Jr. Gulf News tabloid! caught up with Mukundan to discuss the film.

What drew you to this role?

Marco Jr is the antagonist, an extremely confident man and uber stylish. He has his reasons and walks on the grey side of life. These very traits interested me. It’s a character that I have never done before.

How did you get into Marcos’ skin?

The preparation began with sketching his costumes, his style and the way he would handle himself. Director Haneef and I were constantly exchanging notes and pictures and eventually the final look is what you now see. It was a mix of our ideas and take on Marco Jr.

Haneef is a great storyteller and a technician. He is a very straight forward guy and clear on the subject. That made it easy for us actors to understand and perform. He lets us find our own ways of interpretation and offers the freedom to bring something to the character.

What about sharing the screen with Nivin Pauly?

Working with Nivin was new, though both of us have done cameos for each other’s films. This was the first time we both are playing major roles and it was interesting. I believe we both have evolved as actors.

What are your next projects?

In Malayalam I have ‘Maamankam’, ‘Chocolate Story Retold’ and an untitled one with a new director Vishnu. There is one in Tamil and Telugu too.

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‘Mikhael’ releases in the UAE on January 18.