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Vishnu Unnikrishnan is savouring every moment of this phase of his life. The actor’s latest film, Kattappanayile Hrithik Roshan, is doing well at the Indian box office, and his behind-the-scenes role as a scriptwriter of Amar Akbar Antony is now out in the open.

Little did he know then, while scripting Kattappanayile Hrithik Roshan, that lead character Kichu would turn him into a star overnight. Directed by Nadir Shah, this is a story of a man with unconventional looks who dreams of becoming a star like Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan.

“Kichu spoke for the many who harbour starry dreams. His tale highlighted the insecurities of the common man who dared to dream big,” said Unnikrishnan over the phone from Kerala. “That’s why people are loving him.”

Like Kichu, Unnikrishnan’s acting dreams go back to his childhood. A state-level mimicry champion in school, Unnikrishnan first starred in veteran director Sibi Malayil’s Ente Veedu Appuvinteyum — the film that fetched Kalidas Jayaram a National Film Award.

He played one of the boys from the juvenile home in the story. Unnikrishnan smiles as he recalls the moment when director Sibi praised him after a take. “That was an award-like moment,” he said.

Small roles followed in films such as Iyobinte Pusthakam and Bachelor Party. Unnikrishnan turned scriptwriter along with childhood friend Bibin George for Nadir Shah’s debut film, Amar Akbar Anthony. Kattappanayile Hrithik Roshan is their second project as scriptwriters.

“Bibin and I have been dreaming of films since our school days. While this story has many leaves taken from our lives, it is not my autobiography,” Unnikrishnan said.

“Like Kichu, I was offered roles typecasting me in similar characters,” he said.

All that is in the past. Right now, the native of Kaloor is lapping up all the compliments coming his way.