With his multi-faceted talents as an actor, film producer and director, Prithviraj Sukumaran is undoubtedly an inspiration for youngsters. However, the humble actor believes that he can't be a role model for those who want to pursue excellence in academics. The reason – he couldn't complete his graduation.
At a function in Kochi recently, Prithviraj talked at length about his early days in cinema when he had to leave his college life midway. He was just pursuing his bachelor's degree when he was offered his debut movie Nandanam and he owes it all to his mother Mallika Sukumaran.
The actor was speaking at an event to commemorate the students who achieved A+ grades in all subjects in 12th board exams.
Stating that he was not the right person to honour students of academic excellence, he said, “I am just 12th grade pass as I couldn't complete my graduation and left my studies to become an actor. So I can't stand here and set an example for those who wish to have an academic growth.”
“In each stage of life, one will have to take up a task and do it. Right now, my task is to take up a movie character and give my best for it. For that I need to study the character, prepare myself and perform as my director wants. The task which was given to you was to study and fare well in exams. And those of you who have showed commitment to the given task are being honoured here today. So heading forward in life, you should have this same attitude towards a task. This attitude is what is needed in all speheres of your life, be it in studies or work place or family life and even towards society,” he said.
Prithviraj also mentioned how his mother supported his passion during his younger days. “It's the parent who should be aware of the career posibilities of this generation. My mother after spending all the money she had sent me to a foreign university. Half way to graduation, I dropped and returned and told my mother that cinema has turned a passion for me and I want to go ahead with movies. If she had back then asked me to go back and study, I would perhaps had taken graduation in Information Technology and it would have steered my life in a different route. But what my mother said was to pursue my passion. I was a lucky boy in that way,” he said.
Prithvi, before winding up his speech, also had a word for the kids who failed and couldn't get A grades. He said, “To those who couldn't be here today, I would say this day is probably your biggest day of inspiration. Because in order to honour all the successful students, I, a man with just 12th pass is here on stage. Life is not just about certificates and ranks.”
After completing his school education at Sainik School, Kazhakootam and Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, Thiruvananthapuram, he joined University of Tasmania, Australia, for his bachelor's degree in Information Technology. It was during that time when the 19-year-old Prithviraj underwent a screen-test by director Fazil for one of his projects. Even though that project never materialised, Fazil recommended him to director Ranjith, for his movie Nandanam.