How an unknown actor became famed as 'Spadikam' George

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The young man who came to the Anjaly Hotel in Kottayam, to meet his brother, was stunned when a film maker walked to him and asked the question that changed his life forever. “Can you act in a movie?” is what director Bhadran had asked George that day.

He didn’t have to think twice to say ‘yes’ to the noted film maker especially after knowing who was playing the lead role in that movie. That is how actor George became part of the ionic movie 'Spadikam' and later went on to be known as 'Spadikam' George. The veteran actor proudly carries the name of the movie which shot him into the limelight along with his own name.

However, there was also a time when Spadikam George was banned by the cinema organizations and he had gone through personal struggles as well. The actor opened up about his career in the movies and also about Spadikam.

“Actor Nassar who was supposed to play the villain role in Spadikam had backed out due to date issues. It was because of pure luck that I went to the hotel that day riding a bullet and got noticed by director Bhadran. What happened after that is history. I played the villain who taunts Mohanlal. My character got noticed and Spadikam became an impeccable part of the history of Malayalam cinema. After that, it was only villain roles that came my way. The character named Kadayadi Baby in Lelam too was well appreciated,” recalled George.

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“Did the jeep driven by Mohanlal run over your leg while shooting for the film?”, to which he said, “Yes. It was quite a scary incident which could have ended my life. The fight sequence in the climax was shot at a quarry in Chennai. The scene where Mohanlal was following me in a jeep was being shot. I jumped onto the jeep from the hard rock while he was driving it. I couldn’t roll over because of my body weight. That jeep could have run over my body. But luckily I managed to move away. The jeep, however, ran over my leg. Everyone on the sets got really scared. All the crew members including Bhadran sir came running to me. Even Mohanlal swiftly got out of the jeep and came to me. He used to enquire whether my leg was alright until the filming got over. I was perfectly alright then and am now too. That accident had caused me nothing more than a few days of pain.”

Talking about the painful memories of the three years that he was banned from the movies, he said, “The association banned me and actors Mala Aravindan and Thilakan because we acted in a movie directed by Vinayan. I sat at home for three years without acting in any movie. Later, my health deteriorated and my life became a struggle. However, it was cinema which motivated me to continue living despite suffering a lot. Suresh Gopi used to call me frequently and enquire about my health.”

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George in the movie 'Lelam'

“In the meantime, news that I had died was doing the rounds. But, slowly I came back to life. Movies like Hello and Mayamohini changed my image as a villain. Now, the tiff between Vinayan and the film associations too have cooled down. He has announced the sequel to Akashaganga and a project with Mohanlal as well. I am relieved that the unpleasant era of the ban is giving way to amazing times”, he concluded.

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