Tovino Thomas: The Making of Mollywood’s New Superstar

Tovino Thomas has had quite the journey in Mollywood. He rose to fame because of his acting prowess and now is set to become the face of Mollywood. Here’s me tracing out his journey and the specific reasons why the industry would soon be known by his name outside the state, just like how Mohanlal and Mammootty were a few years back. 

PS: Yes, it is a fanboy article. But, there have been extreme efforts made to make sure only the facts and reality is presented, rather than my fandom taking over.

Early Days In Career

Tovino Thomas left his job at a software company because acting in movies was his passion. He started off as a model and acted in a few short films his friends made. After working hard, he finally landed an acting role in the 2012 Sajeevan Anthikad directorial Prabhuvinte Makkal. The film didn’t really do well due to which the fresh talent of Tovino went unnoticed. He wasn’t ready to give up on his dreams that easily.

Tovino Thomas: The Making of Mollywood's New Superstar

He tried his hand by becoming a crew member of a film. He was the assistant director to Roopesh Peethambaran in his directorial venture Theevram. He also got the opportunity to play one of the leads in the Srinath Rajendran film Koothara, alongside Mohanlal. He finally got a notable and important role in the 2013 Martin Prakkat directorial American Born Confused Desi (ABCD). He played the role of the main antagonist and got his much-needed recognition and fame. He also got to play supporting roles in You Too Brutus as well as 7th Day.

Tovino Thomas: The Making of Mollywood's New Superstar


Though ABCD was a career-changing film for him, Tovino had several films at different points of his career that brought about a change in people’s perspective towards him as an actor.

The one role that brought Tovino Thomas to the mainstream A list actors was the role of Appu in Ennu Ninte Moideen. With a brilliant depiction of the character’s nuances and emotions, Tovino became a notable actor amongst the Malayali viewers. He attained a lot of appreciation for his performance in the 2016 film Guppy too. This film was also Tovino’s first film as the solo lead. It solidified the fact that Tovino could carry an entire film on his shoulders. Though the film didn’t do well financially, it got a wide reach once the DVDs were released. Due to the extreme success of the DVDs, the film eventually had a re-release in theatres.

Tovino Thomas: The Making of Mollywood's New Superstar

Following this, Tovino saw extreme success and Mollywood was beginning to see the building of a new superstar. 

Rise To Prominence

With Guppy attaining a lot of praise, filmmakers started to believe in Tovino as an actor and star. They soon created content that would eventually build the fanbase for the talented actor.

In 2017, we saw Tovino play different types of roles in films of completely different genres. We notably saw him as a naive yet confident Anjaneya Das in Godha, the poster boy for Maathan in Mayaanadhi and the easily manipulative Paul in Oru Mexican Apaaratha. All these three films did great business at the box office and catapulted Tovino’s stardom.

Tovino Thomas: The Making of Mollywood's New Superstar

2018 was yet another path-breaking year for Tovino in his acting career. He won acclaim for his role as a chain smoker in Theevandi as well as his simple and subtle role in Ente Ummante Peru. He also gave notable performances in Oru Kuprasidha Payyan, Maradona, and Oru Kuprasidha Payyan.

He also made his debut in Tamil by playing the villain to Dhanush in the much-anticipated sequel of Maari. He himself dubbed the entire character, making his presence felt amongst the Tamil audience as well.

2019 was the start of a dream run for Tovino continues to date. Starting off the year with a small yet important role in the industry’s highest-grossing film, Lucifer, is no small feat. Following that, he was seen in Uyare and Virus, both of which were extremely well received by critics and viewers alike. We also saw the vulnerability he can bring to a character through his performances in Luca and The Oscar Goes To. The film Kalki showed us Tovino’s machismo side, which is also his only out and out commercial entertainer to date.

With COVID impacting the movie business, we got to see Tovino in just 6 films between 2020 and 2021. He started 2020 with Forensic wherein he portrays Samuel John Kaatukkaran, a smart and efficient Medico-Legal Advisor and Forensic science expert. We later saw him as the simplistic Josemon in Kilometers and Kilometers, which is also Tovino’s debut production venture.

In 2021, Tovino’s films came with strong statements. Each film had a different point to prove with respect to the themes it dealt with. Adding to the exceptional stories was Tovino’s refined and highly matured display of acting prowess. His first release of 2021 was Kala, which showed us the raw and deadly side of men, which was brilliantly portrayed by Tovino. He followed it up with Kaanekkaane, in which he plays a character that is the polar opposite of Shaji from Kala.

Tovino Thomas: The Making of Mollywood's New Superstar

His next big release, which was also Kerala’s biggest release of all time, was the superhero film Minnal Murali, where Tovino dons the role of the superhero. These three films found immense success amongst viewers. Minnal Murali is one of the highly talked about films across the world currently, and has brought extreme fame and recognition to Tovino Thomas as an artist as well as Mollywood as an industry, which churns out spectacular content every year.

Also Read: What Minnal Murali and Maanadu Did Right In The Second Half

We also saw a glimpse of Tovino in the year’s biggest blockbuster movie, Kurup. With each of his films since 2018, Tovino has grown to unimaginable heights and is also slowly becoming the face of Mollywood with an ever-growing fanbase.

Increase Of Fan Base Among Family Audience:

After having delivered back to back successful hits, Tovino Thomas became a household name. With his innocent portrayal of Anjaneya Das in Godha as well as the exemplary acting performance as Appu in Ennu Ninte Moideen, the family audience adopted Tovino. With the release of Mayaanadhi, Tovino’s garnered the attention of the young audience. Though Mayaanadhi’s intimate scenes were a point of controversy, his performances in other films which released subsequently gained him a huge fanbase.

Tovino Thomas: The Making of Mollywood's New Superstar

Besides all this, Tovino’s humble and simple nature is what makes him a celebrity who is loved by all. His several interviews have shown us a very happy, energetic and positive side of his character. Who can forget the countless number of Thug life moments he has gifted us through several of his interviews? His bubbly and joyful nature gives out a “boy next door” kind of vibes. He also gained prominence for his relentless service during the Kerala floods. It was this immense love and support he has from family viewers that made him bag the role of Charlie in Kurup.

The extreme importance he gives to the craft rather than his onscreen image and stardom is what makes Tovino a superstar today. 

Dedication And Determination Towards The Craft:

Tovino Thomas is one of the fewest stars I have come across who values the quality of the film rather than the image he would have while portraying a role. This can be explained by taking several of his films into consideration. He is already an established artist. Yet, he doesn’t shy away from portraying antagonistic characters or the roles of flawed individuals.

Recently, we saw him play a negative role in Kala as well as a flawed individual in Kaanekkaane. In Minnal Murali, it is reported that Tovino was inclined towards playing the negative role, but was finally convinced to play the role of Jaison.

Tovino is also an individual who doesn’t hesitate to do certain scenes which are vital for a film’s aesthetic value. Be it the intimate scenes in Mayaanadhi or the gory and bloody fight scenes in Kala, Tovino is an artist who is ready to give his 101% for the betterment of the film. He is also a huge fitness freak and undergoes physical transformations for playing each of his roles. He is also a highly dedicated individual.

In a recent interview, Tovino revealed that he was offered the antagonist role in Ajith’s much-awaited Tamil flick Valimai as well as an important role alongside one of India’s finest actors, Aamir Khan, in Lal Singh Chadda, the remake of the Hollywood film Forrest Gump. However, he couldn’t change his physical appearance for the films because he was shooting for Minnal Murali). It proves the fact that Tovino’s dedication is second to none.

Tovino is also an individual who doesn’t look at the amount of screen time he would get in a film or the greatness of the character in the film. If he is convinced that the film is good in its messaging, he is willing to play even the smallest roles in the film. That is precisely why we see him in so many films giving cameo appearances as well as playing a side character. In Uyare, the role Tovino played could have been portrayed by any other artist. However, Tovino’s decision to play a character in a film, headlined by a promising Parvathy Thiruvothu, is commendable.

Attaining Stardom And Why It Would Be Maintained: 

With the release of Minnal Murali, a landmark film for Malayalam, Tovino’s stardom catapulted. He became a star across the nation as well as the world. With extreme promotions, which were the first-ever for a Malayalam film, Tovino’s presence was made in several parts across the country. With the film being a critical and commercial success, people have noticed the actor in Tovino. It would not be wrong to say that he has attained pan-India stardom with this film.

Tovino has seen a lot of ups and downs in his nine-year journey in the film industry. Personally, I have seen the artist’s growth and it gives me immense pleasure to call myself Tovino’s fan. His biggest dream was to see himself on the big screens, and now he is there everywhere.

Recently, after the success of Minnal Murali, an old Facebook post of Tovino became viral. Here is the translated version of his words:

“Today you might make fun of me by calling me a fool, you might also label me and write me off as a talentless individual. But, one day I would definitely reach great heights. That day, you all would be jealous of me. This is not the arrogance of an arrogant man nor is it the ranting of a fool. Instead, it is the confidence and belief of a hard-worker.” 

These words of his are enough to prove how much he had dreamt of being amongst the top listed actors in the state and country. Tovino Thomas is here to stay, and he won’t leave the field without having conquered everything he can. Here’s to many more years of this humble and simple man with an infectious personality, entertaining us with exemplary acting performances.  

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