I Would Have Attended Some 1200 Auditions Before I Got Selected For My 1st Ad - John Kokken (Actor)


John Kokken

One of the best way to handle rejection is believe that nothing is mine and if I deserve something it will come to me no matter what. 

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

To start with, my real name is Anish John Kokken. John is my father's name and this career of mine is a dedication to my father who took care of us 3 boys all by himself while he was working as a Vice Principal in a school and mom was working as a nurse in the Middle East.

 I have done my 3 years Diploma in Hotel Management & Catering Technology from Mumbai. Worked with hotels ITC Maratha Sheraton and Hyatt Regency both In Mumbai. I used to work at the reception so used to get a lot of offers across the counter for modeling so one fine day I quit my job and joined a call center IBM Daksh to save up money for a portfolio. 

I Sent my entries for Gladrags Megamodel and Manhunt 2005 and got a call and was a part of Gladrags 2005 batch. Post Gladrags I used to do small time ramp shows and did a couple of ads like Cadbury Bytes, Bajaj Pulsar, Chungath Prince Jewellers etc. 

One of the ads I did for South India took me to the South to be specific Kerala and I happened to meet a couple of Malayalam movie directors and then did my first movie in 2006 in Malayalam called KALABHAM. 

Didn't know much about being an actor or networking in the South and life went on I was living in Mumbai busy with my modeling and then in 2009 came my big break in Malayalam called LOVE IN SINGAPORE with Mammooty and post that movie I have been busy not just with Malayalam but Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and now Hindi too.

2. What attracted you to acting?

 Well to be honest modeling happened by chance and acting just came along. I used to watch a lot of movies growing up. I was crazy about movies be it any language. As a model I was considered too huge for the ramp due to which I couldn't do a lot of designer shows. 

But this same aspect became my advantage in films as I used to play the bad guy in all the films and the South Indian Film Industry prefer villains who are tall and big. So here I was 6.2" tall and a big muscular guy and they lapped me up. Am so very grateful to the South Indian Film Industry for all the career and fame I have today.

3. An artist faces several rejections, what motivates you to move further?

One of the things I learnt while being a model in Mumbai was learning to accept rejections gracefully. I would have attended some 1200 auditions before I got selected for my 1st ad.

 What motivated me those days was my belief in my dream. Having said that dreams aren't just enough to make it. We need to align our capabilities in accordance with our dreams and so I used to be regular in my auditions, my workouts and keeping a calm and a positive approach. And I still follow these same principles in life.

 One of the best way to handle rejection is believe that nothing is mine and if I deserve something it will come to me no matter what. So every time I meet a director for a movie or I audition for a role I finish the meeting or audition and then I just forget about it. 

My experiences in life has taught me that expectations lead to disappointments. The movie industry is highly competitive so having a sane frame of mind is of utmost importance. So I guess that's what keeps me going.

4. Can you share how different is it to act in different languages, do you feel that a change in language changes your acting methods?

 I have always had a flair for languages and having grown up in Mumbai I speak Hindi, Marathi and English fluently. Malayalam being my mother tongue I speak that too fluently. Working in the South I picked up Tamil, Telugu and Kannada along the way.

 And I did happen to live in Goa for a couple of years so speak Konkani too. Coming back to movies its fun to act in different languages as each state has a different language, different style, different slang, different mannerisms, different good habits, different cultures and so on. 

So its a challenge to adapt to each of these changes and act accordingly. Change in language doesn't change your acting methods, as acting is just acting but incorporating each regional style can be challenging sometimes.

5. What do you feel your ultimate goal as an actor?

 My ultimate goal as an actor is to play the antagonist lead in James Bond movie. To me that's my ultimate dream.

6. If not an actor, what else would you be?

 I am an actor and I was destined to be an actor so there is no question of anything else as a possibility.

John Kokken

John Kokken


Instagram id - @highonkokken

Twitter - @johnkokken1

Interviewed by - Ananie Borgia K

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