From silver screen to Parliament: Suresh Gopi’s multi-faceted career

Following his victory in the Lok Sabha Elections, Suresh Gopi expressed his hope to strike a balance between films and politics.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 05, 2024 | 6:26 PMUpdatedJun 05, 2024 | 6:51 PM

Actor-politician Suresh Gopi celebrates his victory in the Lok Sabha polls

In a landmark victory for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Kerala, actor-politician and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Suresh Gopi won the Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency with a commanding majority of 74,686 votes over his closest competitor—advocate VS Sunil Kumar of the Communist Party of India (CPI).

The 65-year-old Malayalam actor significantly impacted both The Left Democratic Front (LDF) and The United Democratic Front (UDF) by winning a clear majority in six of the seven Assembly constituencies in Thrissur (all of which had been claimed by the LDF in the 2021 Assembly elections).

The saffron party boosted its vote share by around 3%, increasing from 15 percent in 2019 to 18 percent in the 2024 elections.

This marked Suresh Gopi’s third electoral campaign in Thrissur.

Amit Shah announced Suresh Gopi’s candidacy well in advance, giving him a campaign advantage. Additionally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended four election rallies in Thrissur.

Suresh Gopi is a multi-faceted person

Suresh Gopi is a multi-faceted person. (Supplied)

The actor-politician not only garnered support from a broad section of women voters, transcending party lines, who were impressed by his clean image, but also successfully wooed a significant number of Christian voters.

However, the primary factor behind Suresh Gopi’s victory was his popularity and his philanthropist image, which he had meticulously cultivated over the years, through numerous charitable activities.

While campaigning, Suresh Gopi, further made sure he presented himself as a true believer who valued all religions.

Suresh Gopi’s equation with Narendra Modi and the party’s efforts in strengthening its base, over the past five years, equally contributed to his success.

It is no secret that the Prime Minister even travelled to Thrissur to attend the wedding of Suresh Gopi’s daughter.

Also read: Amidst box office hits, Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi to try his — and BJP’s — luck in Lok Sabha polls again

Suresh Gopi’s entry into politics

In October 2016, Suresh Gopi officially joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. He contested as the BJP candidate from the Thrissur constituency in the 2019 general election in Kerala but lost to TN Prathapan of the Indian National Congress (INC).

In March 2024, he was once again nominated as the BJP candidate for the Thrissur constituency in Kerala’s Lok Sabha elections.

Suresh Gopi was sworn in as a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha in April 2016.

He held the position of a Rajya Sabha member, representing the upper house of the Indian Parliament, from 2016 to 2022.

Following his victory in the Lok Sabha Elections, actor-politician Suresh Gopi expressed gratitude to the voters who supported him.

“These voters, irrespective of caste or political allegiance, have chosen to remain secular. Despite various attempts by different groups to sway them, these secular voters stayed steadfast. Some even attempted to deter me from the contest, but this victory, I believe, is a divine response to their efforts.”

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250 films and counting

Ekalavyan still

A still from ‘Ekalavyan’. (Supplied)

Born in June 1958 in Alappuzha, Kerala, Suresh Gopi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature.

Although, predominantly known for his contributions to Malayalam cinema, Suresh Gopi is also an established playback singer.

After essaying numerous roles in films across Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi, Suresh Gopi achieved success with the lead role in Shaji Kailas’s Thalastaanam (1992). The film enjoys a cult status even after decades after its release.

With a filmography boasting over 250 movies, the actor solidified his reputation as a dependable star in Malayalam cinema through Ekalavyan (1993).

Initially, Shaji Kailas and Renji Panicker intended to cast Mammootty in the lead role and Suresh Gopi in a supporting role in Ekalavyan.

However, Mammootty expressed dissatisfaction with the dialogues after listening to the script. As a result, Shaji Kailas opted to move forward with Suresh Gopi in the lead.

Siddique was ultimately assigned the role, originally intended for him.

A still from manichitrathazhu-SG3

A still from ‘Manichitrathazhu’. (Supplied)

Other notable titles in Suresh Gopi’s career include Fazil’s Manichitrathazhu (1993), Commissioner (1994), and Lelam (1997).

In 1998, he was honoured with the National Film Award for Best Actor and the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor for his outstanding portrayal in Kaliyattam (1997).

Actor-politician Suresh Gopi further ventured into television hosting. In 2012, he presented the game show Ningalkkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran on Asianet, the Malayalam adaptation of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

He continued to host it for five seasons, besides anchoring Anchinodu Inchodinchu, on Surya TV.

Before temporarily stepping back from acting, his last film was My God (2015).

Following a five-year hiatus, he made a comeback to Malayalam cinema with a notable role in Varane Avashyamund in 2020.

Upcoming movies

Discussing his forthcoming films, Suresh Gopi mentioned having a project with the production company associated with Mammootty, which is already in progress.

Additionally, he has three projects lined up with the production company owned by businessman Gokulam Gopalan.

Among them, one stands out as a pan-Indian film, with a substantial budget of up to ₹100 crore.

The actor-politician expressed his hope that similar to how he managed his film commitments while serving as a Rajya Sabha member, he will be able to fulfill his commitments for these projects as well.

Also Read: Suresh Gopi to share screen with Mammootty in Mahesh Narayanan’s film