Mathew Joy Mathew | #TalkbackTuesday

#TalkbackTuesday number 31 – with Mathew Joy Mathew, and we talk about meaning, meaningless, film making and joy.

Cover | Mathew Joy Mathew #TalkbackTuesday

Hi, and welcome to #TalkbackTuesday. This week’s interview is with Mr. Mathew Joy Mathew. See his interview below.

Talkback Tuesday is a weekly interview with everyday people. It is always inspirational to look into the life of another person, and realize it is just as complex and large and confusing as your own.


1. For the readers, who are you, what do you do, and what is your current side project?

I am Mathew Joy Mathew, I am a journalist for most of my time and an actor when opportunity presents. Currently I am working on a script for a feature film along with my friend.

2. Why did you choose to be a journalist? What drew you to the field and what is the most satisfying aspect of a career in journalism?

Initially, I wanted to be a film maker. I was preparing myself to do that, but I couldn’t get into the institute I wanted. I have always wanted to make movies close to reality – more specifically, I like the absurdity of reality. Even at this moment, while I am giving you this interview, I am taking another. [I can’t help but think] there is some meaning to all this and some meaninglessness too.

Superman Journalist | Mathew Joy Mathew #TalkbackTuesday
A larger-than-life persona, also being a journalist. Hmm…

So I thought journalism would be the best playground to observe and enjoy the realities of life. The most satisfying thing about journalism is the people you meet and people you work with. The people you meet are the people who try to do or actually do things in their own way. It’s a [very] difficult thing to do something against the flow.

And more interesting are the people around you: journalists are a bit crazy and excited about life or else they wouldn’t be able to stay in the profession. Their excitement in life finds stories, and there is a bit of craziness in writing about the changing world around you, right?

3. You mentioned that there is both meaning and meaninglessness to your situation. What did you mean by that? Do you believe in luck, chance or happenstance, or do you think there is a Divine Plan?

Do you believe in god and that everything happens in your life for a reason? I am caught in between that idea and the idea that there is no god and things just happen.

I do interviews for a living, but I didn’t wake up this morning thinking that I would be doing an interview about me. Not just the actor part or the journalist part, me as a whole. I can’t categorize that into my usual life, and that is the meaningless, chaotic, accidental part of it.

However, somewhere inside I really wanted [a medium] to speak my thoughts freely. And somehow [you contacted me] out of nowhere. Meaning lies there.

I do interviews for a living, but I didn’t wake up this morning thinking that I would be doing an interview about me. Not just the actor part or the journalist part, me as a whole.

I really, really want to believe in all those things that would bring some sense to our existence, and yet I see a lot of innocent children dying, and species going extinct, and civilizations falling.

(Do you see hope in the future? Do you think we will ever reach a time where we don’t see children dying and countries fighting?)

No, I don’t see that happening ever. People need some kind of meaning for their existence and for the things happening around them. There is a limit to science. If you keep on asking ‘why’ again and again, science [eventually] has to keep quiet.

Even when the day  comes that science can answer all questions, it wouldn’t convince everybody. So people shall follow an all-knowing, all-powerful entity that gives them assurance. And when belief and religion take their roots, there wouldn’t be any scope for many rights [or variance of thought]. And they will try to “fix the world” in their own way, and innocent children will die again.

4. Switching gears, talk to me about film-making. What attracts you to films and acting? What do you hope to accomplish as an actor?

I don’t know why I was interested in them, but even from a very young age I could remember my love for films. One of my earliest and saddest memories is not being able to watch my favorite movie for the nth time because of voltage fluctuations. I was 4 or 5 years old, but I can still feel the sadness and helplessness I felt back then.

I think I want to be a filmmaker because I get to be the god, the one who designs how life is in those two and a half hours. I was a kid who dreamed a lot while growing up, who liked to role play as an investigator, a dinosaur or a loan applicant.

Toy Story Buzz, Rex, and Mr Potato Head | Mathew Joy Mathew #TalkbackTuesday
From left to right, an investigator, a dinosaur, and a loan applicant.

My father was a theater actor while growing up, and now he is an accomplished actor in the Malayalam film industry. Maybe that made me fall in love with the art.

As an actor, I don’t hope to accomplish a lot, but as a filmmaker I do hope to elicit a positive change in people – however small it is.

(Is it possible that your desire for filmmaking is a way to feel closer to your father?)

I don’t think so. Even before he became an accomplished actor, I wanted to be a film maker. It’s true that we spent a lot of time watching films while I grew up and share a very special bond. He was never a great father who taught me to ride a bicycle or guide me in studies. Rather, he was more like a friend with whom I could talk about anything and he too considered me that way. Even when I was in lower primary school, he would discuss his financial burdens and tensions with me.

5. Great. Finally, do you have anything you’d like the audience to check out? It can be a product or business, or it could be anything from a video to words of wisdom.

I would like the audience to sit down somewhere, close their eyes and think about the happiest memories from their childhood and just smile like an idiot about it.

I personally feel that we lose touch with ourselves with all the buzz around us. We fall into time tables and habits and lose track of how we were and what simple things made us happy.


Thank you for reading Talkback Tuesday! What did you think of the interview? Leave your comments below.

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Next, check out the previous interview from last Tuesday with Rishabh Ahuja by clicking on the image below.

Rishabh Ahuja #TalkbackTuesday
Click the image to see the interview.