Although Kalabhavan Mani, a comedian-turned-serious actor, did not taste success as a hero so far, he is immensely successful as a villain in almost all South Indian films. Vikram's Gemini and Surya's Vel are the major Tamil films, through which this talented actor was noted as a typical villain. For his villainous performance in the Mohanlal starrer Chotta Mumbai, he won two prestigious awards in the state, namely Ujala Asianet Award and Vanitha Chandrika Award for the Best villain in 2008.
After playing a variety of roles this year, Kalabhavan Mani will soon don the role of a 'gunda' in a new film to be directed by character actor Saleem Bawa, who played a notable role in Aadharam (1992). This Kalabhavan starrer will have Sajith Raj in an important role. Earlier, Saleem Bawa directed Rapid Action Force and Mohitam. Both were average earners in the box office.
Kalabhavan Mani's latest release is Sureshgopi's Bullet, directed by Nizzar. In this film, he portrays the role of Circle Inspector Wahid Abdul Rahman Haji who investigates the disappearance of Yamunaprasad, a popular music director and judge of a reality show.