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Rediff.com  » Movies » Kannada actor Shivarajkumar on Sugreeva

Kannada actor Shivarajkumar on Sugreeva

Last updated on: February 25, 2010 15:25 IST

'Sugreeva is directed by 10 people in 18 hours flat'

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Shruti Indira Lakshminarayana in Bangalore

2009 may not have contributed much to Shivarajkumar's career graph, but the Kannada actor wishes to put behind his failures and look ahead to the future with Sugreeva.

Prior to the release of his film on Friday, Shivanna speaks to rediff.com about the film and more.

How different is Sugreeva from your previous action films?

The film is directed by 10 people in 18 hours flat. There are 60 scenes in the film and even though different people have directed the film, there is a flow in the output. It's a very different kind of cinema.

What role do you play in this film?

I play a middle class ambitious person, who lets go of his dreams to fulfill his responsibilities. The story is also about a doting father, who is ready to go to any lengths to save his child.


Image: A scene from Sugreeva

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'Coordinating with 20 character and hundreds of junior artistes was no joke'

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What were the major challenges you encountered during the shoot?

It was difficult to switch from one emotion to another in such a short span of time. Also there were 8-9 costume changes and I had to move between seven sets. Coordinating with 20 character and hundreds of junior artistes was no joke either.

Any behind the scenes trivia that you want to share with us?

I was really nervous a day before the shoot and had hardly slept. The next day too there was tension and excitement on the sets.

As we had to start early, I had no time for breakfast. When my crew came to know of this, they said that they wanted stills of me eating buns and drinking tea, for the movie. Under this pretext, they made me eat something!

A glass breaking scene I did without a duplicate was another memorable incident. I am very happy with the output. In fact once we finished the shoot, the team went to participate in a reality show. We had such good fun.

Even after I returned home I couldn't sleep; such was the excitement. I remember my daughter, who is studying to be a doctor, checking my blood pressure to see if I was okay!


Image: A scene from Sugreeva

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'I still can't forget the excitement that I went through on the day my first film released'

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Tell us about the film's music...

The hero is already married and has a seven-year-old child. So no romantic numbers were required. However there is a theme song and background music. Gurukiran is the music director.

After Sugreeva, there is Cheluveye Ninna Nodalu and then your 100th film Jogaiah. How has your journey been so far?

I never thought of becoming an actor. I had a degree in chemical engineering and wanted to open an industry. I got into acting only for Appaji (Rajkumar), Appu (Puneeth Rajkumar) and Raghanna (Raghavendra Rajkumar). When I was first offered a film, I stood in front of the mirror and asked myself if I looked like a hero and if I could be a part of an industry that had big names like Rajkumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Hassan. Then I was like, people will come and see me at least for my father's sake. If it works it works or else there is always something else.

It's due to God's grace that I've made it so far. I still can't forget the excitement and tension that I went through on the day my first film, Anand released. I was really scared to go to Menaka theatre where it released. It was only when reviews read, "A star is born", that I ventured out!


Image: Sugreeva

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'Appaji's Bangaarada Manushya had an impact on me'

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Which of your films would you rate as the best?

I've done comedies, romantic films, novel-based ones, action and sentimental films. Anand is obviously special. I liked the comedy in Inspector Vikram.

I will always cherish working on Om, Nammura Mandara Huvve, Rathasamthami, Chirabandhvya, Jogi, Tavarige Baa Tangi,Kurubana Rani, Mana Mechida Hudugi, Janumada Jodi, Hridaya Hridaya and Modada Mareyali.

Appaji loved me in Sarwabhouma. He had asked my wife how I managed such a performance.

Do you regret having done any film?

We learn from our mistakes. Human beings are like waves; there are highs and lows. You have to live with both. Also I don't retrospect.

Has any film made an impact you as a person?

Appaji's Bangaarada Manushya influenced me. It taught me to be helpful; to give and share.

More than films, I was inspired by my father. I learnt to be level headed from him. He treated us as grownups and let us make our own decisions. But he always insisted that we treat people with respect and love. He also taught me to forgive people. I miss him a lot.


Image: A scene from Sugreeva

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'When I started off, the press commented on my diction'

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There have been bouquets and brickbats. Any particular criticism that helped you improve as an actor?

Yes. When I started off, the press commented on my diction. Since I spent my earlier years in Chennai, I had a Tamil accent. Their observations helped me improve my language and pronunciation. Also I worked on my expressions, following their inputs.

How do you manage to stay fit?

Swimming and gymming keep me fit and stress free.

What next?

I am considering direction. After Sugreeva, I am planning to be a part of a movie that may be shot in 15 hours. I'll also be acting in a movie that is based on a reality show.


Image: A scene from Sugreeva

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