'I will be seen in two avatars in Bhajarangi'
Popular Kannada actor Shivarajkumar’s much-awaited film Bhajarangi is hitting the screens this week.
The actor’s 105th film has generated much curiosity among his fans and is creating a new buzz in the Kannada film world.
For the first time a Kannada film is being screened at 2 am ahead of its release in a mofussil centre and at about 7 am in Bangalore on the day of the release even before the regular morning show.
The 51-year-old actor seems to defy his age and appears energetic and youthful as he talks about the movie, his new look and what it took him to get into shape.
How do you define your role in Bhajarangi?
There are two shades to my character in typical Robin Hood style.
I play a city-bred guy and I get to play a guy living in the forest.
The film has a period feel. My character goes back 75 years and moves back and forth in time.
What is the style of narration?
The movie begins with humour, with a little bit of suspense thrown in.
In the beginning the movie moves softly. There is an undercurrent of something that is going to be revealed to the audience that evokes curiosity.
'I had to build my body for the movie'
What does Bhajarangi convey?
Bhajarangi is like a God to the people living in his locality. It also tells how he serves people and acts as his people’s servant just like Lord Anjaneya.
How many costumes have you worn?
I will be seen in two avatars. One is in the form of Bhajarangi and the other one is Jeeva.
How difficult was it to switch on and off between the two avatars?
We shot the city portions first. We finished the younger character that I play and then moved on to do the Bhajarangi portion.
It was not exactly difficult as director Harsha made me feel comfortable. He came up with a good story.
I had to build my body for the Bhajarangi portion
'I love to take risks and challenges'
What kind of preparation went into the body-building exercise?
I had a full-time trainer, Shetty, to help me build my body. I also took the help of a dietician for advice on what I should eat.
I was told to have meals five times a day. I followed whatever was given and prepared for me.
How difficult was it to build a six-pack given that you had to defy the age factor?
Everybody encouraged me. It is because of the encouragement that I got from my trainer, wife, my children and director Harsha that I could achieve the six-pack.
Besides, we had an exclusive cook, Kantharaj, who was with us all through to prepare only the stuff that I was required to take. I should thank him because he was told exactly what should be cooked for me.
How long did it take you to build a six-pack body?
It took me five months to build my body. This movie has changed my lifestyle as I have begun to like going to the gymn.
How did you manage to pull off the daring stunts?
I love to take risks and challenges. I lost weight and I had built muscle and that gave me a lot of confidence.
Ganesh and Manju masters made me feel comfortable with all the stunts.
Visually, the stunts will look different from my earlier films.
'I am quite unhappy that this film has been given an 'A' certificate'
How was it to work with a new director like Harsha, who is also a choreographer you have worked with in the past?
When he narrated the subject, I liked it almost immediately. We had very few corrections in the script.
It had all the commercial elements. Harsha has taken care to see that every character has a proper ending.
It was not like Harsha was directing a first film. I felt as if he had directed ten films; that was his level of confidence and hold over the subject.
He is decorative and stylish as a director. He made me get into the character very well.
You have expressed displeasure at Bhajarangi being given an ‘A’ certificate by the censors.
I am quite unhappy that this film has been given an ‘A’ certificate just because there is a lot of violence in it.
Television has changed the world and there is so much of violence shown on television without any censorship.