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'Raja Huli is not a mindless action film'

November 13, 2013 09:25 IST

'Raja Huli is not a mindless action film'


Srikanth Srinivasa in Bangalore

It is a homecoming for actress Meghana Raj with the Kannada film Raja Huli that released on November 1, across Karnataka.

The movie had a good opening, surpassing expectations. The Bangalore girl who has inherited her acting genes from both her parents has been mostly seen in performance-oriented roles in Malayalam films.

She will now be making her appearance as the female lead only in her second Kannada film in more than three years. 

Raja Huli is a remake of the Tamil hit Sundarapandian.

In her last Kannada film Punda, opposite Yogish, Meghana played a typical glamour doll. She feels the industry is taking her more seriously now.

In this interview, Meghana Raj talks about her role in Raja Huli and explains her long absence from Kannada cinema. 

What do you have to say about your role in Raja Huli given the fact that it is a remake of a Tamil film?

I play Kaveri, a fiery girl who has a mind of her own.  Her character is at par with the hero. 

When producer K Manju told me to see Sundarapandian, I had no idea that I would be playing the female lead.

What I liked about the original was its screenplay. The story is universal in its appeal and its storytelling. It can be adapted into any language wonderfully and has a message.

Image: Meghana Raj


'I don't think I am taken for granted'

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What made you sign the film?

I have always accepted films based on what my role is. Of course, I do look at who is playing the lead opposite me, the producer and the director. 

I have never had any language barriers. Malayalam cinema has given me the biggest break and has been like a school for me on how to perform.

However, I’ve always wanted to work in a Kannada film, as Kannada is my mother tongue, and in a film that required me to stay at home and go to work from the comfort of my home town.

That’s not the only reason for me to accept an offer here. People have certain expectations from me because of my family connections with the cinema world and the comparison with my parents.

It is because of this responsibility that I become answerable to so many people here.

It’s been a kind of homecoming for you, hasn’t it? Are you taken for granted given that you are doing a film here after a long gap?

Yes, doing a Kannada film is like a homecoming. This industry is like family to me. I have known people here since my childhood.

I don’t think I am taken for granted. People know that I have now grown up and matured as an individual and an actress. They know that I take this profession seriously.

They also know I have some demands and that I will not accept everything. I rejected a few offers.

I didn’t expect that I would get Raja Huli. My earlier film Punda did not give people a glimpse of what I could do as my role was that of a typical glamour doll that required me to run around trees.

I genuinely waited for a good film.

Image: Meghana Raj

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'I don't think I am taken for granted'

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What kind of preparation was required to play your role in Raja Huli?

I had to lose a lot of weight. Not just for Raja Huli, but because I took an overnight decision to go on a diet to look younger.

Young rural girls look strong and are not really rotund. I wanted Kaveri to look like that. I had to look like an 18-year-old college girl and the make-up had to be minimal.

I made sure the director called me by the name of the character as it would allow me to get into the character.

Yash was extremely supportive and I learnt a lot from him. We had to talk to each other through our expressions on the bus where we didn’t have any conversation.

What kind of response did you get?

Raja Huli is not a mindless action film. It is a fun film with a message.

 The film has a lot to offer in terms of storytelling. People liked it for the dialogues.

The chemistry between me and Yash is worth watching. I enjoyed the movie when I saw it as part of the audience. 

Image: A scene from Raja Huli

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