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Darshan: Never dreamt of playing Rayanna

Last updated on: November 14, 2012 10:59 IST

Darshan: Never dreamt of playing Rayanna


Srikanth Srinivasa in Bangalore

Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna (KVSR), a historic biopic based on the life of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna has opened to a thunderous response at the box-office across Karnataka.

The film that stars 'Challenging Star' of Kannada cinema, Darshan in the brave warrior's role has grossed more than Rs 6 crore in the first five days of its release at the box-office.

It is expected to gross Rs 11 crore to Rs 12 crore by the end of the Deepavali holidays if industry sources are to be believed.

The film is also likely to get a free run with no major releases during the next one or two weeks even after the festival holidays are over.

Trade pundits have predicted that the first week collections of KVSR will even surpass Saarathee which has been Darshan's biggest hit to date.

In this interview, Darshan talks about the making of the epic film and his experience in donning the brave warrior's role.

How did you prepare for the role of Rayanna?

There was a considerable amount of homework that went into my role. It is not easy to do such a role

Image: A scene from Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna


'I was never ambitious on taking up such a role'

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How did you feel on your visit to the samadhi of Sangolli Rayanna?

I visited the samadhi once during the film's muhurat and I experienced a lot of positive vibes.

Did you ever dream of playing such a role?

I have neither dreamt nor have I ever been ambitious about taking on such a role.

But I was fascinated once I was on board because it is unusual for an actor to get involved in a historical character.

Why did the film take close to two years in the making?

 It would have been a different story had I considered this movie as another commercial movie. I am happy that a producer like Apugol came forward to do such a film and I am part of such a big project.

Co-incidentally, Rayanna was born on August 15 and he died on January 26. Who would have expected the movie to release on November 1, Kannada Rajyothsava Day? There were so many co-incidences during the making as well.

Image: A scene from Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna

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'I dont have any expectations from the movie'

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Did you work on your physique and fitness to get into the character?

I should thank the producer for giving me enough time to tone my body. He wanted me to look fit. He gave me close to six months just to work on my physique.

I worked out in the gym. The producer sponsored my fitness programme like how kings probably sponsored body builders in a bygone era!

How did you manage to do other films after you had committed to this project, which took close to three years to make?

I couldn't have locked up three years of my career only for this movie. It's a question of my bread and butter.

I couldn't have sat idle at home without accepting any other role. I did Saarathee and Chingari in between.

What has been the feedback to this movie?

People should tell me what they feel. You should tell me how you felt after you saw the movie.

I dont have any expectations from the movie. I will accept whatever people give me.

People who come to see Darshan in a historical movie such as this should forget Darshan as they are going out. It's the character that the audiences take home.

Image: A scene from Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna

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'I never ever see my films on the opening day'

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How has the industry reacted to this film?

I was overwhelmed when I got calls for the first time from some people in the industry. I don't want to take any names.

What did you feel when you saw the movie on the first day?

I never ever see my films on the opening day. But, for this movie, I was curious to see how some scenes had panned out.

I was happy that the points that I wanted to see had come out well.

I also wanted to know if the audience would shed a tear at the end when Rayanna is hanged in public.

If the audience didn't shed a tear, I would feel the film had failed. But people identified with Rayanna and felt for him. I heaved a sigh of relief.

Which are those scenes that you wanted to see?

I don't want to mention those scenes. It's an artiste's secret. It was only for me to see and find out for myself.

Image: A scene from Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna

Tags: Rayanna

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'I will not do another film like this for some years'

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How did you manage to put so much energy into the role?

During the shoot, I couldn't straight away say that I was ready for a shot. It took me some time to get into the character.

I used to delay filming of some important scenes for another day because I was not prepared to do it then. We used to do some easy scenes in the beginning before going for those big ones.

The producer and director Naganna used to ask me every day if I was ready to do heavy-duty scenes on that day. I used to say, we'll do it tomorrow or some other time.

The team was very co-operative. They allowed me enough time to become Rayanna.

Also, I had to recall the earlier scenes to get into the flow. I was there all the 185 days of the film's shoot.

I don't know how I managed but I can say my character demanded a great deal of energy from me and I delivered what was expected of me.

How much time was spent in costume and make-up?

I wore costumes made of cotton and jute that didn't have the shine. Wearing the costume and putting on the make-up took nearly two-and-a-half hours every day.

I would report at 9 am and give my first shot only at around 12:30 pm. We would can at the most four or five shots in a day.

War sequences were thrilling to shoot. I used a heavy sword weighing close to 40 kilos in the war scenes as I felt there is no gain when there is no pain.

I think producer Apugol is the real hero of the movie and the rest of us followed.

How did you manage to get the right intonation and voice for the role?

I could have got a better bass tone in my voice. I took 32 days to dub as I was against dubbing for myself in the first place.

I refused to give my voice because I was scared I would mess it up. But producer Apugol and director Naganna gave me a lot of time.

How will this film change your image?

There will be no change in my image. I will not do another film like this for some years.

My next film will be a comedy film titled Bulbul that is a remake of the Telugu film Darling.

I have another film titled Viraat that will be completed after Bulbul.

Image: A scene from Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna

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