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'Auto Raja will give me a new image'

Last updated on: June 25, 2013 09:00 IST

'Auto Raja will give me a new image'

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Srikanth Srinivasa in Bangalore

Kannada actor Ganesh's latest release Auto Raja released in theatres across Karnataka last Friday to mixed reviews. The late Shankar Nag who acted in a film of the same name 30 years ago was so popular in the role that autorickshaw drivers even today identify with him.  

Actors Upendra, Sudeep and Darshan also successfully played the role of auto drivers. Now, it is Ganesh's turn to see if auto drivers, who are huge patrons of films, will identify with him.

In this interview, Ganesh talks about how he feels stepping into Shankar Nag's shoes and the reasons for his string of failures.

What was in your mind when you signed Auto Raja?

Auto Raja is about an auto driver who has social concern and the film is centred on what happens in his life. It is about a series of incidents that happen in the auto driver's life including his love life.

The film has a novel and thrilling screenplay. The credit for that should go to Uday Prakash who has also directed the movie.


Image: Ganesh in Auto Raja


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'There are thrilling elements in the screenplay that will excite audience'

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According to you, how different is this film from your earlier films?

The director has tried to give another dimension to the story. There are thrilling elements in the screenplay that will excite audiences. Director Prakash has mixed all the elements that are expected from my films.

The film talks about the role of auto drivers in the city. We cannot sermonise or be judgemental because people are intelligent. We can show something that is laced with a message but that is told in an entertaining manner.

Is there any relation to the film that starred Shankar Nag?

There is no connection between Shankar Nag's film and this movie except the title.

I play an auto driver who is a big fan of the late actor. I have tried to invoke his on-screen persona through this role by reminding people of his mannerisms.

This is a new experience for me. I believe that the bonding between me and the auto drivers will grow with this movie.

Even if we are able to get a small piece of the success of Shankar Nag's film with the same title, I think we would have succeeded.


Image: Ganesh in Auto Raja


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'I am hopeful that audiences will accept me in this new avatar'

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How do you think this film will change your fortunes?

I have experimented with roles. I am hopeful that audiences will accept me in this new avatar as I believe this film will give me a new image.

What really went wrong with your career as an actor, especially after you had a good number of hits like Mungaru Male, Cheluvina Chittara, Galipaata and Hudugaata in quick succession?

There were some errors. People expect me to deliver hits especially after seeing a spate of successes.

I have given my best and done whatever I could to the best of my ability. There were big hits, some average hits, and some flops. I am now focusing on how I can minimise my mistakes.

The failures have helped me because I am sorted on how I can deal with them. I am hopeful that I will not repeat such blunders. I see so many mistakes but I cannot pinpoint the reasons.

Why are people accusing you of maintaining the same look in all your films?

I don't agree with this view. Directors should present me differently. It is for them to have me dress differently.

In fact, I have slimmed down for this film and you will see a different Ganesh in Auto Raja.


Image: Ganesh in Auto Raja


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