Rising Sandalwood star Dhananjay quit a lucrative job with Information Technology major Infosys in 2008 to become an actor. With his debut film, Director’s Special (2013), being a success, the 29-year old signed up for several projects. A Computer Science Engineering graduate, Dhananjay says he learnt the virtue of chasing dreams from his alma mater — Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysore — from which he graduated in 2007.
“In addition to imparting technical education, my college taught me the values of life. It made me stronger and determined in whatever I choose to do,” says Dhananjay, who was also elected as General Secretary of the Students’ Council. “This was my proudest moment in college,” he adds.
The actor hails from Arsikere in Hassan district in Karnataka. Before making his foray into movies, Dhananjay received training at the Vintage Theatre School, Rangayana, Mysore. Immediately after his engineering course, he visited Germany to take part in a theatre workshop at the invitation of renowned German playwright Christian Stuckl.
Dhananjay speaks of his carefree engineering days. “I was caught by a professor while copying in one of my internal exams. This was not the only embarrassment. I have been woken up from deep sleep by my teachers,” Dhananjay laughs. His rifts with professors were mostly on light terms, for attendance issues and seeking approval for “creative ideas”.
Bunking was an essential part of his college life. “I was the man behind many mass bunks. I had an amazing set of friends and we got along easily with girls, hanging out in our favourite addas. One of them was called Downs, which was a relaxing spot for most of us,” he says.
“Jayciana was a three-day cultural fest that was conducted every year. In order to prepare for the cultural fest, we had gotten away from the classes. Also there was the Visvesvaraya Technological University cultural festival conducted every year and I used to bunk classes to practice for skits and folk dance,” he adds.
Dhananjay candidly admits there were many girls who had a crush on him. “But I was in a serious relationship with someone. I’m single now,” he quips. As a student, Dhananjay was greatly interested in extracurricular activities. “Organising events and taking part in them, such as Jayciana — an annual three-day cultural fest — the Dramatics theatre fest and folk dance were some of the activities I was involved in.”
When he had just got into acting, he scripted a 27-minute short film called Jayanagar 4th Block, based on a popular locality in Bangalore where he used to wait for his friends to finish work and meet him. The short film went viral, garnering over two lakh hits on YouTube. The curious Georges can catch the same at www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmK91AxPA1A.
The busy actor has completed filming of AP Arjun’s Raate. He is now shooting for Preetham Gubbi’s Boxer and TS Nagabharana’s Allama Prabhu simultaneously. He has also signed up for Nirbhay Chakravarthy’s period film Vijayaditya and Akash Srivastav’s Badmash, which is under production and is touted as a love story in the back drop of politics, cricket and cinema.