“Film number six, and perhaps, my biggest release so far,” begins an excited Rana Daggubati, as he sips his cup of coffee in his office, decorated with action figures of Batman and Captain Jack Sparrow. The actor is all geared up for the release of his next film Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum (KVJ). Directed by Krish, who is known for films like Gamyam and Vedam, KVJ is set in the backdrop of Bellary, the place where Surabhi theatre originated, but which is now notorious for the illegal mining scam. Rana plays the role of a Surabhi theatre artist in the film and is in a mood to get down to some hard talk.
Excerpts from the interview.
1) Tell us a little about your character in the film
My character’s name is B.Tech Babu and he is a Surabhi theatre group actor. He is not interested in theatre, and dreams of going to the US for higher studies. But, he has to go back to Bellary to perform in one last play, and that incident changes him. That is how my character evolves — from only thinking about himself, to thinking about people of that place.
2) Has the film been inspired by any real life incident in particular?
None in particular. It’s a fictional tale based on facts like the dying art form of Surabhi theatre and how Bellary is now known for illegal mining.
3) Can you throw some light on Nayantara in the film?
When we started making the film, there was no actress involved. However, as we progressed, the character of the actress needed to grow as well. Krish (director of the film) and I knew it that we will have to take an actress who has a great body of work behind her. So, when we got to know that Nayantara was interested in getting back to films after a long sabbatical, we thought, what better choice than her! Nayantara plays a journalist who goes to the region of Bellary to explore and understand the problems in that place. It is a very strong and important character in the film.
4) Why is the film titled Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum?
That is the title of the play performed in the film. Even though it is only for 15-20 minutes, it is relevant to the film.
5) What next?
After this, I will get back to shooting for my cameo in a Tamil film. It is a guest role of about 20-30 minutes. I have a few offers from Bollywood, but have not zeroed in on anything yet. My sister’s wedding is coming up. So, will make those decisions after the wedding.
6) Are you getting married anytime soon?
As I mentioned, my sister is getting married soon. Well, when I do decide to get married, I will inform everyone. Until then, no comments (laughs).
7) Are you seeing someone?
Earlier when I opened up to talk about my personal life, everything was blown out of proportion. I have learnt my lesson. So, again, no comments.
8) You have been linked up with actress Trisha. Any comments on that?
I have been denying that link up for a year now.
9) Considering the strong reactions movies like Cameraman Ganga tho Rambabu have evoked, do you think films are losing freedom of expression?
I haven’t watched the film yet, but the negative reaction it received was bizarre. Jagan (Puri Jagannadh) is a good director who uses his wit in a film. No director would make a film to hurt people’s sentiments. And, films are a form of art — if a director uses any topic of relevance, what’s the harm in that? Furthermore, there is the Censor Board, which is present to certify a film. Jagan had told me that he would be borrowing my name for the villain in the film. If anyone should be offended by the film, it should be me!! (laughs).
Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum is expected to have a Diwali release.