BANGALORE: For a few years now, Darshan has been enjoying a good position in the Kannada industry. The actor considers his audience his top priority in life and says everything else comes next. Having completed Ambareesha with director Mahesh Sukhadhare, Darshan now starts with his other project Airavatha directed by A P Arjun. In an interview with City Express, he talks about his films, fans and how his son has become his best friend.
Lights, camera, action
“Ambareesha is a total commercial film that I am doing after Sarathi. In between, I took up some family entertainers like Bulbul and Brindavana and now, Ambareesha is a film based on land mafia. I am done with the film, which most probably will see its release in September. I am now shooting for Airavata, an action-oriented subject. This is my 45th film and yet, the words ‘lights, camera, action and sound’ give me the same excitement as they did during the shoot of my first film Mahabharatha. I hope it remains the same for many more years.”
Doing the best
Darshan, who has been part of some blockbusters, says he will not attempt to break his image. “I can change my looks in every film, but to what extent can I change my image? I have touched almost all genres of movies in my career. Be it a period film like Kranti veera Sangolli Rayanna or a family entertainer like Bulbul or a comedy film like Dattha, I have been part of mass as well as class films. Within my limits, I am trying to grab the best opportunities.”
Going with people’s taste
Though Darshan is a mass hero to many, personally, he is not a big fan of a masala films. However, his only motive is to do films that his fans will like. “There was a time when I did films for the sake of money. Now people have given me so much of it that I can buy anything that I like. The only way I can repay them is by doing films according to their taste. If people come forward and tell me that they would want to see me in a certain role, I will abide by their request.”
Next up is a comedy
Darshan has often said that he is a little uncomfortable with romance. Apart from that, the actor is open to be part of any genre that suits his personality. “My next film is Jaggu Dada. The title makes it sound like a mass film, but it will be a comedy. Of course, there will be action, without which my films are never complete.”
cannot choose scripts
“Right now, my mind is blocked when it comes to choosing films. I have given the responsibility of picking the right subjects to my brother Dinakar (who is also a fantastic director), Chintan and Mallikarjun. I become totally blank sometimes and I guess I need some upgradation. To make it easy, I let them do the ground work and then take it from there.”
The lion of Sandalwood
Surprisingly, the star hasn’t been offered any film outside Sandalwood yet, nor is he interested in venturing out. “It’s not the case of sour grapes. It is because of the love from my own people that I have come to this stage. I don’t want to let them down by working outside our industry. There is a proverb in Hindi that says, ‘mera kutta mera galli me sher hai’ (my dog is a lion when on my street). I am happy to be the king of my own palace and a normal person outside. Why should I even think about going out when producers are paying me well right here?”
Love for animals
“I want to do a film like Mrugalaya that saw Appaji (Ambareesh) in the lead. It remains one of the best films till date. There is a burning desire in me to do a film with animals, but it is not possible because of various rules and regulations that have been introduced recently. Movies are getting squeezed with more and more boundaries and restrictions. We need permission even to use a dog in a film and it frustrates the producers. Though we realise that children are fond of films based on animals, our hands are tied.”
Booked till 51st film
With Darshan being one of the best bets at the box office, producers line up to work with him. “After Airavata, it will be Jaggu Dadda followed by Chakravarthy, and then I am working with Milana Prakash. My 50th film will be Sarvantharyami which will done under our home production and directed by my brother, Dinakar.”
Dealing with fans
“The real fans don’t come and disturb me while shooting. They either watch me from a distance or appreciate me on social media. There are other fans who want to get close to me. I welcome them. It is nothing but an expression of their love for me.”
Rewards over awards
“I have never desired awards and would never want to. Most people are aware that it’s all fixed. Rewards come to me when the producers who invest in me walk out happily with their money. They also come when my fans are satisfied with my performance on screen.”
If not an actor?
If I had not become an actor, I would have worked in a zoo. Or I would have taken a loan and bought a three-acre land where I would do agriculture and breed rare animals.
New best friend
Darshan finds a friend
in his son Vineesh Thoogudeep. “He is five-and-a-half years old and our discussions are always about animals. He is more fond of them than I am. On TV, we only switch between Discovery, National and Animal Planet. At such a young age, he is already an encyclopaedia of animals. He can name the animal by seeing only its skin. Unlike other children, he is not fond of toys. Whenever we visit Mysore, he mostly spends time with horses and grooms them. He takes care of cows, plays with pigs and dogs. He loves being surrounded by animals, which I enjoy watching. That’s how he has become my best friend now.