Jayaram Karthik aka JK is an actor who has climbed many ladders to find a place for himself in the industry. The actor, who made his debut as Vaikunta in the Sudeep starrer Kempe Gowda, is upbeat about his first solo film Just Love. And according to him, the responsibility is huge because the entire film will rest solely on his shoulders.
With the film hitting the screens this week, Karthik is putting in all efforts to ensure that his venture succeeds. “It feels jittery and there is a lot of curiosity because it is my first film as a hero. I want to know if people would accept me as a hero. I’m eager to know where I stand, as it will tell me what my future in the industry will be like. The film has all the commercial elements and I just hope that it clicks with the audience,” he says.
A character actor from the beginning, who has also essayed negative characters, it has taken JK at least six years to get to play the protagonist. “I never expected to play the lead in a movie. I just wanted to be a good actor. But Just Love came as a blessing in disguise. The confidence came through after the audience accepted me in the TV serial Ashwini Nakshatra,” he explains.
However, he feels that being a hero doesn’t mean that he has completed a full circle. “This is just the beginning for me. I don’t think there is ever a full circle in this field. It goes on and on. As you grow as an actor, the expectations increase. That is why I always yearn for projects that are better than the ones I’ve done earlier. It is not just the case with lead roles. In case I get a negative role, which is good, I am sure to accept it. I don’t want to stick with just being a hero. I would rather prefer to be known as a good actor,” JK says.
And JK seems to have understood the nuances of film making and release strategies. According to the actor, when he met the makers of Just Love, his first question to them was not about the budget or his remuneration, but on how they plan to release, distribute and market the film.
“They were confident about the product but it took them a little time adjust with me, because my expectations were more when it came to selling the film. I kept pestering them about their release strategies. Though there was a cold war between us, I felt that it was required because after all, it was for the sake of the film. I believe that such involvement is necessary to make a film successful. The actor’s job does not end after he completes shoot,” he says.
His effort seems to have paid off for him personally and he is more than satisfied with the film’s outcome. “The good thing about Just Love is the song quality and fight sequences which have come out very well. But I am still skeptical about the visuals of the title song Manaseona Kelide... Just Love, which is my favourite number. The song came to us at the last minute else we could have done a much better job. Otherwise, everything else went well and I strongly believe that director Nagendra Urs did not waste any time and did a fantastic job,” he says.
JK says his future in the industry is quite uncertain, even after he seems to have cemented himself in a strong position. “Anything can happen in the industry. You are viewed by the public and a lot of factors go into people liking a movie. An actor cannot have a permanent position in the industry. As they say, picture abhi baaki hai,” says JK, who wants to fulfil his dream of working in a film with Ramgopal Varma.
And even though love is in the air for JK on screen, he says there is no time for love in his life. “I shoot for Ashwini Nakshatra in the morning and then head for the shooting of Bangalore - 23 at night. Love needs dedication, which I can’t give at present. Right now, all the good times are spent with my parents,” he signs off.