Puneeth Rajkumar followed his father the legendary Rajkumar’s footsteps to the silver screen as a child artiste. The actor, with his 41 years in film industry, has established himself as one of the finest talents and has won millions of hearts. Also known as Appu or the Power Star of Sandalwood, he is awaiting the release of his much-anticipated film, Raajakumara, which is to hit the screens this week.
His fans and the industry are talking about how he is a chip of the old block, the legendary Rajkumar.
Although director Santhosh Ananddram maintains that the film is not connected to Annavaru’s (Rajkumar) films or the person, the movie is sure to carry the legend’s mannerisms and beliefs through Puneeth. But the younger actor says that his father was an individual who was a lasting brand and nobody can match him.
“I followed him into silver screen as a child artiste,” says Puneeth. “Today, I am what I am because of all the little things I learnt from him. He was a humane person and remained so till his end. He used to advice us only not to waste food or water and above all respect everyone. He never stood in the way of our aspirations, always telling us to choose the path that our heart leads us to.,” he says.
Although enough is known about his father, Puneeth says he started to understand his father and the persona only when he was in his teens. “Dad never hated anybody his whole life,” says Puneeth.
“It is what we all saw and loved him for. He never abused the name and the reputation he earned, and they still remain, and that itself was the best thing about him. And despite all the celluloid glamour, I have lived with him and always knew him as a father, a humble human who was caring.”
Puneeth says that people have often compared him with his father, but he says that he has always maintained that he is a child of the legend, who has kept with the times but without losing sight of the core principles. “Whenever people come and tell me that I looked like my dad in a particular scene or that I have his traits, I tell them not to compare me to my dad... I am different,” says Puneeth.
“I was the child who was pampered by my mother and so I may not be as disciplined as my father. I grew up in a different time and lived in the best of places whereever I went, unlike my father, who led the simplest of lives.”
“We are his sons so there is bound to be a lot resemblance. People see my father in Shivarajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar and me. But I will be lying, if I say ‘I am like my father’,” says Puneeth. “He is different and there is nobody like him. I don’t think anyone can be compared to him.”
Raajakumara made under Hombale Films has music by V Harikrishna and cinematography by Venkatesh