After his much-acclaimed debut Ondu Motteya Kathe, writer, director and actor Raj B Shetty is ready for his next outing, which is going on floors today. He has shown us his talent in filmmaking, which showed deep insight into human emotions, Raj will focus on acting in his second movie to be directed by debutant Hemanth Kumar.
Raj will join the sets for this yet-to-be-titled movie from today, and will play the role of a cab driver in Bengaluru. “I am not here to become a star, so I am at a liberty to pick roles that fascinate me,” he says. “Hemanth saw me as an actor and not as Janardhan (his character in Ondu Motteya Kathe). One, it is a not a regular Kannada movie and secondly I thought the character had life and scope for exploration. My decision may be right or wrong, but I wanted to give it a try,” says the actor who took car driving lessons for this role.
“I will be wearing accessories which a Mangalorean wouldn’t like to wear for the character. I am also changing my body language to suit a city-bred person, it is drastically different from that of a person from the coastal belt,” he says.
Meanwhile, there are other projects but Raj won’t talk about them till the sign is on the dotted line. “After Ondu Motteya Kathe, I got many offers but I feared I was being typecast. Everybody wanted me to play a ‘Janardhan’ again, and I rejected the offers for that. No Janardhan, No Mangaluru Kannada for sometime because it will only be an extension of my first film and will curb another director’s creativity.
I have explained this to people and they have understood this. Producers have even told me that I can be another Kashinath in the film industry, but I did not want to accept that. He is a legend in his own way and I am here to make my own life,” says Raj, who is in conversation with other script writers. “It will help us exchange ideas and I can learn more about the art,” he says.
Being a filmmaker, how does he work with another director? “If I am an actor, I can’t think as a director, though at times it does get difficult. So, I should have the sensitivity to listen when a director narrates the script and think whether it will work for me. I will not give any suggestions to a project in which I will just be an actor,” he says.
On his next directorial, Raj says he has a script ready but it is hard to execute because it needs directorial maturity. Even the casting will be a challenge, he says. “This is our team’s dream project and we don’t want to do it in a hurry.” Raj has decided to concentrate on his acting for the next six months after which he plans to helm a film.