Pranam Devaraj’s name is familiar in the film circle owing to his background. The son of Devaraj (well-known actor of Kannada industry) and brother of Prajwal Devaraj (established hero), Pranam is set to make his debut in Kumari 21F that sees its release this week. Interestingly, the young debutant had no qualms signing a remake (Kumari 21F is a remake of a Telugu flick). “I didn’t intend to make my entry as a star kid and just get recognised with a commercial film. Basically, I was looking for a good story to begin with, which would showcase my capabilities as an actor,” he says.
Before signing on Kumari..., the first-timer went through eight scripts. “I could not connect with other scripts I read. Kumari 21F had everything I was looking at for a first film, comedy, action, emotions, love and a mass appeal,” he says. In fact, he was offered the same film from four different filmmakers. “The fourth time, it was Telugu producer and writer, Sukumar, who called my father and said that I will apt for the script. At that point I felt that there was a reason I was being offered the film over and over again,” he says, adding, “When so many people think I would be the right choice, I told myself, ‘Why not make an attempt?’
Not new to grind of films, Pranam, knows what to expect prior to a film’s release. “I’ve seen the craze when anna (brother) goes on stage. The initial reaction to a film is something exciting,” he says.
Having worked as a child artiste in Manase O Manase, for which he won an award, Pranam always knew he’d be a full-time actor one day. “Right now, my focus is not to stereotype myself with certain roles. Instead, I want to explore and do all kind of roles. This is testing time for me as I wait to know what kind of roles audience will accept me in, based on which I will pick my subsequent films,” he says.
The newbie is stepping into the world of cinema with an open mind, looking at every situation as a learning experience. Even though the film has been delayed, Pranam doesn’t seem perturbed. “I haven’t lost my patience. In fact, I look at this as a learning experience. This lesson will help me for my future movies,” he says with maturity beyond his years. He goes on to add: “You never stop learning. That is what my dad keeps telling me even today. Experience is the best teacher,” he says.
So, is there any sibling rivalry between Prajwal and himself? “Anna is not my competitor. He has grown for himself. It’s taken ten years to get to where he currently is. It will probably take me same time to establish myself,” he says, adding, “I only hope that at no point both our films don’t release on the same day.”