Party jor ansuthe .. hu... Nandu ondu party ede .. ,” Pramod Shetty delivers this dialogue in a laid-back style during a telephonic conversation with CE. “I was introducing Thukaram, the character I play in Avane Srimannarayana. This role of an antagonist, who is the brother of Jayarama, played by Balaji Manohar, required me to carry a lethargic attitude. Generally, I am a person who communicates very fast, and always like to multi-task. So trying to bring out a laid-back attitude in the character was unusual for me,” says the actor, who hopes that his role in the Rakshit Shetty-starrer, directed by Sachin Ravi, will be a turning point in his career.
“I am an actor who believes that each film will do better than the previous one. Secondly, since I have been a theatre artiste, I always put the same kind of effort in every film. However, it also depends on how the character is developed, and if it helps us cross our limits and learn. That way, I think that the character of Thukaram in Avane Srimannayranaya will give a breakthrough in my career,” he adds.
Citing examples of his previous films — Sa.Hi.Pra. Shaale..., Bell Bottom and the recently released, Katha Sangama —Pramod says he is blessed to be a part of films that have set a benchmark, and that the characters he played needed some kind of improvisation from his end. However, for the role of Thukaram, the improvisation happened much before he began enacting the role. “Rakshit Shetty had put a fear in me by mentioning that I had the best role in the film, and that it all depended on my performance. So there was some homework that needed to be done from my side too,” he says.
Pramod reveals that he had mixed feelings when Rakshit Shetty signed him up for the role. “This film was supposed to start much before Kirik Party. However, it could not take off at that time due to budget constraints. But when the film was going on the floor, and the team was finalising the cast, Rakshit mentioned to me that he was looking for a 6-foot tall, well-built artiste, and I sent him a few pictures of newcomers.
But he offered the role to me, which was a surprise as well as shocking to me,” recalls Pramod, adding. “Casting someone out of friendship is something different. But when a filmmaker feels that I can pull off the character, I feel my talent and effort has not gone waste. I was very tense on the first three days of shoot, until I got positive feedback from Rakshit.”
While Pramod is happy to play an extended character in ASN, he is equally thrilled with the fact that the film will come out in other languages, which he considers a dream come true. “I did get offers in Tamil and Telugu films, but I had to give them up because of date issues. Today, I am not feeling sorry about that, because I am spreading my wings with an ambitious project, which is releasing in all south Indian languages as well as Hindi,” he says.