Viraat, who is making his acting debut with KISS, was first spotted by director AP Arjun’s mother. The upcoming talent will fall into the category of those who have made a transition from daily soaps to the silver screen. Ahead of the film’s release on September 27, Viraat talks to CE about how he expressed his wish to become an actor in childhood, how he bagged the project in true filmy style, and his experience of working in a romantic drama like KISS.
Viraat was spotted by director’s mother
Viraat, a big fan of Arjun’s first film, Addhuri, was keen to work with the director, and the way he got a chance to work in KISS was almost like the unfolding of a movie sequence in real life. “After I had finished my daily soap, Jothe Jotheyalli, I wanted to try my luck in tinsel town, but I did not know many people in the industry. However, the making of Addhuri always attracted me, and I wanted to meet the director. This was when Arjun was busy with Airavata. I tried to trace his office, but instead, I found his house, where I used to mark my attendance every morning,” he recalls.
Though Arjun was not seen around, I caught his mother’s attention. She was inquisitive about why I was a regular visitor outside their house, and she started interacting with me. I expressed my wish to meet Arjun, and work under him. She was not only sweet enough to listen to me, but also made sure I had coffee, and watched my serial. One day, she called me and said she has spoken to her son about me and that I can go and meet him. He later went through my profile and asked me to attend the audition, and I was finalised out of 200 other candidates,” the actor adds.
Definition of KISS
With a title such as KISS, the film became a hot topic in Viraat’s life. He is waiting for people’s reaction’s after they watch the film. The actor defines ‘Kiss’ as an invitation to love, and the purest form of expression of the feeling. “If a guy holds a girl, and kisses her on her forehead, it is like he is telling her, ‘I am your saviour’. Kiss is not limited to a boy and a girl, and can be expressed by parents and children, brother and sister, husband and wife, or other relationships. Love in its purest form has its procedure, and how a boy goes to an extreme extent to win over a girl’s heart is explained in KISS.
‘I broke into a sweat and shivered while doing romantic scenes’
The toughest part of doing KISS was romancing on-screen, says Viraat. “Dance and fight sequences were easier to do than romantic scenes. I used to dread the moment when the director would ask me to come for a close-up shot with the heroine. Initially, they were the most difficult scenes to enact, and I shivered each time. At the back of my mind, I had the director’s thoughts, who kept telling me that it is a romantic film, and I slowly got comfortable,” he adds.
Film debut after 35 plays, and a tele-serial
Viraat was inclined towards extracurricular activities right from his school days. “When the school teacher asked us what we wanted to become in life, I always said ‘actor’, and my classmates used to laugh at me. My name was the first one on the list for extracurricular activities,” he recounts. Even after he started pursuing engineering, he simultaneously got trained in theatre under the guidance of Basavlingaiah and Suresh Babu. He managed to showcase his talent on stage, and did 35 plays.
“Acting brought me from Mysuru to Bengaluru, and I started with a teleserial. Now, after working with a director like Arjun, it is all about movies and movies for me,” says Viraat, who took guidance from choreographer Imran Sardhariya and stunt master Ravi Varma for dance and fight sequences in KISS. “As a hero, I want to be a loyal student of the director. I can dedicate myself and surrender to his thoughts. Along with director’s instructions, I also go by what other technicians expect from me,” he says.