Birthdays are special and star birthdays are nothing short of a festival. A lot of actors’ fans plan the big day for months, hoping to see a satisfactory smile from their actor. But for the past year, there is one actor who has kept the occasion a low-key affair. But he has also not disappointed his fans in any manner.
The superstar is none other than Darshan, who is turning 43 on February 16. The actor’s ardent fans, from across Karnataka, are counting the hours and are filled with euphoria.
Following his request, they have replaced cakes and garlands with rice and other grains, which will be delivered to various orphanages and old-age homes across the state.
Darshan, who is currently shooting for Raja Veera Madakari Nayaka in Kerala, has taken a 2-day break to be with his fans. This unique way of celebrating his birthday has brought immense satisfaction to him as well as fans, the actor tells City Express ahead of the D-day.“
Apart from wishes pouring in, I also get blessings from those who receive the necessities,” says Darshan, adding that it was the idea of his friend, Rakesh Pappanna, which eventually turned out to be good.
“When appaji (Ambareesh) passed away, I was in no mood to celebrate my birthday. But Rakesh explained to me that fans come from all corners of the state to see me once a year, and that it was not nice on my part to tell them not to come. So instead of cake and garlands, he gave me the idea to ask them to bring rice and other necessities, which was conveyed to my fans. And they respected my words. And when all of these were delivered to the orphanages and old-age homes, the happiness we saw in those eyes brought us all immense satisfaction, and I continue to follow it this year too,” he says.
This apart, a teaser gift from the makers of Roberrt, and announcement of a few films will also mark Darshan’s birthday. The actor is presently working on his 54th film, Raja Veera Madakari Nayaka. Ask him whether age and experience has changed the way he has started looking at cinema and the characters, and he says, “Somebody met me a few days ago and asked how I had completed shooting for Roberrt, including dubbing.
To him, I said, ‘I might be turning a year older, but as an actor, there is always a child in me, and it all depends on how much you pamper it. If they come as a producer, I will go as a star, and the thing will not work. In my opinion and experience, as an artiste, apart from cheating myself physically, we also mentally cheat ourselves. Irrespective of the emotions you are in, when you are on the sets, you have to just live in the character, and if it is necessary to laugh, you have to do it. And there you are cheating your brain. The more you are pampered on the sets, the better you end up doing,” says Darshan, adding that the way he has been looking at cinema is the same.
“But a little change is that we are doing films that will have the audience and filmmakers of other languages turn towards Kannada cinema. Today, I am still part of a proper commercial entertainer, but the presentations of the film have gone up another level, and a lot of work goes behind a film from the director as well the rest of the technicians and artistes,” he said.
The actor, who is looking forward to the release of Roberrt, slated for April release, said his current focus is on the historical project, Rajaveera Madakari Nayaka, a film directed by Rajendra Singh Babu, under the banner of Rockline Entertainers.
“I, along with the team, have just started shooting, and I am slowly getting into being the Palegara. I have a sketch in mind, and a visualisation of how I have to portray Madakari Nayaka, which I want the audience to watch on screen.”
About his interest for historical and mythological subjects, he says: “As long as we have passionate producers coming to do such films, I will be more than happy to join hands with them. A historical or mythological drama is something I would like to take up once in two years,” Darshan adds that he doesn’t have any preset notion of any particular character that he is looking to play on the silver screen. “I go by the kind of opportunity I get and whatever the role is that fits me in,” he says.
Rumour has it that Darshan will also be starting the shoot for Prakash Jayaram’s project, which is set in a political backdrop. However, the actor has decided to complete Raja Veera Madakari Nayaka before he starts with his next commitment.
“I initially had planned to juggle the two films. But after joining the sets of Madakari, I realised that it needs a lot of my time, and I may find it very hectic if I keep shifting between two films. So my current concentration will be on this historical project, after which I will start Prakash Jayaram’s film,” he reveals.
Darshan is currently ruling the industry, with a couple of his films released in 2019 running well at the box office. He is also holding a handful of good subjects. However, the actor, who is giving it all for his movies, is not keen on foraying into the small screen now. “I value my time, and I need personal space. I don’t like to be at work 24/7. I also need to be in a shelter of my own,” he says.
On lending overwhelming support to the upcoming artistes, friends and standing as pillar of support to their films, he says, “I believe that if the industry grows, in turn, it will also help us grow with it.”
Photography has also been his other passion, and it’s something he is giving equal focus too. The actor, whenever he has that little extra time, gets behind the lens and travels to the woods. For the star, who started as a technician, is there any inclination towards direction? “For people and my fans, I will remain an actor throughout my career, and nothing else. Behind this actor, there is a lot of work that goes in, which involves numerous people,” he signs off.