It was on August 23, 2020, that Dhananjay began work on his films after an extended break thanks to the lockdown. Having been in the industry for years, Dhananjay tries to keep reinventing himself by taking up characters which are sometimes outside his comfort zone. Currently working non-stop was in Chennai for the shooting of Pushpa, he is heading back to be on the sets of Rathnan Prapancha. At the same time, he is also looking forward to the release of his next film, Yuvarathnaa.
This commercial entertainer, directed by Santhosh Ananddram, is slated to release on April 1, and will see him in a face-off with Puneeth Rajkumar. From playing Daali, the local antagonist in Tagaru, he is all set to be seen as Anthony Joseph, the white-collar villain in Yuvarathnaa. “The role I play in Yuvarathnaa talks about the mindset of corporates. Though I will not have the kind of screen space like Daali had in Tagaru, there is a strong presence of my character in the film,” says Dhananjay, adding, “Yuvarathnaa has an ensemble cast, and is a film with a lot of say. Being part of such a project is huge for me as an actor.”
By playing Anthony, Dhananjay is representing the mentality of society at large. “This is about corporate sectors, but also touches upon education and health. These are relevant issues. The story addresses the mindset of certain people, which I reflect on screen,” says Dhananjay, who was glad to have most of his portions shot in Maharaja’s College, Mysuru.
“It’s always good to shoot in the City of Palaces. Shooting against the backdrop of beautiful architecture adds a lot of flavour to a film,” he tells us. Dhananjay, who is associating with a banner like Hombale Films, says that sharing screen space with Puneeth is something else. “Although he is a star of that stature, Puneeth still maintains the innocence we saw in him as a child actor.
I like Puneeth’s off-screen persona and his humble nature. He is passionate about life in general, loves travel and exploring different places. Balancing a professional and family life is something Puneeth does with ease, something everyone should follow,” he says. Dhananjay has learnt the knack of balancing being a hero and a villain. That trend started with Daali in Tagaru and now continues in Yuvarathnaa. The actor will also be seen in a face-off with Allu Arjun in pan-Indian film, Pushpa.
On the other hand, the actor plays the lead in Badava Rascal, Rohit Padaki’s Rathnan Prapancha, Narasimha’s upcoming film, and much-talked about Head Bush directed by Shoonya. “Seldom does an actor get a chance to play both villain and hero. I’m enjoying both sides. That is the best part of being an actor. Success for an actor is when you have the audience hooting and whistling to every character you play. I am glad I’m not being typecast,” he says.