After two digital releases — Narappa and Drushyam — Venkatesh is looking forward to the release of his much-awaited comedy-drama F3. He greets the media with a warm smile and feels excited to open up about the film like in the pre-pandemic days. “It’s always a good feeling to watch a film on the big screen. I am really excited that a nonstop entertainer like F3 is hitting the screens (on May 27). It’s important to watch such films in theatres because we cannot afford to miss the crazy reactions of the audience. The theatrical atmosphere is no match to any experience and I feel really glad that the audience has owned my character in the franchise,” he begins.
Venky refuses to get into the details of the character, beyond hinting that the story touches upon greed in a bid to make more money. “For the first time, I am playing a character that suffers from night blindness. It’s definitely a challenge to play such a character because I have to evoke laughter through my actions. The treatment has been authentic and dealt with in an entertaining way,” shares the Tulasi actor.
Asked about the preparation that went behind portraying Venky, the actor says, “I do a lot of people-watching. I observe a lot of body language, expressions, and other things, and try to recreate that more consciously without over analysing it. I always want to tell stories and portray characters that people would relate to. With money being the central point of F3, I am sure that people would connect to the story.”
Venkatesh, who hails from an all-star family, is nowhere to be seen after his film’s release and only makes balanced appearances. “I am more like a home bird, who likes to spend my personal time with my family. I like to be myself and I am comfortable talking only about my work and films. I spend my time doing yoga and meditation. I never talk about how my film will perform and how much it will collect at the box office. I feel happy if my film does well and I am glad to have created a few benchmarks in the industry. But I am not comfortable being in the public glare. I was like this from the beginning and I continue to be this way even now,” he avers with a sense of philosophy.
Up next, Venkatesh is part of Farhad Samji’s Hindi film Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali co-starring Salman Khan and Pooja Hegde. Loosely inspired by Ajith Kumar-starrer Tamil actioner Veeram (2014), the film marks Venky’s return to Hindi cinema after 25 years. “It’s not a faithful remake as the makers have made a lot of changes to the story. In the film, I am playing Salman Khan’s brother and I will join the sets in June,” says Venky.
The Bodyguard actor is also venturing into the OTT space with a web series titled Rana Naidu. Dubbed as a crime series, the show is created by Karan Anshuman and Suparn Verma for Netflix. “Rana and I have been waiting to work on a project for a long time. He pushed me to take up this series because it not only breaks the trend but also makes me feel different and challenge myself.
Working in a new territory has been both exciting and challenging,” says Venkatesh, adding, “I am playing a menacing villain in Rana Naidu and you will see me and Rana at each other’s throats. It’s going to be on the next level. Except for a couple of days, the entire shooting has already been completed.”Besides these films, Venkatesh is also committed to working in a film each for Sithara Entertainments and Mythri Movie Makers. “These projects will start rolling soon after I complete Rana Naidu,” he signs off.