When character turns hero

Climbing Ladders

When character turns hero

He has been the hero’s best friend, a small fry who gets beaten up, at times he has even been the roadside romeo who makes a pass at the heroine.

But years down the line, it was he who got the girl of his dreams, beat up the bad guys and have a huge group of friends.

Not every actor in the industry is born with a silver spoon in the mouth. Movies like Rangeela, Luck By Chance, Kalakaar and even Raaj, The Showman have portrayed the struggle of a budding junior artiste who is trying to become a hero and the question still
remains, does a character artiste always remain a character artiste forever?

If that was true, then the industry would not have seen veteran actors like Ambareesh, Vishnuvardhan, even Rajanikanth and new-age actors like Ganesh, Vijay and many others.

Years before he became the Rebel Star, Ambreesh had starred in many blink and miss roles in Puttanna Kanagal movies. In his his very first appearance in Naagarahaavu as a roadside romeo teasing the heroine, he had left a strong impact through his popular bul bul dialogue. But it was only after some more cameo roles, did he get his first break in Anta, a movie that created waves in the box office.

Rajnikanth too had played many small roles in Tamil movies before he became the superstar. In Kannada industry, one remembers him in a small negative character in the movie Kathasangama.

Vishnuvardhan, on the other hand, has been a little luckier that way, with just one cameo role in Vamsharuksha and as a villain in Gandhadagudi, his next step in the industry was that of a protagonist.

Like him, even Yogesh got his big break after the small role he did as Loose Mada in Duniya. Even before Vijay bagged the role in Duniya, he had acted in many small roles. One remembers him as one of the gang members in Ranga (SSLC) and as the guy who gets beaten up by Shivrajkumar in Rishi. “Those were my learning days and by just interacting with the senior artistes, one gets to pick up so much on the sets like how to behave and how to handle things,” recollects Vijay.

Vijay was not the only one who had been beaten up by the Hatrick Hero. Tilak too, had his share of roles before he hit it as a lead. “Such roles set a platform for an actor,” says Tilak while adding, “At times, I feel it is the right way because one gets enough experience before hitting it as a solo hero.”

But not all have taken up small roles to become a hero. Upendra who started off as a song writer, had once said that his priority when he entered movies was to concentrate in direction, and acting happened in the process.

If anyone had seen Kashinath’s movie, Ratimanmata, then one would have seen a small lean boy dressed up as Lord Krishna riding a bicycle, who is none other than namma Real Star Upendra. Another actor who learnt a lot while donning small roles on the sets was Harish Raj. With almost 10 years enacting small roles he finally got his break as an actor-cum-director with Kalakaar. “One thing I learnt during those times was patience. For just a two-day shoot, we would have to wait for months together. Even on the day of the shoot, one would have lot of time to spend on the sets till they call you for your shot. At such times, I used to learn and observe a lot and even take down notes which in future helped me when I directed my debut,” says Harish, who has starred as the hero’s best friend or played small roles in many movies like Tuntaata, Anthu Inthu Preethi Banthu, Wrong Number and others.

Despite all the struggles, one thing they all agree is that the final destination is always sweet but how far and how long will they be able to sustain, is upto them.

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