A structural engineer who also acts in television serials and movies, Karthik Jayaram is certainly a fine example of a multitasker. That’s exactly what I felt when I spoke to the young actor in the midst of the shoot of his upcoming movie Matthomme Hushh.
Incidentally, despite his rugged good looks, Karthik never dreamed of becoming an actor. “I neither thought about it nor was I keen on acting, but now I can’t think of doing anything else.” Speaking about his foray into the field, Karthik said, “A friend of mine took me along for a movie audition one day. I got selected but was unaware that they were casting for a lead role. But something went wrong along the way and I was removed from that film. I was quite disheartened with the ways of the industry. I started getting offers for negative roles soon after, and I did about 11 films then.”
Tryst with the telly
The turning point in his career came when he was offered to play the lead role in the tele soap Ashwini Nakshatra as superstar JK. Was he skeptical about switching to television? “I believe in charting my own path and not going by what others say. A lot of people discouraged me from moving to television, but I was always clear that I would not follow any set rules.” This decision has paid off big time and he laughs that he is tagged “superstar”, thanks to his role in the serial.
“I am really lucky the tag has stuck to me and I have made it clear that I will be part of the serial till it is on air.” Karthik currently has his hands full with upcoming movies like Bangalore — 23, Care of Footpath 2, Kuchiku, Chandrika and Matthomme Hushh. “Chandrika is being made in Kannada and Telugu, and Care of Footpath 2 is being made in Kannada and Hindi. I want to establish a fanbase across the world so am glad these movies will reach a large audience.
Negative to positive
With a line of movies up for release, how does he select his scripts? “I listen to the storyline and gauge the quality the director can provide to it. I also talk to the filmmaker to understand how I can do justice to the character. Like for example for Bangalore — 23, which is a remake of a Tamil film, I discussed the role with the filmmaker and have enhanced my character accordingly. My characters in both Care of Footpath 2 and Matthomme Hushh have negative shades, but I believe that suits me.” He adds, “I love acting now and it is important that my character has weight and there is scope for performance.” He is typically offered tough roles and says that it is hard for people to envision him as a typical lover boy. “Even in Ashwini Nakshatra, my role had rough shades, but now the character is being shown as soft and calm.”
Karthik also plays cricket and is one of the players of Karnataka Bulldozers in Celebrity Cricket League (CCL). “Cricket has been my first love and I have been playing for 18 years now. In fact, I even played in the state junior level and at the All-India University level. Cricket is a part of me and being part of CCL is a blessing in disguise. In fact, when we play matches, the ambience is so much like playing at the national level that it is exhilarating.”
With so much on his plate, Karthik is certainly a busy man and says that it is hard to make time for his family. “This is an uncertain field and I want to be sure I do my best so everything else can wait.” Incidentally, he says that if he has extra time, he prefers to go to the gym and hopes to take dancing lessons as well. I can say that the actor is truly someone to watch out for.