On my pinboard - Prakash Raj

Actor, director and producer

On my pinboard - Prakash Raj

Actor, director and producer Prakash Raj wears the many hats that he does with great felicity. His villainous roles are just as much admired as his ordinary but challenging characters. Prakash’s body of work straddles most Indian language films as also many sections of filmmaking. He won the National film Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for Mani Ratnam’s ‘Iruvar’; ‘Best Actor’ for ‘Kanchivaram’ and the National Film Award — Special Jury Award for Telugu film ‘Antahpuram’. As a producer, he has won the National film award for ‘Best Feature Film’ in Kannada for ‘Puttakkana Highway.’ His directorial, ‘Idolle Ramayana’ is releasing on October 7.

K Balachander
“If there’s one person who reposed complete faith in me, it was K Balachander. He spotted me and showcased me to the world. He showed me the way and inspired
me to become someone. Having said that, I would also like to add that I
belonged to a generation where we were asked to adapt to our surroundings. We didn’t have the luxury of technology that we have today. So in that sense, I
was constantly seeking and always open to learning as I am even to this day. I began my career in theatre where I took off my search and the exploration still continues.”

“I make it a point to try the biryani at every place I visit. Food is not just
about throwing a few ingredients together; it reflects the spirit, culture, perception and history of a place. I like to relate my capability of tasting food to life itself. I am
lucky to have a wife and daughters who not only relish eating but cooking too. We also grow some fruits and vegetables in our farmhouse.”

Poornachandra Tejaswi
“I have admired the works of Dr K S Narasimhaswamy, Poornachandra Tejaswi and Yashwant Chittal. Their writings have sharpened my thinking and changed my perception. They opened me up to many more writers and literature. I come from a non-literature background but my college professors introduced me to books — the right genre at the right time.”

“Life itself is a journey. I love travelling and believe that home lies within me. I was in scouts in college, so trekking and travelling in the forests and hilly terrains began when I was young. I still pack my bags and head out to Bandipur, Nagarhole National Park and Kullu-Manali with my family. I sometimes ride to Kodaikanal and Ooty. 
I also spend time at my farmhouse. I have adopted a village and my aim is to grow at least a lakh trees and give back to nature.”

“I can live without films but I can’t live without my music. The first name that comes to my mind is Ilayaraja. I love the way he creates music, according to the emotions offered to him. During my days in theatre, B V Karanth’s works were exceptional in
form and content.
There have been other musicians, such as Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and our own Bhimsen Joshi, who have touched me in many ways. My daughters Meghana and Pooja have their favourite playlists and I listen to their choice of songs as well.
My wife Pony Verma is a choreographer, so she too brings in some good music. Now our eight-month-old son Vedhant has developed a taste for music. There’s always music playing in our home.”

Mani Ratnam
“Just like I love my food, my books and music, I have been in awe of many filmmakers like Mani Ratnam, Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky, Steven Spielberg and the list goes on… I tell stories that move me. As an actor, cinema has given me the liberty of giving form and shape to my thoughts and direction helps me
unlearn, reinvent and takes me to new horizons.”

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