'It was not a smooth sail for me'

'It was not a smooth sail for me'

Actor Devaraj, who is best known for his rough and tough roles, especially as a strict police official, is a soft spoken, modest man in reality. Though his transformation from an HMT employee to an actor occurred by chance, the actor shrewdly utilised it and carved a niche for himself in the industry. Currently, the macho man is busy with Deadly Soma 2 and Gandedhe, in which he has prominent roles.

“With Deadly... being a sequel, my role is a continuation of the one I played in the earlier part. As my character in the first part got rave reviews, I expect a good response this time as well,” says the actor, who is keen on taking up direction for which he has already started hunting for appropriate scripts. “I was supposed to become a director a year back. As Prajwal entered the industry, I put my ambition aside to see him settled. Now with time being ripe, two scripts have been finalised. One is an action thriller and another is a love story. I will take up one of the two,” he reveals.

Being a passionate film lover, Devaraj hardly misses any good films. Amongst the recent films, Paa has had a strong impression on him. He was stunned by Amitabh’s performance as Auro, a Progeria-affected boy. “When we play a character, somewhere we leave our identity in that role. But nowhere in Paa, can we recognise Amitji. There is not a single trace of the actor in the role. Only Amitji can do such wonder,” admires Devaraj, who also likes Robert De Niro, Marilyn Monroe, Naseeruddin Shah and Anant Nag.

When it comes to mentoring Prajwal, the father figure plays the role of a friend. “Becoming an actor was purely Prajwal’s decision. I just told him that the profession needs a lot of hard work and sacrifice. He was determined and clear in his vision. So more than an adviser, I am his well-wisher,” he says. “While watching Prajwal’s growth, I go back to my initial days. It was not a smooth sail for me. Fortunately, some film-makers like K V Raju and Sunil Kumar Desai helped me stand on my own,” he remembers.
Apart from films, Devaraj loves farming for which he has purchased land outside the City. "The serene ambience of my farm keeps me refreshed all the time. I have not wasted a single inch of the land and grow coconut, palm, areca nut, mango and vegetables. No pleasure in this world is equivalent to the pride of being a farmer,” he gushes.
What is his fitness mantra? He is quick to answer, “I have no such rules. I have made no laws as such till date. During my younger days, I used to work hard on my body. Maybe that has kept me fit. I think simple lifestyle is the key to good health,” he beams.

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