'My best is yet to come'


Going Strong: Harish Raj

Trying to get in front of the camera was not an easy task either, he went from one producer to another with his photographs, roamed around Gandhinagar aimlessly dubbing for heroes who couldn’t speak the language, doing advertisements and acting in serials and finally made his debut in S V Rajendra Singh Babu’s Dhoni Sagali in 1997. He then came into limelight when he bagged roles in films like Girish Kasarvalli’s Thayi Saheba and Dweepa and Girish Karnad’s Kannooru Heggdathi.

Though not a full-fledged lead role, Harish was well-appreciated for his acting and people even categorised him as an ‘art movie’ actor. Despite that, Harish got loads of experience in commercial films but only as the boy who the heroine dumps in the end or as one of hero’s friends.

But with so much of experience, he was not able to catapult to the position of a hero in Kannada cinema. And this forced him to make a dashing attempt from Kalakaar. From the story, screenplay, to the production and even direction was done by him to only to launch himself as the hero of the film. “I always wanted play the hero for a typical song, dance kind of movie but unfortunately I never got a break. That’s when I decided that I would launch myself, hoping the rest would follow. Though I did not have any formal training in scripting or directing, I used to observe everyone on the sets of my previous films and make notes at home and with the kind of technological advancement and good pre-production homework, I could somehow pull off all the roles,” says Harish.

Revolving around a guy, who aspires to become a hero and his experiences in the process, a large part of Kalakaar has been taken from Harish’s real-life experiences.

“The things that go on in Gandhinagar are unbelievable. There are so many people waiting to cheat young aspiring actors. I wanted to showcase all the good and the bad of the industry through a light comical way as it is easier to digest that way,” he says.

A lot of critics have said that the movie has a high resemblance to Farhan Akhtar’s Luck By Chance (LBC). “I agree, but as luck would have it, even before LBC had released, we had completed shooting for the film. But there have been so many films based on the same concept that all I can say is that this is my version of it,” he explains.

Apart from Suman Ranganathan and Radhika Gandhi as the heroines, Harish has also played a small role of a lady. Ask him about it and he laughs, “it was fun playing a woman and after getting the kind of reaction from the crew who didn’t know it was me, I must say I know now what a woman goes through,” he adds.

Currently, he is reading scripts, but is yet to sign his next project. 

Having felt that he has accomplished what he aimed to do with the movie, he says,
“people have seen the better of me but the best is yet to come.”

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