How Rishab Shetty's 'Hero' conquered pandemic hurdles

How Rishab Shetty's 'Hero' conquered pandemic hurdles

The Kannada film, out on March 5, was shot in 43 days in Chikkamagaluru

Rishab Shetty plays an underdog drawn into a dangerous situation.

Actor-director Rishab Shetty’s latest flick ‘Hero’ is all set to hit the screens on March 5. M Bharath Raj, who worked in Rishab’s blockbuster ‘Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shaale Kasaragodu’, has made his directorial debut with this film. 

‘Hero’, produced by Rishab, went on floors after Covid-19-forced lockdown restrictions were eased last year. “Bharath Raj had first planned to shoot ‘Laughing Buddha’ with Pramod Shetty in June. Theatres were closed then and we didn’t know how long the dismal situation would continue. We did not want to stay quiet so we thought of doing another film altogether. Within seven days, we developed the idea of ‘Hero’,” says Rishab. 

Adhering to the government protocols, the film team kept a small and efficient crew. “We shot the film over 43 days in Chikkamagaluru’s green environs and a home stay. Film shootings usually require around 100 people but we managed with a 25-member crew. Over these 16 years in the industry, one thing I have noticed is that that there are about 25 hard-working people in a 100-member team. We decided to take along only those best 25 technicians. We improvised the characters on the spot. Throughout the shoot, we didn’t compromise on the process. This was an adventurous process,” Rishab explains.

Rishab says his character is of an underdog who revels in a dangerous situation. “The story of the film unfolds in a day. I am the face of the ‘Hero’ and I play a hairstylist. It is a very realistic story and shows how a common man can become a hero. The protagonist here is an underdog and it’s the circumstances that make him a hero. Hence, we chose the tagline ‘You cannot be a hero without being a coward’,” he says. 

The film’s trailer, released last month, has so far garnered 4.1 million views. “We are thrilled with the terrific response for the trailer. We recently released a song too with lyrics from Yogaraj Bhat and that has also impressed fans. ‘Hero’ is a full-fledged commercial drama that has elements of comedy and action,” he adds.  

‘Hero’’s background score and music is by the gifted Ajaneesh Loknath. Aravind Kashyap, who did a fine job in ‘Dayavittu Gamanisi’ (2017) and ‘Bell Bottom’, is the cinematographer. Magalu Janaki TV serial fame Ganavi Laxman is making her movie debut in ‘Hero’. Pramod Shetty and Manjunath Gowda also play important roles.

With ‘Ricky’ (2016), ‘Kirik Party’ (2016) and ‘Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shaale Kasaragodu’ (2018), Rishab is one of the many new generation Kannada filmmakers known for refreshing themes in his films. He made a terrific debut as a lead actor in Jayathirtha’s comedy-thriller ‘Bell Bottom’ in 2019. He has done cameos in ‘Ulidavaru Kandanthe’ (2014), ‘Ricky, and ‘Avane Srimannarayana’ (2019).

On the acting front, Rishab is busy with ‘Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana’, ‘Harikathe Alla Giri Kathe’ and ‘Bell Bottom 2’.  

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