Actor Srujan Lokesh didn’t need any lessons in acting because he grew up watching his parents’ films and his grandfather’s exploits in theatre. His grandfather Subbaiah Naidu, a veteran actor, has an award instituted after him. His father, the late Lokesh and his mother, Girija have set their own unique standards in the Kannada film industry. His home would always turn into a space for film-related discussions and activities and nurturing new talent.
Srujan too has secured his place as an entertainer par excellence through shows like ‘Kaasige Toss’, ‘Chota Champion’, ‘Maja Talkies’ and the daily soap ‘Ivalu Sujatha’, among others. He has now relaunched himself in his production, ‘Ellidde Illi Tanaka’, a title that he borrowed from a song starring his father.
The film is a mix of action, comedy and romance. “While comedy remains Srujan’s forte, we have got him to do some interesting action sequences and even the romantic scenes veer away from the set formulae,” director Thejasvi tells Metrolife.
Thejasvi has worked with Srujan in most of his television productions and stage shows. This is his debut film in Kannada. Srujan is known for his perfect timing when it comes to comedy and his one-liners are loved by his fans.
“We have cashed in on these two factors. Some of the scenes were tweaked to suit his comedic timing. We have worked on his character in such a way that it helps break the monotony of comedy (that he is known for) and adds a whiff of freshness to his role. We have achieved both,” explains Thejasvi.
The film has a huge star cast, including actors Hariprriya, Sudha Rani, Tara and Avinash in prominent roles. Actor Tara, who plays Avinash’s wife, says that she is no stranger to Srujan’s household.
“Girija and Lokesh were more like family to us. There was always a bunch of us at their home at any given time,” recollects Tara. Her role is a small but significant one in the film.
“I enjoyed working on this project because it was more like a family atmosphere. There were no strangers on the set and we have all worked together at some point. What is striking is Srujan’s role. My challenge was to match his spontaneity and timing,” explains Tara.
Avinash plays Srujan’s father in the film. “I had to portray the role of a father who is arrogant, short-tempered and business-minded. The film has a next mix of action, romance and comedy with none overpowering the other,” says Avinash. He points out that Srujan has maintained the image of a “complete entertainer” even in this film. “Srujan has his own style when it comes to making people laugh. He does that here as well,” he adds.
Avinash is paired opposite Tara in this film. “Tara and I have worked together for over two decades. We know each other’s style of acting and this has strengthened our performance on screen,” he says.
The film has been shot in Bengaluru, Kashmir and Malaysia. The title song has been shot in Kashmir.