‘My father’s life and work inspire me’

Star Trek

Shivarajkumar in 'Rustum'

A lot of people who watched ‘Rustum’ complimented my appearance in it and asked me how I manage to look different in every film. Some even said that the moustache that I sported in the film will soon be trending. I believe actors must keep reinventing themselves — both in the content they choose and in their appearance. 

I make a conscious effort to not look predictable in my films. And this contrast is visible if you compare ‘Tagaru’ and ‘Rustum’. I wore loose outfits in ‘Tagaru’ while in ‘Rustum’, I wear well-fitted costumes. The credit for the appearance change goes to my director and make-up man.

You will also see that my body language has changed and a lot of effort has gone into ensuring that I achieve the perfect voice modulation. I have also spoken in Hindi, which is what I am attempting after 15 years.

Apart from this, people should watch ‘Rustum’ for its unique style of storytelling. The gripping narrative is something to watch out for. 

As an actor, I have always made an effort to work on different subjects. I look forward to experimenting with different characters and working on subjects that are not only commercially viable but those that also reflect reality. I am also looking at getting back to working on historical films. 

My father has had a great influence on the way I choose my scripts. He made sure that he did different types of characters; from ‘Kasturi Nivasa’ to ‘Eradu Kanasu’, the subjects that he worked on are relevant even to this day.

He had an equal number of mythological films to his credit. His life and work serve as a dictionary for us. Some of the thoughts that he conveyed through his films are applicable even to this day. He always told us to keep working, irrespective of whether the film becomes a hit or not. He told us to never let an opportunity go waste because opportunities are hard to come by. This is one dictum that I have been following even today. 

My father did a lot of meditation. This kept his mind and body fit. I too concentrate on my fitness. I walk at least eight to nine kilometres a day and never miss a day at the gym. I am also looking at incorporating yoga and meditation into my fitness routine.     

This year has been good for me and I have my hands full. After ‘Rustum’, I have ‘Bajarangi 2’ which is about black magic and has me playing in a unique character. 

I have two more projects to complete before I start working on my 125th film which has both a prequel and sequel.  

The Kannada industry has some great talent, especially among youngsters. I would say that if youngsters are ambitious and if your ambition is strong then you will come out in flying colours. You should keep the faith and take the leap.

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