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Exclusive! I am not here to create an image; I want to be a versatile actor: Vinay Rajkumar

Although there is no conscious effort in choosing varied scripts, Vinay only wants to do interesting characters.

Prathibha Joy
Sep 07, 2021
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Vinay Rajkumar

As a third-generation actor from the Rajkumar family, with two big stars – Shivarajkumar and Puneeth Rajkumar – as uncles, Vinay Rajkumar is acutely aware that there are immense expectations of him. But after three films and another three in the pipeline, he’s made it his mission to not buckle under that pressure. Instead, the actor has been focusing on not repeating himself and doing interesting characters. In a chat with OTTplay, Vinay talks about how he chooses scripts, his upcoming projects and more…

What have you been up to since shoots resumed?

I have been shuttling between the sets of my films Andondittu Kaala and Pepe, although not simultaneously. Both films have me sporting different looks – one bearded and the other clean shaven - and when the pandemic disrupted schedules, I ended up having to take break from each of these films to get ready for the other. For instance, Andondittu Kaala is a feel-good film about a film director’s journey, which is a tribute to all filmmakers who have gone through their fair share of struggles to make a mark in the industry. It has portions in which I have to portray a 16-year-old version of my character, for which I had to be clean shaven. I then had to wait more than a month and grow out my beard to get the continuity right for Pepe, which is an intense action-based film with a lot of bloodshed, but cannot be called a complete massy commercial film. I have spent so much time in getting the looks right for these two films that I have now decided to just sport the same look in all my projects (laughs).

Both these films are being shot in Coorg and Theerthahalli, where it has been raining heavily, which has also delayed the schedules. But I am looking at returning to the sets later this month and finishing them off.

Once these two films are complete, I will be collaborating with the director of the quirky comedy Brahmachari, Chandra Mohan, for a feel-good love story with elements of a thriller. This project should, hopefully, go on floors in November.

What about 10 and Gramayana?

The sports drama 10, in which I play a boxer, is complete and ready for release. The makers are currently looking into whether a theatrical release is feasible, but are open for a direct-to-OTT outing as well. Gramayana, on the other hand, is, unfortunately, stalled because the producer passed away during the pandemic. The director is trying to negotiate with the family and find someone else to back the project, so, until that happens, it will continue to be on hold.

The pandemic, of course, has been about the rapid growth of OTT platforms and content for streaming sites. Is that a direction that interests you?

Of course, I am more than interested in doing films or even shows for the OTT space. There’ve been no offers yet, but if they do, I am more than willing to try my hand at it.

When filmmakers approach you with roles, what is it that you look for in the script?

When I get a narration, I don’t ever commit to it immediately. I normally tell them that I will get back to them and then see if the story haunts me a few days later. If it does, then I go ahead and agree to be a part of it. I don’t look at how a film will look on my career graph. I want to do interesting characters that I have not done before. I don’t want to repeat myself and risk being typecast or, for that matter, to develop a certain image in the minds of the audience. I want to be known as a versatile actor. For me, whatever makes me feel good at that moment when I hear the script is what matters.

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