Produced by actor Nani, the project will be Dheekshith’s third in Tollywood.
The Kannada TV series Naagini may have made Dheekshith Shetty a household name, but it was his big-screen debut Dia that really turned his fortunes around. In the last year and a half, the actor has not only done a couple of interesting films in Kannada, but has also been making rapid inroads in neighbouring Tollywood.
Currently in Bengaluru, Dheekshith has been shooting for his next in Kannada, a love story called KTM, in which he is sporting four very distinct looks, to portray his characters progression from teenage to his mid-20s. “KTM has been in the making for a while. There have been delays because of the lockdown, but also because prepping for each of these looks was time consuming, be it losing weight to play a teenager, growing out a beard or getting a more buffed up physique. We should be able to finish the film in the next 15-20 days,” says Dheekshith, adding that his other Kannada film Sheegrameva Kalyana Prapthirasthu (SKP), directed by Praveen Chennappa, in which he co-stars veteran actor Ram Kumar, is about half way done. “SKP is Ram Kumar sir’s comeback film and has him playing my father. I will be heading to Chikkamagalur by the end of the month for the next schedule, which will almost wind it up,” he says.
But what Dheekshith is truly chuffed about is his work in Telugu cinema. “After Dia, I got to work on The Rose Villa, a crime thriller directed by Sai Hemanth Kumar, in which I played a doctor, which will probably have an OTT release shortly. I followed that up with Mugguru Monagallu, which had Srinivasa Reddy and Vennela Ramarao in the lead, and had me playing a speech-impaired librarian. This was released in Hyderabad and will also head to OTT soon,” he says, adding, “I have also just finished my portions in the upcoming anthology Meet Cute, which is produced by actor Nani and directed by Deepthi Ghanta. I am paired with Akanksha Singh (Pailwaan fame) in this story, which has veteran actress Rohini as my mother. Meet Cute is currently in post-production and should be on an OTT platform by the end of the year.”
With his career prospects in Telugu picking up, Dheekshith says that he has not been able to commit to newer projects in Sandalwood. “A couple of films had been announced, including one with my Dia co-star Pruthvi Ambaar, which are currently on hold for various reasons. But I also had scheduling issues, and could not allot dates to new films. Discussions are still on, for films in Telugu and Kannada, but nothing’s been finalized yet. I am hoping to confirm some, which will be major projects backed by big production houses,” he tells us.
Since his films are heading to OTT platforms, one wonders if he is looking at expanding his portfolio with web series too. “Not yet; there were a couple of offers, but I was not comfortable with the risqué content and declined them. I am not averse to intimate scenes, but they have to be absolutely necessary for the narrative and not just to grab eyeballs. I would rather do films or shows that are meant for family viewing,” he signs off.