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Exclusive! Gowli actor Srinagar Kitty: 'People don't know I've been working tirelessly, just that my films didn't release'

In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, the Gowli actor talks about his upcoming film, the expectations and much more...

Exclusive! Gowli actor Srinagar Kitty: 'People don't know I've been working tirelessly, just that my films didn't release'
Srinagara Kitty

Last Updated: 03.02 PM, Mar 01, 2023


Srinagara Kitty, aside from being a talented actor, is also known to be notoriously terse with his speech. "You should never waste time," he says when asked about his penchant for being concise and blunt, suggesting that if he hasn't got anything worth discussing, he might as well not say anything. Perhaps that is why he is almost never in the limelight, so to speak, and even when he is offered the opportunity to be part of any kind of fanfare or hype, he doesn't seem all that keen on exploiting it. His interests lie only in being part of good cinema, he says, and it is in this very pursuit that he has been busy for the past three-and-a-half years working on an intriguing film called Gowli

"No doubt that this is my comeback film," says Kitty in his quintessential manner, adding that the film is unlike most projects he has been part of so far. OTTplay caught up with the actor ahead of the release of Gowli to extract some interesting information from him regarding the film, his process and the reason he has been away from the action for so long. Edited excerpts:

What did think was so special about the script of Gowli?

I don't suppose I had encountered anything like this up till that point. The essence of the script, which mainly lay in the unique setting of North Karnataka, the language, the culture, the innocence, etc., is what attracted me the most. I found myself saying inside my head, "Yes, I have something to do in this" which means there was so much scope to perform. I agreed to be part of the film instantaneously.

Is that what you look for in a script? That scope to perform or 'do something'...

Yes, absolutely. That's what you look for as an actor all the time. Apart from that, you would also want the script to feel fresh, the director to be enterprising with their narration, their vision, their approach, etc. and my character, too, should demand some work on my part. 

How do you define that complexity of your character? Is it in terms of the kind of physical transformation it demands?

Physical transformation is one part of it, sure, but if I were to speak of Gowli specifically, I don't think I have done a role of this kind in my career so far. It is as simple as that. As I have already pointed out, along with my character, it's the other factors like the story, the context, the director's approach and so much more that nudge you into accepting it.

Tell me about your role in Gowli.

It's just completely different to what I have done before. I wasn't aware of the essence of that region, their values, their customs, what people are like, their body language, how they react to a situation, etc. - it took a lot of prep on our part to cover all of this. We reached the place to understand what the physical challenges are, the limitations it brings about and so on and I loved all of that. Luckily, my director is from the same region and so were a couple of crew members who guided me all along.

How did you prepare for the 'physical' part of all the performance? Considering that this is a film with a lot of action. And is there any mental preparation too?

I would rehearse a lot with the action directors and that's about it. All the action sequences were executed with precision but under expert watch. So that was taken care of. But as far as the mental prep is concerned, I don't believe in staying in that zone for a long period of time because you have to lead your own life as well. And this film took us 3.5 years to complete so imagine being in the "zone" for that long. You switch ON when you are on the sets, switch OFF and return to personal life outside.

Why did it take you guys so long to shoot this film?

Because nature plays a huge role in the story and we wanted to capture the real nature as it is. And you cannot be in control when you dealing with such things. If we had to shoot during summer, we had to do it and if we couldn't complete the shoot, we waited for the season to return. 

Now, coming to the other most-discussed topic regarding you - the lack of releases. You still have a strong, dedicated fan base which still thinks you are highly talented. But some of them feel you have slowed down over the past 8-9 years. What do you have to say about that?

See, I have been working tirelessly for the last few years but the results aren't there to show. That is about it. My films couldn't release and the pandemic hit soon after. But that said, you also need time to put something extraordinary together and that's what I have been busy with for the last three-and-a-half years. You have to prepare to go to war and you cannot discuss your preparation. That's what Gowli is.

Do you reckon you have become picky over the years with scripts?

I am open to everything, to be honest, but I can't pick a script unless I feel something strong about it. I have done about 30 films as a hero already, about 15 films as a character actor and at this point, if I don't feel I am part of something new, there's no point. And you evolve with time and age so you try and work on stuff that's engaging.

What are your expectations from Gowli?

I am only expecting a great response from the crowd and very good box office collections. As simple as that. 

Any jitters before the release? Because you don't normally reveal a lot of emotions.

Of course, I am nervous, anxious and all that. Who wouldn't be and it's good to be nervous.

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