The one-film-old actor has not only managed to finish two exciting projects, but also signed a third, each of which allows him to showcase his range as an artiste.
It’s been more than three years since Shri Mahadev’s big-screen debut Iruvudellava Bittu, which he admits has been quite a long and worrisome break. Was he ever worried that out of sight will be out of mind? “Truth be told, I was very worried during the pandemic, not only because of the uncertainty it threw up in my career, but also in terms of the well-being of my family. With theatres closed and no filming activities, it was quite a dreary time. As an actor, I take full responsibility of my projects and give it my all to ensure that the makers don’t lose money on it. But there was no scope for me to try that and get to my goal of becoming a bankable star, until, of course, lockdown relaxations came in and we could start working on my pending projects, Gajanana and Gang and Hondisi Bareyiri, both of which should be ready for release soon,” says the actor, who has dropped the surname and gone with an extra ‘i’ in his name for his onscreen outings.
In the slice-of-life film Hondisi Bareyiri, Shrii has five different looks, which the actor says can work as a showreel for him, as far as his capabilities as an artiste go. “If someone is looking for a hardcore mass character, they will find him in one of my avatars in this film. If they are looking for a boy-next-door, cutesy lover guy, they will find that too. There is a lot of range on display,” he says, adding that he is paired with Aishani Shetty, in the film that has an ensemble cast including Bhavanaa Rao, Praveen Tej, Naveen Shankar and Archana Jois.
As for his film Gajanana and Gang, in which he plays a college student along with Aditi Prabhudeva, Shrii is extremely proud that it has a song by the late Puneeth Rajkumar. “Since becoming an actor, I’ve wished to have songs by SP Balasubrahmanyam sir and Puneeth sir in my films. One of those wishes came true, when Puneeth sir sang Naan Olleyavanu. The icing on the cake was that I got to dance in a song by him, which, in a way is a tribute, given how good a dancer he was,” says the actor, adding, “I’ve been told that Naan Olleyavanu was his 101st song as a singer.”
Meanwhile, Shrii has also signed up for a new film called Let’s Break Up, in which he is paired with Love Mocktail’s Rachana Inder. The film, the first look poster of which will be revealed tomorrow, is an intense love story, with ample doses of drama. “We have shot a teaser, which will be released in time for when we begin shooting the first schedule. There’s also a poster that is yet to be revealed, wherein I sport six-pack abs, which is a pre-requisite for the post-interval portion in the film. The narrative includes several physical transformations for my character. I spent about three months on intense workout sessions to get my body in shape. The film should, ideally, go on floors by the end of the month,” says the actor.