The first edition of the OTTplay Aawards and Conclave 2022 took place on September 10 in Mumbai.
Last Updated: 10.13 AM, Sep 15, 2022
A popular name in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam cinema, and now web series too, Kishore has been in showbiz for close to two decades. A Karnataka State Award recipient for Best Supporting Actor for his debut film Kanti and the follow up Rakshasa, both of which came out in 2004, Kishore has been doing a wide variety of roles across languages, ranging from lead protagonist to villain and supporting actor too. His Hindi debut came in 2019, when he played the trigger-happy cop Imran Pasha in Family Man Season 1. “It was a small, but significant role, which, however, became very popular. In fact, such was the popularity of Pasha, that Amazon Prime Video, on which The Family Man streams, had done a tribute video after the character’s demise,” says Kishore with a smile.
His second Hindi serial was She, created and written by Imtiaz Ali and Divya Johri. A self-professed fan of Imtiaz’ body of work, Kishore had no second thoughts about playing Nayak on the show. The icing on the cake, he says, was that Nayak was an important character on the show. The crime drama about a female undercover cop who tries to bust an underworld gang also had Aaditi Pohankar and Vijay Varma in the lead. As Bhumika Pardeshi, Aaditi’s role required her to infiltrate Nayak’s gang, only to end up having him make her more like him. “I have watched all of Imtiaz’s films; I like his writing and the characters he creates. I can relate to him. Moreover, the role he had in mind for me was very nice. This was a major character in a Hindi series. I thoroughly enjoyed playing Nayak in She,” says Kishore.
At the first edition of the OTTplay Awards and Conclave 2022, Kishore was adjudged the Best Actor in a Negative Role for his role as Nayak in the Hindi web series She on Netflix. “I don’t know if I deserve this award, but I definitely believe that my team deserves this. I am taking this on their behalf. Thanks to my writer Imtiaz Ali, who believed that I fit into the role that he wrote. Thanks to Arif Ali ji who directed the show and thanks to my ‘She’, Aaditi (Pohankar),” he had said, while receiving his award from Jai Bhim maker TJ Gnanavel.
Kishore, who had flown in from Chennai for the event and returned there for a schedule of a Tamil web series that he is currently working on, is now in Varanasi, shooting for a Hindi film. The actor is expected to be back next week, in time to begin promotions of his two September 30 releases. Kishore plays a major role in filmmaker-actor Rishab Shetty’s next Kantara, and has done a character in Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus, Ponniyin Selvan too, both of which will be out on the same date. Kantara is Kishore’s first collaboration with Hombale Films, the production banner behind biggies like KGF and Salaar, among others. With Rishab, though, Kishore has worked before. “Rishab was an associate on the set of AMR Ramesh’s Attahasa/Vanayudham, in which I played forest brigand Veerappan. Then, both of us acted in Rakshit Shetty’s Ulidavaru Kandanthe, after which I was a part of the anthology Katha Sangama that Rishab produced. This time, we’ve spent a lot of time together, as the story revolves around the clash between our characters. I play a forest officer in the film,” explains Kishore.
In his nearly two-decade cinema journey, the former college teacher and theatre aficionado, Kishore has worked with the who’s who of south Indian cinema, like, for instance, Rajinikanth (Kabali), Dhanush (Polladhavan, Aadukalam), Mohanlal (Pulimurugan), Madhavan (Maara), Chiranjeevi (Acharya), among others. In Kannada, he has shared screen space with Vishnuvardhan, Shiva Rajkumar, Upendra, Sudeep, Duniya Vijay, Yash, etc.