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Why Head Bush star Dhanajaya decided to turn film producer

The actor refers to his aspirations as an actor and how taking charge of his own fate is likely to serve him better.

Why Head Bush star Dhanajaya decided to turn film producer
Dhananjaya with his Head Bush gang

Last Updated: 12.19 PM, Oct 18, 2022


Dhananjaya has made significant strides over the past few years as an actor. A self-made star in every right, his career did take off on a promising note more than a decade ago but not without blips along the way. Despite encouraging reviews and back-to-back lead roles in the initial phase, the deserved success eluded him for some reason until, in 2018, the role of Daali came his way. Daali, or the film Tagaru for that matter, wasn’t a conventional choice by any means for Dhananjaya but his unabashed portrayal as the film’s main antagonist struck a chord with the audience and along with the film, his character too acquired cult status over the years. And taking this new-found fame forward, he would soon establish himself as one of the most sought-after actors in Kannada cinema with multiple noteworthy offers from the neighboring film industries now part of his repertoire.

But did that get him complacent? The answer is a definite no because it has been quite apparent all along that Dhananjaya was meant for bigger and greater prospects in his career. In an industry that loves to categorize and typecast actors, Dhananjaya was compelled to remain on his toes and also look out for himself as far as acting opportunities were concerned: so, in this very pursuit of taking charge of his own career, he would turn producer in 2021 and put together a small-albeit-honest film titled Badava Rascal along with his best friends. It was an unprecedented, bold move to take up production but the commercial rewards of the film enunciated that he has truly arrived.

“I think it’s important to back your own ideas and stand apart from the crowd. In an era when there is so much competition and with the growing relevance of the OTT media, you have to be self-sustaining and this (Badava Rascal) is a proof of that. It’s all the more heartening when the audiences showers love on the film and you do well at the box office too,” says Dhananjaya.

Dhananjaya on the sets of Bigg Boss Kannada with Kiccha Sudeep
Dhananjaya on the sets of Bigg Boss Kannada with Kiccha Sudeep

In a recent chat with Kiccha Sudeep on the Bigg Boss Kannada Season 9 stage, Dhananjaya referred to the need of backing himself as a producer and why, if not done so, one can lose out on exciting opportunities.

“I did not want to feel lost playing bit roles or the same villain characters in films. I would get only those kind of opportunities and I really wanted to prove myself as a leading man. And as far as the box office is concerned, the bar would always be set higher and higher - it started out at Rs. 50 crores when I began, moved up to Rs. 100 crores soon after, and now it’s beyond Rs. 1000 crores! Though I know I can’t directly aim that high, one can definitely make small leaps towards that. So, when you get your hands on a good script and you are turning it into a film yourself as a producer, you have fewer people to convince about your approach - and that’s the only way you can grow as an actor, I feel, because when your own risks pay off at the box office, producers would be willing to invest more in you and the pattern continues.”

Head Bush, set to release on October 21, becomes Dhananjaya’s second venture as a producer under his home banner of Daali Pictures. Not very long ago, the production house announced that it would strive hard to produce at least two films a year, and keeping the actor’s own struggles in mind, one of the two projects would be solely dedicated to newcomers and debutants. Daali Pictures is currently engrossed in the making of multiple projects including Tagaru Palya, a possible spin-off of the 2018 film Tagaru starring Shiva Rajkumar, Dhananjaya, Vasishta N. Simha, Bhavana, and others.

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