Yash’s interview | ‘Rocky bhai from KGF has a belief system very similar to mine
Yash talks about KGF Chapter 2: “No matter how star you are, every Friday you have to prove your worth”
This 35-year-old actor is perhaps the biggest Kannada movie star today with his latest film KGF: Chapter 1 (2018) grossing over Rs 250 crore at the box office. Yash traveled to Bengaluru from Mysuru with Rs 300 in his pocket to fulfill his childhood dreams and he never looked back. Although he has had his ups and downs in his career, Yash is extremely confident, positive and believes that hard work will always lead to success. Directed by director Prashanth Neel, the sequel to the 2018 film, KGF: Chapter 2 is due out on April 14.
Yash believes this highly anticipated film, produced by Hombale Films, will not disappoint audiences. In this exclusive chat with first post, the star talks about her latest film and more.
Growing up in Mysore and whistling for your favorite heroes, did you ever think that one day you would become one of India’s biggest stars?
Yash: Of course, I always had this dream. (Laughs) It’s more of a dream come true! I was influenced by them and wanted to become an actor at a very young age. I was addicted to the applause, the ‘Seeti‘ (hiss), the love and affection that people show towards an actor. When I participated in single-actor or dance contests, that’s when I decided I wanted to become an actor.
Publish the success of KGF: Chapter 1the public expects a lot from you and KGF: Chapter 2. Do you feel pressure?
Yash: No, it’s really a pleasure! (Smiles) It’s a sequel and we know they liked our work and we know they expect more drama and multi-facetedness. We have done our best. The pressure of wondering if we missed something or if we have time to change anything is long gone. We will only have pressure when we are writing the script and filming. Now we have taken that step. It’s time for the movie to come out and celebrate. We know that people are excited and so it’s a pleasure now since everyone is going to see the film. In all humility, I can say that we will be able to entertain the public. (smiles)
You experienced the character of Rocky bhai. Are there any similarities between you and him?
Yash: There are many similarities. When the screenplay is written by the director, I also get involved in the process. So there are a lot of experiences and thought processes that we (director Prashanth Neel) have shared.
Rocky bhai has a belief system very similar to mine – he is focused, aggressive and confident.
You apparently even wrote dialogue for KGF2. How did it happen?
Yash: My manager was very nice! He just said that, but I generally get involved in all aspects of the film. We are very influenced by the theatrical culture so we try to work in all aspects of cinema. That doesn’t mean I know everything, but we work as a team and where I can contribute, I do.
Your name is synonymous with action. What kind of action will we see in KGF: Chapter 2? Is it going to be bigger and better than Chapter 1?
Yash: We do stylish action – where you can sit back and watch it comfortably. It has nothing to do with brutality or anything. We make it very presentable because I know a lot of families who come to see my films. It’s fiction and it’s more about style and presentation. I believe the action has nothing to do with the stunts being performed but why that action is being done. It’s all about the reason behind these action scenes – when you have a reason, everyone wants the hero to hit someone, etc. It’s about creating those moments on screen that give a different dimension to this fight. Those kind of fantastic moments are there in this film. My director created class footage – it’s crazy! Each scene oozes style and attitude.
Tell us about your collaboration with Sanjay Dutt.
Yash: It was a great pleasure to work with him. We grew up watching his films and he is a person who has seen life. He is a seasoned soul. We wanted him in Chapter 1 itself because his personality and image fit the character (Adheera) so well. He brought a lot of value and his legacy to Chapter 2. I was able to learn so much from him – his commitment and dedication was truly amazing.
Director Prashanth Neel and you spent a lot of time together working on KGF films. What kind of relationship do you share with him?
Yash: How can I put it into words? (Smiles) We spent a lot of time together; we know each other very well. I really want him to do well. He loves his heroes and the way he introduced me and the amount of detail he goes into is phenomenal. It’s mutual respect because we love each other’s work. As a director, it is a pleasure to work with him.
You are credited as the star of Kannada who made Kannada films as part of mainstream Indian cinema.
Yash: The idea could have been mine but the fact is that it is because of this kind of director, the work he was doing and the mastery he has on the job, which made me understand that this film may exceed the limits set. Initially, my director and producer weren’t up for it because the idea was to maximize Karnataka and take the Kannada market to the next level. I felt that what Prashanth created would be loved and respected by all. I forced them and the rest is history. But the credit goes to each person on this project.
It is because of the end product that we are where we are today. It’s not that we made any changes but it’s because of the product (KGF) that people respect us. You are only as good as your movies. No matter how big your star, every Friday you have to prove your worth. It’s teamwork. But I was always passionate about it and I talked about it and everywhere I went people thought I was acting a little weird but I believed it. First you have to believe it, then the whole world will believe it. The idea was to bring a wider audience to our films so that we could make better films and have more freedom in terms of resources.
Your wife, Radhika Pandit, is also a renowned actress. What is she thinking KGF: Chapter 2.
Yash: She’s a fantastic actress! She is very happy and eagerly waiting for the public to see the film and the work we have done. We are more like friends and we discuss all aspects so that she is aware of everything. She takes all the pressure! (Laughs)
KGF Chapter 2 will be released on April 14.
Latha Srinivasan is a veteran journalist based in Chennai. His passion is entertainment, travel and dogs.