Darshan’s protege Suraj Kumar prepares to make his debut
Son of veteran producer SA Srinivas and a member of Rajkumar family, this young talent has always wanted to be an actor
While Kannada cinema has always been ruled by a handful of stars, the industry is now seeing a rise in the number of newcomers. More and more youngsters are choosing filmmaking and acting as a career.
However, most of these newcomers are from families with a film background. While Shreyas Manju, Abhishek and Dhiren Kumar are all set to make their debuts, Kannada cinema is set to welcome yet another upcoming actor to the fold -- producer SA Srinivas’s son Suraj Kumar.
While his father has produced films featuring Rajkumar, Ambareesh and Jaggesh, Suraj also belongs to the Rajkumar clan. His father is Parvathamma Rajkumar’s brother. But, this six-footer says that he was driven to career out of “sheer passion.”
“They may say that acting is in our blood and that where I come from matters, but I believe that only talent and hardwork will help me succeed in this industry. I have always wanted to be an actor, even when I was a child, and the feeling has only intensified over the years,” says Suraj.
In school, he took part in dance competitions and stage shows in pursuit of his interest in show business. But the actor always knew that he must understand the industry better before choosing this as a profession.
He says, “When I first expressed my desire to be actor, my family’s first response was ‘prepare yourself’. And my first step was to train in dancing and stunts in Chennai. I also did an acting course in Bengaluru at Actre and then went to Ninasam.”
Suraj also gained practical knowledge of filmmaking while working as an assistant director on two films. “I was told that this kind of experience is necessary before facing the camera. After working in the two films and learning different skills over the last four years, I decided to get a photo shoot done. I have now entered Gandhinagar and am meeting various kinds of people from the industry,” he says.
Fortunately, for this young talent, he has found a mentor in Darshan. He says that the star has been guiding his every step. “I have known Darshan from my childhood. He is from Mysuru and I am from there too, and he is like family and a brother. We both come from families that are connected to movies. When he heard that I am considering a career in movies, he suggested that I take up a course at Ninasam and helped me in getting a firsthand experience in direction” Suraj worked as an assistant director for Airavatha and Tarak. “And honestly, it worked to my advantage. I have come to realise that not everyone can face the camera. The experience you gain behind the scenes helps you be a better actor. I have been seeking his advice at every step,” he adds.
He's about to make his debut at the same time as many others, is he not worried about the competition? “It is not the entry, but how we sustain our career that is important When I decided to become an actor, I started preparing for it. Cinema is a learning process and we cannot master it in a day. We have to be confident and I am that, that’s why I have decided to make my debut now,” he says.
So which film is he making his debut with? Suraj asks us to be patient. “I have a few offers in hand. Out of the five to six stories I've listened to, I need to decide on one. I hope to make a big announcement soon,” he says, adding that he does not want to be typecast. “I don’t want to be classified as a mass or class actor. Right now, I want to prove that I am a good entertainer.”