Darshan: I’m part of Kannada cinema, not the industry’s machinations
The Challenging Star recently marked 26 glorious years in Kannada Cinema, and he reflects on his illustrious journey
In the expansive world of cinema, where stories and dreams are intricately woven, one name consistently shines brightly in Kannada cinema: Darshan Thoogudeepa Srinivas. Over an impressive 26 years, his journey, which began on August 10, 1997, has seen him rise up from being a modest light technician to the formidable Challenging Star. The career of the D Boss is a captivating tale of unwavering determination, resilience, and limitless passion.
Darshan stands as an example of an actor with the rare ability to capture hearts and inspire unwavering devotion from a legion of dedicated fans. Commemorating his remarkable 26-year journey, fans have come together to celebrate this milestone, especially by organising the re-release of some of his iconic films.
The actor, who is currently working on his 56th film, Kaatera, gives us insights into his illustrious career. When asked about the evolution of his acting style and film choices over the years, Darshan says, “I remain an actor, and credit goes to all those directors who guided my choices, enabling me to craft a distinct identity with each character. As an actor, I am an open book, allowing filmmakers to select the most fitting shades of my abilities to do justice to the role they have envisioned.” Darshan is candid about how the audience’s evolving expectations have influenced his approach to acting. “Today, the audiences seek not just words but emotions too. Their desire is to witness actors convey sentiments through expressions, especially through their eyes,” he remarks.
This evolution is not new in Kannada cinema, and Darshan himself has managed to stay in the game by continuing to hone his skills and captivate the audiences with every attempt. “Like the depth of a river’s source, an actor’s essence cannot be completely fathomed. I go with the flow. While my celebrities (he calls his fans ‘celebrities’) enhance every film of mine, whether it is on the big screen, television, or any digital platform, ultimately it’s the craft that resonates with the audience. My connection with them is something I’m yet to completely comprehend.”
Darshan’s journey has been marked by challenges, and he elaborates on how he manages to not just explore his talent but carve a unique space in the glittering sky of Indian cinema. “In cinema and life, growth is a journey from obscurity to recognition. Love for the work and unwavering passion helps us confront challenges. Challenges are not a solitary endeavour; they are part of a collective effort.”
When asked about turning points or pivotal moments in his career, Darshan says, “Every day is a learning curve for me. I don’t dwell on the past but look ahead.”
Despite bearing witness to the changing dynamics of the film industry over his 26-year journey, Darshan maintains his rather distinct viewpoint. “I’ve been part of Kannada cinema, however, I’m never a part of the film industry’s changing dynamics. Perhaps I don’t quite fit in there; I’ve chosen a different path.”
Reflecting on the fourth anniversary of Kurukshetra, in which he portrayed the role of Duryodhana. Given his penchant for mythological and historical films, Darshan emphasises the necessity for skilled filmmakers to undertake such subjects.
Darshan is one of the few actors who prefer staying true to regional cinema instead of trying to ride the trend of pan-Indian films. “My focus remains here; I’ve never felt the urge to venture into pan-Indian projects. I believe regional films should reach a pan-Indian audience rather than my presence expanding into other languages.”
Shifting the focus to his upcoming film, Kaatera, directed by Tharun Kishore Sudhir and produced by Rockline Productions, Darshan believes he will have more to talk as the release date approaches. Beyond Kaatera, Darshan briefly talks about his future ventures, and his principle to concentrate on one film at a time. “My next collaboration will be with Tarak director, Prakash Jayaram. I plan to kick start shooting for it after completing Kaatera.”