'Regardless of background, an actor needs talent to survive'

...says Vinay Rajkumar talking about his upcoming film Ondu Sarala Prema Kathe, coming from a family of stars, his process and more. 
'Regardless of background, an actor needs talent to survive'

"I think, as always, we are receiving a lot of love and respect from all over. My grandfather (Dr. Rajkumar), my doddappa (Shivarajkumar), my father and chikkappa (Puneeth Rajkumar),  have had their paths and journey. I think nothing is easier for anyone. They have put in a lot of hard work, and have worked in multiple films, to become what they are right now. And people will only like you if there is talent. To be a superstar, one has to go that extra mile, and I have great examples ahead of me. I have just started. But still, the love which I have got is overwhelming. From my end, I don't consciously expect anything, so I don't see any changes around me," says Vinay Rajkumar, as he discusses at length his upcoming film, Ondu Sarala Prema Kathe, directed by Suni. The film is set to release on February 9.


With only five films in the past nine years, is that a conscious decision?

I am actually content with the numbers and the kind of films I am into. Basically, I like to enjoy both sides of my life, the best of both worlds. I like to be on the silver screen. At the same time, I like to have my personal life and have the right combination of both. Both are equal, and everything gives me the right proportion. This balance of 5 films in 9 years is okay with me. I am very slow-paced, and I like to do different characters, and each one has been varied from the other. Starting as a young college boy, I played the role of a lawyer, and a boxer, and I have fun doing it. That is the most important thing, to do what you love.

Do you firmly believe that your successful journey is fueled by your talent rather than your background?

For sure I will have an added advantage in a lot of things because of my grandfather, my father, and my uncles, more than any other newcomer. But in the long term, regardless of background, an actor needs talent to survive. Only when an actor entertains, the audience will support his films. 

Can you share how you connected to Ondu Sarala Prema Kathe a story that revolves around an aspiring music director?

Firstly, I am a fan of romcoms, and the premise of this film attracted me. Athishay, my character in the film has a humourous side, which is something I am exploring  for the first time. I love Suni's way of handling his films, and I especially enjoyed his works in Simple Agi Ondh Love Story and Chamak. I have been wanting to work with him. When he came and told me the story, it had a blend of romcom and suspense thriller which made it interesting. Since music is an integral part of anyone's life, and the musician I am working under was Sadhu Kokila, which was exciting. I love his music and comedy. He is acting as himself, and I am working under him, and the whole premise was very nice, and we connected the dots.

The film reflects the struggles of aspiring talents entering the industry. How much of your personal experiences aligned with the character?

Athisay, the character of Ondhu Sarala Prema Kathe, has the right balance in life and considers everything important, very much like me. He has a goal of becoming a music director, the way I love movies. He also has great respect for his parents and their well-being. However, he finds it hard to balance everything at the same time after a point. That way, Athisay the actor, and I fall on the same page.

Your working experience with director Suni, an expert in creating simple yet engaging stories.

Suni's strength lies in his writing, and he infuses a lot of humour into his lines. The way he improvises with his dialogue on the sets is remarkable, and he is very spontaneous. It's challenging when we're given the opportunity to do something different. As a director, he ensures that the actors and everyone on set feel comfortable. I have never seen him getting angry, irritated, or tense during shoots. We shot for 64 days, and not once did we feel uncomfortable. He loves food, and so do I, and we enjoyed some biryani together. In such a comfortable environment, actors tend to perform better.

Suni's films often are rich with expressions and emotions. Was it an advantage?

Everything with Suni works effortlessly because he provides pointers, reactions, and expressions from his end, which uplifts our acting. As for a comedy scene, it may look easy, but it's not easy for everyone to get it right. While shooting, if somebody laughs, we know that we have done the shot right. When you finish the scene and everybody maintains a straight face, you know the result and may want to try it again. But when you try it too many times, it will not work. Between all this, is where you learn.

How do you choose your scripts at this point? 

I don't look at subjects aiming for them to work and do well at the box office because you can't gauge what works best for the audience. They have to decide that in the theatres. You can't decide a hit or flop movie; you can only make a movie. That way, it is better to do what you love because when it becomes a hit, then you are happiest.

Om starring Shivarajkumar and directed by Upendra featured two brothers Vinay and Yuvarajkumar as child artists. Can we expect them to come together again?

Not anytime soon because Guru (Yuvarajkumar) has started off with his career. He has big dreams, and he has a huge fan following. His debut, "Yuva," has turned out very well. He is a superstar material for sure, and I think he should enjoy this process first. Then at some point, we will come together, provided we get a good script.

What kind of films do fans expect from you?

They like watching me in experimental films, but their preference is more towards action and mass entertainers. But I always like to be a part of projects where there is room for experimenting, and one such film is Suni's Ondu Sarala Prema Kathe. However, I will soon fulfil my fans' wishes too, as I have some action films like Pepe. I also have Gramayana, which has strong content and story with complete entertainment.

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