‘Every director must be his hero’s biggest fan’
...says choreographer-turned-director A Harsha, who is happy to direct Puneeth Rajkumar in Anjaniputra
Director Harsha’s penchant for commercial entertainers is what got him films such as Prajwal Devaraj-starrer Geleya, and Shivarajkumar’s Bhajarangi and Vajrakaya. The latest in his kitty is Anjaniputra starring Puneeth Rajkumar and Rashmika Mandanna.
The choreographer-turned-director does not mind being tagged as a commercial director, which he says works well in the cinema world today. “The industry exists because of commercial entertainers. I also love art cinema. But today, films in all genres need commercial elements,” says Harsha.
He adds that he has one more reason to direct entertainers. “While doing a film, we need to keep in mind the fans and moviegoers, for whom cinema is made. There have to be buildups, whistles, claps, drama and laughter, all of this is what makes a commercial entertainer. These elements draw audience into theatres,” he says.
To Harsha, an actor’s body language makes him or her a star. “When we direct an actor, we have to keep in mind their mass and class images, who are their audience and so on,” he says.
Directing Puneeth was all the more special, says Harsha, because he has known him for 18 years now, even before the star cemented his acting career. “I used to train him in dancing for stage shows. Knowing him for long helped me work better with him, be it training him for stage shows, or working as a dance choreographer or the director for his film,” he says.
Harsha says that he has directed Anjaniputra not as a director but as a fan of the actor. “Every director has to be the hero’s biggest fan, only then can be present his hero’s mass appeal. I want to hear his fans whistle and I may beat them to it,” he says.
He says working with producer KCN Kumar, too, is special. “He introduced me to the industry, signing me on as a choreographer for Ranga SSLC,” says Harsha. “My acting debut was in Kashi from Village, produced by him. My first directorial Geleya was also produced by him. And now, I'm working with him for Anjaniputra. My journey with him from 2003 to 2207 has been fruitful,” he says.
The director, who was particular about the cast, has roped in Ramya Krishnan to play a pivotal role. With Hariprriya in a special appearance, the film also features Bollywood actors Mukesh Tiware and Akhilendra Mishra and Kannada actors Ravi Shankar and Chikkanna.