Every person walks in mufti: Sriimurali
The actor talks about his upcoming film, Mufti, which has Shivarajkumar playing a pivotal role
Mufti is to be out in theatres this week, and Sriimurali has, as usual, withdrawn from public glare. He keeps away from distractions and takes no chances of running into any negative remarks. This time his project is even bigger, made under Jayanna Productions and reaching 400 theatres across Karnataka.
The actor tells CE, “It is too big. I am nervous, but also believe that there is something big coming my way. I need to wait and experience it.” He says that whenever a film of his is due for release, he likes to keep to himself. “I prefer some quiet time and cut down on meetings,” he says, adding, “Of course, I am also waiting for Friday because it gets me closer to my fans. I look forward to meeting them and listening to their opinion about the film.”
As he is touring every nook and cranny of Karnataka, we chat with the actor about his role, his attitude towards his career and about sharing screenspace with Shivarajkumar.
‘At times, my on-screen persona surprises me too’
Sriimurali says that his larger-than-life onscreen persona surprises him. “I ask myself if it really is me,” he says. “I like being myself in real life, but as an audience member, I am crazy about Srrimurali on screen and the way people look at me. At the end of the day, it is the script that makes a star. It is a risk to do varied roles like the one in Mufti, but you also decide how you want to present yourself in front of the audience.”
‘Every person is undercover’
Mufti is the term used to describe a cop who has gone undercover. “But it has various meanings,” says Sriimurali. “Every one of us walks around in mufti once in a while. We all have a side of us that is hidden away. We are rarely sure what is right and wrong, and we choose to don a mufti.”
‘It is important to know where we are heading’
Sriimurali was involved in the making of the movie, which he says he did to take it to a larger audience. “It is important for us to know where we are headed,” he says. “The competition is heavy, shortcuts won’t work and only hardwork will see you through. I never thought of it as an added responsibility or as a burden”.
‘A film does not run on one individual’
Sriimurali has worked with new directors such as Prashanth Neel for Uggram, Chandrashekar Bandiyappa for Rathaavara and now Narthan for Mufti. How does he decide who he will associate with? “It is about what we do and not about a person,” he says. “While forming your team, there should be no ego hassles and everyone should bring positive vibes to the sets, because that shows on screen. I value newcomers and a good script can work magic on everybody. If anyone makes a good movie for Sriimurali, I welcome them. I don’t go by age or experience. If they seem capable of making a good film, I say come and let’s make it.”
‘Mufti will be different from my earlier films’
Ugramm gave Sriimurali an image that he has been carrying to this day. The actor has no complaints and says, “It was Ugramm that gave me my comeback and it sustained me. So I am happy if people address me by the character in Ugramm; it is a big blessing. But, I don’t want to be seen in the same kind of films over and over again. I am sure the audience won’t appreciate such repetitions either. ”
He adds that Ugramm was a good quality film, and that's principle they've stuck to in the making of Rathaavara and Mufti as well. “People now look for good scripts, narration and visual presentation in my films. I intend to keep that standard.”
While he understands that people are not able to shake off his Uggramm character, the actor assures us that Mufti will be different. “I don’t want to brag that Mufti is the first-of-its-kind in Indian cinema, but it will definitely be a good film. I want the audience to love the songs, the great BGM and the brilliant performances from actors.”
‘Shivanna is example of how an actor is never too old’
Mufti, is a commercial film that gets bigger with Shivarajkumar in the picture. So, how much of Shivanna’s stardust is sprinkled through the movie? “Firstly to share screen space with him is a gift to me,” says Sriimurali. “He has been the king of this industry for decades, even at his age. He is inspiring, and an example of how an actor can never be too old, and how you don’t have to call it quits until you want to.” The actor feels with Shivanna, Mufti will double its appeal as a mass film. “Roping in Shivanna to play a prominent role was a decision I made. I am blessed to have this combination.”