‘Thayige Thakka Maga reflects my respect for my own mother’
...says Ajay Rao, who has many specials things going for his 25th film, which is directed and produced by Shashank
Ajay Rao has a lot of reasons to cheer for Thayige Thakka Maga, which releases this week. Aside from the fact that it is the actor's 25th film, it marks the third time he is associating with director Shashank. “To top it all, this is an action film, in which I had the opportunity to showcase my karate skills -- something I have been into since I was young. All these elements have made it special for me,” says Ajay.
The film, which is based on the bond between a mother and son, has Sumalatha playing Ajay’s onscreen mother, while Ashika Ranganath stars as the female lead. Ajay says it is a very relatable film. “I have so much respect for my mother. I consider her my God. So it’s a blessing that the film has this title. Shashank, who knows me off screen as well, has seen my rapport with my mother, and made sure that I carry forward that same persona onscreen as well. Another interesting aspect is that Sumalatha, who is playing my mother, played a similar role in my first film too.” He adds that the latter’s role in the film is such that she considers everyone in the society as her children. “The film has an emotional quotient, but no pathos.”
Very few director-actor combinations work, so what is the rapport like between Ajay and Shashank? “Initially, this film was supposed to be directed by someone else, but for some reason, two directors cancelled, and Shashank, who is also producing the film, came on board. I felt happy when he took over because the role I required someone who understood me well. Shashank knows me personally as well as professionally. With Krishna Love Story and Krishna Leela, and now during this journey, we have come to understand each other well. This film has taken us both to the next level,” says the actor.
Playing Mohandas in Thayigge Thakka Magga meant transforming himself from a romantic hero to an action hero. Ajay admits that it was the director who made this possible. “It would have been difficult for me to explain to any other director about my interest in doing an action film. Since Shashank also knew that I am good in karate, he made sure to blend it into my character and the story. I wanted to be a complete hero. I’m good with romance, and now, I can prove myself as an action hero too. It’s high time the audience saw me bashing up the baddies.”
The film has been given an ‘A’ certificate. “The certification has been surprising, something I never expected. The board’s judgement was that film’s climax had a lot of bloodshed and looked very brutal. To be honest, before the film was screened in front of the board, I watched it with my family. They felt that the scenes were made very intelligently. We expected the censor board to appreciate them too, but they handed us an ‘A’ certificate instead,” says Ajay.
After 15 years and 25 films, Ajay feels he has done an average number of films. “I did slow down in between because only working for money was not satisfying. I started being more honest with myself,” says the actor, who signs off with, “The journey has just begun. I crave for better things now. I have to start planning for my 50th now.”