Anant Nag: I like to psychologically connect with the characters I play in my films
Ahead of the release of Hemanth M Rao’s Kavaludaari, in which he plays the role of a retired cop, the actor talks to us about the film, his career and more
Think Anant Nag, and chances are you will immediately be reminded of Venkob Rao, the Alzheimer’s patient the senior actor essayed in Hemanth M Rao’s debut, Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykattu. Now, the audience is looking forward to Kavaludaari, in which he plays the role of a retired police officer, Muttanna. His role in this Hemanth directorial, he says, will be dedicated to men in armed forces and anyone who sports a uniform. “I've led a very disciplined life. In my younger days, I was in the NCC. Though I had the opportunity to get into the army, I ended up in the theatre,” the actor confides.
The reason Anant is associating with Hemanth for the second time is because he feels that the filmmaker has some “extraordinary stories waiting to be told. And he knows how to tell a story with the right amount of emotions. What particularly struck me is the thought process of the film. In addition to my character, this film features Achyuth Kumar, Suman Ranganath, Rishi, and Avinash, all of whom have their own place in the story. Hemanth is an intense filmmaker, which, as an actor, I look at as a challenge.”
While many assume that for an actor with decades of experience, acting would be a cake walk, Anant Nag says he still looks at every role from a newcomer’s point of view. “I like variety in the roles I take up. I basically like to psychologically connect with my characters, and this helps me get into the skin of the role.” This reflects in the characters the actor has played in Godhi Banna, KGF and Kavaludaari.
It’s every director’s dream to work with Anant Nag, and filmmakers queue up to get him on board. But he has his own terms while choosing roles at this stage of his career. “My first request is a script. Often, directors come to me with a one-line description or a synopsis of the film. I usually don’t encourage this because it doesn’t allow an actor to understand the depth of the role or the story. I insist on a script, as this helps me understand the film better, and perform better,” he says, admitting that to him, connecting with his character is of utmost priority. “The minute I get a role, I try to relate to it with my own personal experiences.”
Nag’s connection with Puneeth
Anant Nag shares a different kind of bond with actor-producer Puneeth Rajkumar. Nag recalls his associations with Puneeth as a child artiste. “When he was part of the period drama, Bhakta Prahlada, his parents asked me whether I could be part of the film and play Narada’s role. He was a small boy, who came running to me on the sets. And I would carry him around. Today, he is a successful actor who has worked his way up,” he says, adding that when Puneeth and his wife mentioned their production house and film, he readily said ‘yes’.