Ganesh: 99 gave me a chance to test my natural acting ability
In conversation with Cinema Express, the actor talks about his upcoming romantic drama 99, and what it was like working with his friend, Preetham Gubbi
It’s a big Wednesday for the Kannada industry as the much-awaited film, 99, will release today. The makers have dedicated it to workers given that it is releasing on May Day. “An actor is also an employee, and the makers -- Ramu Films -- thought it was best to release it on this day. I want everyone to take a break from work and watch 99, which will be nostalgic,” says Ganesh.
The film, a remake of the Tamil hit, 96, went on floors last December and in less than six months it is ready for release. “The script did all the magic. Moreover, it required only two leads and limited support characters. Everything went smoothly and we wrapped up things up quickly,” he says.
A film like 99 challenged Ganesh, who's known for being a commercial star. “The subject was all too real and I was prepared to live as the character, not just act it out. Though my films are commercial in nature, I believe I have a flair for natural acting. This script allowed me to experiment with one such role,” he says.
He has been tagged as a romantic hero from his Mungaru Male days. How does he feel about being known thus? “Love is everything, and romance is a must in everybody’s life. I am a romantic hero on screen. In real life though, I am completely different. My wife (Shilpa) often complaints that to the world, I am a romantic hero, but off screen, I am not,” he laughs.
The film, Ganesh believes, will make viewers nostalgic, taking them back to their school and college days. “I gave my best in each shot and after that I don't go back to watch my own films. Only if people say it’s fantastic, will I even consider watching it. However, I watched 99 on my own and got hit by a wave of nostalgia. It actually took me back to my school days. I remembered the tree in front of my school, the flowers -- the fragrance of which used to hit us from a distance -- and more.”
99 brings together two good friends in real life -- director Preetham and Ganesh. “I like his handling of the screenplay and how he brings out the emotions in each character. Working with a friend meant I was comfortable enough to improvise on the sets,” says Ganesh.