'Dance and fight sequences in KISS were easier to do than the romantic scenes'
...says debutant actor Viraat, whose first film is set to hit the screens this Friday
Debutant actor Viraat, a big fan of AP Arjun’s Addhuri, got to work with the director in his very first project. The upcoming actor, who is hoping to make a successful transition from serials to films, talks to Cinema Express about his childhood dream, how he bagged the project, and working in a romantic drama like KISS, which is slated for a September 27 release.
From TV to films, courtesy Arjun's mother
Viraat believes his entry into the tinsel town was almost like the unfolding of a movie sequence. “After I had finished my daily soap, Jothe Jotheyalli, I wanted to try my luck in films, but I did not know many people in the industry. However, the making of Addhuri always attracted me, and I wanted to meet the director. This was when Arjun was busy with Airavata. I tried to trace his office, but instead, I found his house, and I used to be present there every day,” he recalls. Though the filmmaker was not seen around, Viraat caught the attention of Arjun's mother, who was inquisitive about his regular visits outside the house. "I expressed my wish to meet Arjun, and work under him. She was not only sweet enough to listen to me but also made sure I had coffee. She also watched my serial. One day, she called me and said she has spoken to her son about me and that I meet him. He later went through my profile and asked me to attend the audition, and I was finalised out of 200 other candidates,” the actor adds.
What is KISS?
The title, KISS, became a hot topic in Viraat’s life, and he is currently waiting for people’s reactions to the film. He defines ‘Kiss’ as an invitation to love, and the purest form of expression of the feeling. “If a guy holds a girl, and kisses her on her forehead, it is like he is telling her, ‘I am your saviour’. Kiss is not limited to a boy and a girl and can be expressed by parents and children, brother and sister, husband and wife, or other relationships. KISS is about the extent to which a boy can go to win over a girl's heart.
The Romance in KISS
The toughest part of doing KISS was romancing on-screen, says Viraat. “Dance and fight sequences were easier to do than romantic scenes. I used to dread the moment when the director would ask me to come for a close-up shot with the heroine. Initially, they were the most difficult scenes to enact, and I shivered each time. At the back of my mind, I knew the intent of the director, and gradually got comfortable.”
35 plays, one serial, and now film debut
Viraat prides in being someone who was inclined towards extracurricular activities right from his school days. “When the teacher asked us what we wanted to become in life, I always said ‘actor’, and my classmates used to laugh at me. My name was the first one on the list for extracurricular activities,” he recounts. Even after he started pursuing engineering, he simultaneously got trained in theatre under the guidance of Basavlingaiah and Suresh Babu. He managed to showcase his talent on stage, and did 35 plays.
“My passion for acting brought me from Mysuru to Bengaluru, and I started with a tele-serial. Now, after working with a director like Arjun, it is all about movies and movies for me,” says Viraat, who took guidance from choreographer Imran Sardhariya and stunt master Ravi Varma for dance and fight sequences in KISS. “As a hero, I want to be a loyal student of the director. I can dedicate myself and surrender to his thoughts. Along with director’s instructions, I also go by what other technicians expect from me,” he says.