Darshan: With my work for Roberrt complete, my focus now is entirely on Rajaveera Madakari Nayaka
Darshan, who celebrates his birthday on February 16, is taking a two-day break from shooting for Raja Veera Madakari Nayaka to spend time with his fans
Birthdays are always special and birthdays of film stars are nothing short of a festival. But Darshan, who turns 43 on Sunday (February 16), has chosen to keep the celebrations low-key this year.
Darshan, who is currently shooting for his 54th film, Raja Veera Madakari Nayaka, in Kerala, has taken a two-day break to be with his fans. Obeying the request of the actor, his ardent fans, from across Karnataka, have decided to donate rice and grain bags to orphanages and old homes instead of spending money on cakes and garlands. “I believe I will get special blessings from the needy ones who are being benefitted by this move of my fans,” says Darshan, who credits the idea to his friend, Rakesh Pappanna. “When appaji (Ambareesh) passed away last year, I was in no mood to celebrate my birthday. But Rakesh explained to me that fans when take the trouble to come and meet me, it would be wrong to not spend time with them. He pitched this idea of having them donate in my name. Seeing the happiness in the eyes of the needy gave me immense satisfaction.”
The teaser of Roberrt will be released to mark Darshan's birthday. “Somebody met me a few days ago and asked how I managed to complete the shooting and dubbing for Roberrt in a short span. I just said, 'I might be turning a year older, but as an actor, I feel as young as ever.' Irrespective of your personal emotions, when you are on the sets, you have to just live in the character. And if it is necessary to laugh, you have to do it. In a way, you have to cheat your brain,” says Darshan.
The actor tells us the way he looks at cinema has changed very little in all these years. “But there is a change. We are now making films that are making audiences across India take note of Kannada cinema. Today, even when I am part of a proper commercial entertainer, the presentation of the film has gone up another level. Credit for this goes to the directors and the technical crew,” he says.
The actor, who is looking forward to the release of Roberrt in April, says his current focus is entirely on the historical project, Rajaveera Madakari Nayaka. The film is directed by Rajendra Singh Babu, under the banner of Rockline Entertainers. “The team and I have just started shooting, and I am slowly getting into character as Palegara. I have a sketch in mind, and a visualisation of how I have to portray Madakari Nayaka.”
About his interest in historical and mythological subjects, he says, “As long as we have passionate producers coming forward to back such films, I will be more than happy to join hands with them. A historical or mythological drama is something I would like to take up once in two years.” Darshan adds that he doesn’t have any particular character that he is looking to play on the silver screen. “I go by the kind of opportunity I get and whatever role fits me.”
Rumour has it that Darshan will also be starting the shoot for Prakash Jayaram’s project, which is set in a political backdrop. However, the actor has decided to complete Raja Veera Madakari Nayaka before he starts with his next commitment. “I had initially planned to juggle the two films. But after joining the sets of Raja Veera Madakari Nayaka, I realised that it needs a lot of my time and I may find it very hectic to juggle between the two. So my current concentration will be on this historical project, after which I will start Prakash Jayaram’s film,” he reveals.
Darshan, who had a productive 2019 with multiple releases, also has a handful of good projects in the pipeline. Given this, the actor admits he is not keen on foraying into the small screen now. “I value my personal time. I don’t like to be at work 24/7,” he says.
On the support he lends to upcoming artistes and peers for their films, he says, “I believe that if the industry grows, in turn, it will also help us grow with it.”
Photography has always been another passion for Darshan. The actor, whenever he has that little extra time, gets behind the lens and travels to the woods. Having started as a technician, does he have any plans of turning to direction? “I will remain an actor throughout my career, and nothing else. A lot of work goes in behind this actor. I remain grateful to the numerous people, particularly my fans, who have helped make me who I am,” he signs off.