Shivraj KR Pete: I feel proud to be treated as an actor and not just a comedian
The actor plays the lead for the first time in Naanu Matthu Gunda
Shivraj KR Pete, who has won hearts through his comedy, came to Bengaluru 14 years ago with the dream to become an actor. However, he didn’t get the right kind of opportunity, and the reality show, Comedy Khiladigalu, became a platform for him to prove his talent. From that point, there has been no looking back for Shivraj. Having been part of 24 films in a span of two years as a comedian, he will be making his debut as a hero with Naanu Matthu Gunda.
However, Shivraj says he wants to be seen as an actor and not a hero. “I get to play a unique role in Naanu Matthu Gunda and it was very new for me. I also wish to credit Simba and Gunda, the labrador dogs, who share screen space with me,” he says, adding, “Directors are creators of characters and it is the roles that choose the actors. Director Srinivas Thimmaiah and producer Raghu Hassan felt that I could justify this role. I was proud to be treated as a proper actor, and not just a comedian. Apart from making people laugh, I also wish to entertain the audience with various emotions.”
Shivraj says that working with animals has been a different kind of experience, and adds that he got to learn a few tips from Simba, the big labrador. “Before I started the shoot, I spent a few hours daily for a month with Simba and we became friends. Simba is a one-take artiste. He knew when to act, and when to cut himself away from the camera. Even the little one, whom we named Gunda, was very confident.”
He says that the film will explore the bonding between humans and animals. “Communication between people has dropped drastically these days. Animals understand our emotions better than fellow humans,” he adds.
Shivraj reveals that he has plans to direct films in the future. “While looking for acting opportunities, I also got to work as an assistant director in Jacob Verghese’s Prithvi, which starred Puneeth Rajkumar. I like being behind the camera. But, it will take some time, as it involves a lot of learning.”