'Theatres, especially multiplexes, are some of the cleanest public places'
...says actor Ajay Rao, whose upcoming film, Krishna Talkies, is set to be released in theatres tomorrow
Ajay Rao often plays characters named Krishna. There is a Krishna connect in his upcoming horror thriller too, but with a twist. “Krishna is the name of a talkies in a rural area and the story revolves around this theatre,” says Ajay Rao, whose latest film Krishna Talkies will be released tomorrow (April 16). Directed by Vijay Anand, the film was slated for a February 2020 release but was pushed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ajay Rao plays a journalist in the film, and he strongly believes they are frontline warriors too. “The plot revolves around the theatre and the social problems in the area around it. There is a belief that there are ghosts in the neighbourhood and there are a lot of crime-related issues. The hero starts investigating the case due to a personal link,” says the actor.
The film is a horror-thriller and it is the 25-film-old actor’s first attempt in this genre. “I watch horror movies like comedies. I never get scared of ghosts, and my family and friends consider this peculiar. I find them entertaining,” he says.
However, Ajay did experience some paranormal activity during the shooting. “It was a day when we had to shoot a scene where the ghost appears. During the break, I went back to the caravan and started watching a horror film for reference. There was a particular sequence in the film where things fall down by themselves in a kitchen. While I was watching this sequence, the panels and lights inside the caravan fell on my head and around me. I went blank but I was not scared,” he recalls.
Ajay Rao is a common man’s actor and that’s an image he has developed through his films. He shares that this has helped viewers relate to his characters. Talking about director Vijay Anand, whom he's known for 10-15 years, Ajay says, “He is also a good lyricist and I know his capabilities. He had discussed several other stories but I was surprised that he came up with a film in this genre. Since he knew me well, he figured the role and subject would suit me.”
On the film being released at a time when theatres are running at 50 per cent capacity, he says, “With the pandemic, everyone is in the same boat. Even I was not spared. My wife, mother and I tested positive. The virus can be handled with responsibility and cleanliness. Maintaining social distance and sanitising are important. People should be taught how to deal with the virus,” he says.
“Theatres are one of the cleanest places and are sanitised well, especially multiplexes. However, people still worry about entering a theatre. It is nothing but their mindset. I don’t say it is completely okay to have theatres run at 50 per cent capacity. I am aware it is a loss. However, how long can we stay idle? It is becoming very difficult for producers and all the people who have invested their dreams. Still, we have to fight and continue our lives. My current motto is something is better than nothing, and let’s face whatever comes to us,” he signs off.