Ajay Rao: I watch horror films like comedies
The actor talks about his upcoming release Krishna Talkies
In films, Ajay Rao often plays characters named Krishna. However, there is a slight change in his upcoming horror-thriller. “Krishna is the name of a talkies in a rural area and the story revolves around this theatre,” says Ajay Rao. His latest film Krishna Talkies that will be released on April 16.
The film, directed by Vijay Anand, was slated for a February, 2020 release, but was pushed to due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ajay Rao plays a journalist in the film, and in his opinion, like the police or army, journalists too are considered as frontline warriors. “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 area and there are a lot of crime-related issues. The hero starts investigating the case due to a personal agenda,” says the actor.
The film is a horror-thriller and it is the 25-films-old actor’s first attempt in this genre. “I watch horror films like comedies. I never get scared of ghosts, and my family and friends consider this peculiar. I consider it as entertainment,” he says. However, he 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 some reference. There was a particular sequence in the film where things fall around in the 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 the image he has carried in most of his films. He says this has helped his viewers relate to his characters. About the director, he says he has known Vijay Anand for 10-15 years now. “Vijay is also a good lyricist and I know his capabilities. He had discussed several other stories but I was surprised that he would come up with a film in this genre. Since he knew me well, he figured the kind of role and subject that would suit me, and I felt I have to encourage him."
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. My wife, mother and I tested positive. The spread of the virus can be controlled by social distancing and sanitising."
He feels theatres are safer and well-maintained than markets. "Theatres are one of the cleanest places that are sanitised regularly, especially multiplexes. However, people still panic thinking about entering a theatre. I don’t say it is completely okay to have theatres run at 50 per cent capacity. I am aware it is a loss. But we can't stay idle without releases for long. It is becoming very difficult for producers and all the people who have invested their dreams in a project. My current motto is something is better than nothing. Let's face whatever life throws at us.”