Dhananjay: Seldom does an actor get a chance to play both villain and hero
The actor talks about his upcoming film, Yuvarathnaa, in which he plays a white-collar villain, working with Puneeth, and more
Having been in the industry for years, Dhananjay continues to reinvent himself by taking up characters outside his comfort zone. He is currently working in Chennai on the Allu Arjun-starrer Pushpa, and will soon head back to the sets of Rathnan Prapancha. At the same time, he is also looking forward to the release of his next film, Yuvarathnaa.
The commercial entertainer, directed by Santhosh Ananddram, is slated for release on April 1, and will see Dhananjay facing off with Puneeth Rajkumar. As opposed to his role in Tagaru, Yuvarathnaa will feature Dhananjay as Anthony Joseph, a suave white-collar villain. “The role I play in Yuvarathnaa talks about the mindset of corporates. Though I will not have the kind of screen space like Daali had in Tagaru, there is a strong presence of my character in the film,” says Dhananjay, adding, “Yuvarathnaa has an ensemble cast, and is a film with a lot of say. Being part of such a project is huge for me as an actor.”
By playing Anthony, Dhananjay is also touching upon the mentality of certain sections of the society. “This is about corporate sectors, but also touches upon education and health. These are relevant issues. The story addresses the mindset of certain people, which I reflect on screen,” says Dhananjay, who was glad to shoot most of his portions in Maharaja’s College, Mysuru. “It’s always good to shoot in the City of Palaces. Shooting against the backdrop of beautiful architecture adds a lot of flavour to a film,” he tells us.
Talking about working with Puneeth, Dhananjay says, “Although he is a big star, Puneeth still maintains the innocence we saw in him as a child actor. I like Puneeth’s off-screen persona and his humble nature. He is passionate about life in general, loves travel and exploring different places. Balancing a professional and family life is something Puneeth does with ease, and it's something everyone should follow.”
Dhananjay has now learnt the knack of balancing playing the hero and villain. That trend started with Daali in Tagaru and now continues in Yuvarathnaa. The actor will also be seen in a face-off with Allu Arjun in Pushpa. On the other hand, he plays the lead in Badava Rascal, Rohit Padaki’s Rathnan Prapancha, Narasimha’s upcoming film, and the much-talked about Head Bush, directed by Shoonya.
“Seldom does an actor get a chance to play both villain and hero. I’m enjoying both sides. That is the best part of being an actor. Success for an actor is when you have the audience hooting and whistling for every character you play. I am glad I’m not being typecast,” he says.