'I was offered Kumari 21F by four different filmmakers'
...says Pranam Devaraj, as he's set to make his debut with the film which he initially refused
Pranam Devaraj’s name is familiar in the film circle owing to his background. Son of Devaraj (well-known actor of Kannada industry) and brother of Prajwal Devaraj (established hero), Pranam is set to make his debut in Kumari 21F that is set for release this week. Interestingly, the young debutant had no qualms about working on a remake (Kumari 21F is a remake of a Telugu film). “I didn’t intend to make my entry as a star kid and just get recognised with a commercial film. Basically, I was looking for a good story to begin with, which would showcase my capabilities as an actor,” he says.
Before signing the upcoming film, the first-timer went through eight scripts. “I could not connect with the other scripts I read. But Kumari 21F had everything I was looking for in a first film: comedy, action, emotions, love and a mass appeal,” he says.
In fact, he was offered the same film by four different filmmakers. “The fourth time, it was Telugu producer and writer, Sukumar, who called my father and said that I would be apt for the script. At that point I felt that there was a reason I was being offered the film over and over again,” he says, adding, “When so many people think I would be the right choice, I told myself, ‘Why not make an attempt?’”
Thanks to his family background, Pranam knows what to expect prior to a film’s release. “I’ve seen the craze when anna (brother) goes on stage. The initial reaction to a film is something exciting.”
Having worked as a child artiste in Manase O Manase, for which he won an award, Pranam always knew he’d be a full-time actor one day. “Right now, my focus is not to stereotype myself with certain roles. Instead, I want to explore and do all kind of roles. This is testing time for me as I wait to know what kind of roles the audience will accept me in, based on which I will pick my subsequent films,” he says.
The newbie is stepping into the world of cinema with an open mind, looking at every situation as a learning experience. Even though the film has been delayed, Pranam doesn’t seem perturbed. “I haven’t lost my patience. In fact, I look at this as a learning experience,” he says with maturity beyond his years, adding, “You never stop learning. That is what my dad keeps telling me even today. Experience is the best teacher.”
Is there any sibling rivalry between Prajwal and himself? “Anna is not my competitor. It’s taken him ten years to get to where he currently is. It will probably take me the same amount of time to establish myself,” he says, adding, “I only hope that both our films never get released on the same day.”