Johnny Johnny captures comical side of Duniya Vijay
The actor and producer talks to us about his upcoming film which he promises will show his humorous side
Duniya Vijay invites everybody to join him on a laughter ride with Johnny Johnny Yes Papa - a film that will allow the audiences to witness the humorous side of the actor, who is otherwise established as a commercial hero.
“I want people to just laugh out loud, without looking into the logic,” says Vijay. “They say, laughter is the best medicine, and that’s what director Preetham Gubbi has tried to throw light on. As human beings, our emotions tend to vary, and in anger, we shout or hit people in films. But when the same thing is converted into comedy, we are sure to come out of the danger zone. Come laugh, bless us, and it will only encourage us to do better,” the actor adds.
In the world of cinema, he has the image of an action hero, but Vijay seems to handle comedy with equal aplomb. “In the industry, I'm thought of as a very serious person, and I've even been termed arrogant. But the fact is, in real life, I am a very humourous person. I’m not perfect, but to be honest, what you see in Johnny Johnny Yes Papa is what I am in real life too. I look for many ways to be happy,” he says.
Vijay is also producer of the film, and this will be the second project made under his home banner, Duniya Talkies. “Being a producer is not only a good thing, but a great achievement for me. When I entered the industry, nobody offered me a single penny, but today, I have turned into a producer too. I am still not satisfied. How can I forget those initial two years when Gandhinagar did not pay me for my little work. Later, I was given Rs 100 for conveyance, which was eventually raised to Rs 1,000. At one point, I got recognised, and the rest is history. But I always look back to those days, as they helped me move forward. Being a strong believer in God, I understand that hard work is what pays. Irrespective of the box office result, efforts are the same for each film,” says Vijay, adding, “There were days when I was scolded when I asked for more rice at the production house, which brought tears to my eyes. Thankfully, today I am in a position to feed around 1,000 people.”
He has chosen to associate once again with director Preetham Gubbi. Their combination proved to be a hit with Johnny Mera Naam - Preethi Mera Kaam “I also wish to reach out to the masses with a class image. Fortunately or unfortunately, filmmakers and audiences like me in commercial roles because of my looks and dark skin colour. People also think that I am not well-versed in English, and that is their judgement. But with age and experience, I am hoping to bring in a more ‘classy’ touch to my films, and associating with Preetham Gubbi’s was important for me. Coming from the Gubbi-Veeranna family, who were into theatre, Preetham is the one director in the industry who brings richness and class into every frame. He makes everything colourful and wants his actors to look good. More importantly, our first film together, Johnny Mera Naam, was a big hit and it ran for 100 days, five years ago. We both want to repeat that success, and have made sure to keep the fun factor going with Johnny Johnny Yes Papa,” he says.
Vijay is glad that the right hands came together for Johnny Johnny Yes Papa. The film, featuring Rachita Ram as its heroine, also has Rangayana Raghu, Sadhu Kokila among others, in the cast. Johnny Johhny has music by Ajaneesh Loknath and cinematography by Karunakar.
While Vijay is the face of the film, as a producer, he says that his first responsibility was to look at pre-production work. “I thought this is the first step towards having a neat and clean film. I usually look for a good subject, and not how much investment goes into it. With experience, I can easily judge where to spend money and where not to. This time, I also had my wife Keerthi Pattadi helping me in coming out with a good product,” he says.