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    Prakash Rao hopes his sincerity will show in 'Morning Raga'

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Wednesday, November 03, 2004
    When you see the young sensitive actor playing the violin with Shabana Azmi in "Morning Raga", you want to know who he is.

    Meet Prakash Rao, son of the illustrious filmmaker K. Raghvendra Rao from Andhra Pradesh. For the offspring of a movie mogul, "Morning Raga" is an unusual launch.
    Prakash smiles. "This is my second film. I have already done one regional film in Telugu called 'Neetho'. It was a typical mainstream commercial movie. It didn't do well. After that I decided to do something that is closer to my sensibility and so 'Morning Raga'."

    But surely Raghvendra Rao would've wanted a more upfront unabashedly masala career for his son!

    "Yes, my father is a very commercial director and we did do a big launch two years back as was expected by the public from someone his stature. But ultimately, I feel you can never pre-empt the audience. You need to first believe in the film yourself before you can expect the public to believe in it.

    "And with 'Morning Raga' I think, we are on the right course. It is something we put our heart into and that sincerity is bound to connect with the audience."

    Prakash's awesome co-star Shabana Azmi says she was surprised out of her wits when she came to know he had attended Lee Strasberg's acting school in New York.

    "Yes, I attended Strasberg," he said. "It offered me a structured approach to the training required for an actor."

    Tell him Strasberg is too posh for our cinema, and Prakash shakes his head.

    "I don't believe it is posh or refined. It is how you choose to use that training that would determine the style of your acting. And before you ask, I don't intend to do only refined films. I want to do films that touch my heart - posh or crass, refined or overstated, alternative or commercial."

    For now there is a Prakash's method to the madness of our masala movies.

    "For the film I learnt to play the violin for four months and it helped to make it look authentic. Training for a character is essential for any technique you use, and is not particular to method acting. I was lucky I had the time to prepare for my part of a music student.

    "I must add the method is not confined to realistic cinema, but can also be used for our kind of stylised cinema. I don't look upon it as mediocre. I owe a lot of my privileges to the commercial cinema that my father makes."

    Prakash lights up at the mention of his co-stars.

    "It truly was wonderful working with Shabanaji and Perizaad. Apart from learning a lot professionally, the biggest thing that I take back with this film is that we all bonded like a family. We share a lot of genuine warmth and affection. We all connected emotionally during the intense schedules of the shoot. I'd like to believe what we shared is rather special and unique."

    Prakash feels his "Morning Raga" director Mahesh Dattani is very good with actors.

    "Firstly his writing is so good, that his characters are sharply etched out from the outset. As a director, his biggest strength is that he doesn't go for the emotion of the line, but what is underneath it. That helps make the character real, multi-dim

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