Acting in films and working as a bureaucrat is not a disturbance to you?
I am not in regular touch with the films. Probably once in two years I am acting in a film. I am acting in my free time and I am not at all disturbing my profession. I go for minimum leave and use the weekly holidays. So far not even a single day I worked before the camera halting my work or postponing my responsible work.
How did this acting came to you?
I have not learnt acting and I am not a good actor. My father was staging plays. But while performing any given role to me I was going back to the similar situation played by Dr.Rajkumar and performing it in front of the camera.
Why do you want to be in films when you have everything from the bureaucratic work you are doing?
If one film of mine appear once in a year or two. That is OK for me. I want to be in people mind. From 1993 only 10 films I have acted. Only seven of them got released so far. Films like 'Jai' and 'Moodala Simiyalli' are still in the cans.
What are you up to after 'Naga'?
I am now acting for Hamsalekha's direction. This is Hamsalekha's debut direction too. He is known as music director. He has written the story, screenplay, dialogues, scores music and directs the cinema. The film is called 'NALME'. The film points to IT and desi samskruthi. We contacted Trisha to play the heroine but she was too busy. Now we are looking for new face for 'Nalme'. Hiremath of Koppal is the producer of this film.
What is the best tribute you can pay to Dr.Rajkumar.
For me after Basavanna it is only Rajanna. Only two 'Annas' in the Karnataka history. While Basavanna was 12th century, Rajanna is of the 21st century (one and two is reverse). Dr.Rajkumar once told Hamsalekha he wants a song of Oho Himalaya…., of my first film 'Baa Nalle Madhuchandrake' pattern. Hamsalekha tuned the similar one Prema Kashmira…, song for Dr.Rajkumar film.
You know there was a binding that government servants should not act?
The bureaucrats should not act or do any activity other than administration is an old theory. According to Indian constitution section 19 (1) it is freedom of __expression. No one can stop it. I do not take remuneration for my roles is another plus point for me.
Why none of your film clicked after stupendous success of 'BNM'?
After Baa Nalle….., I have not got good director to act. I am looking for good director but he has to assure the returns of my film. I would not poke in to anything when the film goes on the floor. I would act according to director instructions.
Because you are in bureaucracy people throng at you?
That is correct. I have completely avoided people coming to me with the notion that I would help them in the finance for the film or other benefits. Initially I had this problem.
You are told as the champion of poor?
I have the satisfaction of doing good job wherever I am transferred. As bureaucrat in Mysore, Davanagere, Shimoga and now in Bangalore social welfare department I have taken up lot of progressive work. I have introduced the pilot training for scheduled castes and tribe students. I have arranged for air hostess training. This is for the first time in India. One fine day I may get an air hostess to play lead in my film jokes Shivaramu.
Any recent call you attended of the people?
An old lady from a far off place wrote a letter about her ill health recently. I reacted to the letter within five minutes. I spoke to the concerned authority of that lady's place and advised her to be taken to the hospital to give quick operation facilities. When the old lady went to the doctor that doctor happened to be my relative. The operation expenses and medicine charges were given free for that lady. This is how I get satisfaction of meeting problems of the people.
The film 'Naga' has replica to my professional life of IAS officer……
Of course the contents of coming from village with their problems and solving in the end is favorite theme. It has resemblance to what I am doing now - acting and reacting to the people woes.