What do you feel with the success of 'My Autograph'?
Lot of tension has got relieved. I did not have Rs.10 lakhs to bring the remake rights from Chennai. Today I am able to smile, my father is sleeping at the right time, my mother is eating at the right time and my wife has come out of pressure. There is pleasure over all.
You took this film as a challenge and you fulfilled it….
The reason why I took this film is because it touched me. I forecasted that it would definitely reach the large section of audience. Now people all over Karnataka are telling 'Our Autograph'. That is the applause it got.
Besides making profit you have earned anything?
I came to know my actual market. Given the satellite rights of the film to Zee TV Kannada for an unbelievable price recently. My market was not made known when I was hero all these years. I was not able to access because someone else was producer. From 'My Autograph' my market is known. How the film runs and how much it collects. I have a team of 150 persons spread out all over Karnataka. They give me figures if 25 to 50 tickets are not accounted by exhibitors. I earned friends from this film. My enemys' mouth got automatically shut. My team worked left right and center with complete attachment. Now I came to know how I could draw loans for my future projects.
You remember the song of your earlier film 'Gedde Gelluve Ondu Dina….. (I would win one day)
Yes. That one automatically strikes to my mind today. It was in 2003 for 'Swathi Muthu' that song was made. Now after three years I have won.
What if this not won at the box office?
I had to sell my house and come to streets. I have invested so much of money and time on this maiden direction 'My Autograph'. Prior to the release I sat in the Santosh theatre cabin from 8.30 a.m. to 3 a.m. early morning to put everything in right order. Up to 50 days there was no hope. Some of my films also got struck at this point of time earlier. But the result after 50 days, repeated audience gave me good results.
You got wonderful support from media also….
This time they have supported me more. When I acted in bad films they corrected me. For 'My Autograph' their support counts a lot.
How do you celebrate the 100 days of 'MA'?
I am planning to have it in Kanteerava Indoor stadium. The technicians on one stage are made to sit with the memento. In another stage only a few artistes would be given the 100 days trophy. Plus there will be cultural program.
You have two lovely films on hand to direct now…..
One will be starring Ambarish Mama and another one starring scintillating and versatile Dr.Vishnuvardhana.
Can you explain how do you go about it in detail?
Ambarish starring film is an underworld subject. There are shades of Godfather and Sircar. There will be no bloodshed but the emotion of underworld family is major constituent in this film. I am directing and also acting in the film with Ambarishji. He immensely liked the subject. This will go on the floor first.
How about Dr.Vishnuvardhana starring film?
Dr.Vishnu is the one actor I would love to direct. For the Thavamai Thavamirindu I have made some changes and narrated the script to him. He is such a marvelous actor of Kannada cinema and he always has the extra edge compared to other artistes. I am not even 10 percent to Dr.Vishnu when it comes to expressions. Just from the face he does the excellent acting. Person like me cannot think of his long stay in our career. I would do the shooting according to his moods. What is important is standing next to Dr.Vishnu and Ambarish. I have grown up seeing Vishnuji films. In this film 'Appa Amma' I play his spoilt son in the film. When I have drawn some acting from raw artistes it is easy to catch lovely thing on screen from an artiste like Dr.Vishnu.
How is your relation with Darshan? Are you ready to act with him?
We are good friends. Recently I went to his house and had a very nice cup of coffee and spoke to him. I was shooting near his residence. It is not the right time to act together. He is a commercial hero and I am a different kind of actor. When the script of that level comes let me see.
You have two releases for this year…
Yes. 'Hubballi' is under production and 'Thirupathi' has been completed. Both are commercial films with different outlook.
After acting in emotion packed films like 'My Autograph' is it easy for you to act in usual commercial films?
When my kind of making is not there I am just an actor to do according to what director says. For improvisation I have worked in my films but at the outset I keep my mindset for that particular director's ideology. I have to earn acting in films to invest on my thoughts.