In this interview, Kannada star Yash, hero of the upcoming KGF Chapter 1, talks about how he believes the audience will always appreciate genuine hard work. Excerpts from his interview with Sneha Menon Desai:
Rocking Star Yash, congratulations on the mind-blowing response to the trailer of KGF. When you dub a film across five languages you are automatically increasing the scale and the platform with which it is showcased. What about KGF made you feel like this has the kind of universal appeal that deserved a wider platform?
One, the concept of the film is unique and the way we have shot it is very international. I think, it is more than dialogues, it will be visuals which will tell you the story. I think cinema has its own language, that cinematic language is very good in this film and I think it can communicate to each and every person watching, that’s the primary reason. And of course, we truly believe in the script, and we think this is a story which needs to be told to many people.
It will also be interesting to know what were the key takeaways from the stupendous success of a film like Bahubali. What were the main lessons you learnt?
It doesn’t matter where you come from or what your background is. It just depends on how well you are performing and how well you know your job. Theatre is one place where everybody comes together under one roof and start watching the film, and if they connect to it, they will own the actor and they will own the cinema. So, I always believe, during the promotion it will be my film but once it is released it won’t be my film, people will start owning it and start promoting it. Likewise, even Bahubali was a film people owned. Other than that, it had a language which everybody could easily understand. And the scale and pride behind that, that people have worked really hard and what I have realised is that people give you bigger success just because you have worked really hard.With a lot of my films, with a lot of flaws, they have done really well because they think “okay this was a genuine and honest effort” and they will always appreciate that.
Yash, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think in Kannada it is still Mungaru Male at 75 crores worldwide that is the biggest hit. So you haven’t really hit the 100 crore club or…?
Not Mungaru Male. I think in 2014 I had a film Mr And Mrs Ramachari and that was the blockbuster till then. And the same Mumbale Production’s Rajkumara did better than that. We talk about the share, not about the collection. When we say share, it is what you take home. We don’t believe in 100 crore club as it is all about reaching people and with the infrastructure that we have got, this is huge. It all depends on the infrastructure, here, three weeks after the release and the business is over. But there, films run up to 100 or 200 days because that many people definitely come and watch. If we have bigger infrastructure, we will definitely be able to do that. It all depends on the population. See, India is a country which has more than 100 crore people, if you see these 500 crore films, I don’t think it would have tapped even 10 percent of the population. So that is not like the ultimate thing, so we have a lot more potential and it is just about the infrastructure and the way you keep them interested.
You know I noticed something really interesting about Kannada film heroes, there is this exciting tag line that each of you come with, whether it is rocking star or rebel star. What is this about?
Don’t blame me for that, in Hindi I have strictly told them not to use such things. See, that’s their love and respect, so I would take it with pride there but I don’t want to come and push it here. Because of the Internet you guys pick it up and introduce me like that, but I am proud of that. It is not what we create, it is the fans. Every hero will have 5-6 such names….the fan associations make their suggestions and then the producers will pick and put it on screen. That’s a kind of marketing too.
I also want to talk to you a little bit about Ambareesh and just the fact that you grew up watching his films. How much has he impacted you as an actor?
He was very big influence in my life. Since childhood, he was the only actor we have seen even off screen. I come from a region where he is very, very popular. After getting into the industry, he was a big support and he was my strength. He was like a father figure. He in fact launched the KGF trailer. It is a great loss. He was a great man who lived like a king and went like a king.