He is the current number one superstar in Kannada films. We are talking about the veteran Vishnuvardhan, who recently launched two films on the same day. Vishnuvardhan is today as popular as Dr. Rajkumar was in his hay days. After watching Yajamana Dr.Rajkumar rang up Vishnuvardhan and said he is the perfect choice for that film. Vishnuvardhan today is crowned as the ‘Leader’ of Kannada film industry but he has a ‘Lakshman Rekha’ to surpass to take the crown of ‘Leadership’. Sify.com caught up with him for an exclusive interview during the shoot of Jamindarru at Dr.Rama Naidu village in Hyderabad. Excerpts -
Q: Why you are not ready to take the mantle of ‘leadership’ of the Kannada film industry?
A: I am content with what I am today. This leadership fits in with my close friend and Member of Parliament, Ambarish. Moreover we already have a leader that is Dr.Rajkumar. Let him call me anywhere I will go with a bucket and a broom - stick and clean the trash.
Q: The leadership is not what you have asked but if it comes you way…
A: I agree to that point. I don’t want this leadership. My friend Ambarish knows the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ I have to surpass. Only after that I will be ready. But let anyone call me in the interest of the Kannada film industry I am ready to help.
Q: Your recent visit with film industry to meet Karnataka Chief Minister made it clear that you have accepted the leadership?
A: The seniors in the film industry the outgoing film chamber president K.C.N.Chandrasekhar and President of Producers Association Basanthkumar Patil only requested me to accompany them. I had free time and just went with them. The secretary of Congress-I actor Jaggesh made arrangements and that’s how it happened.
Q: After ‘Yajamana’ success you have changed your priorities?
A: All this success and failure is according to the movements of planets. I always said that it is lord Vishnu who is responsible for all this and not this mortal Vishnuvardhan. I maintain it even today.
Q: Why you have become very philosophical nowadays?
A: I believe in ‘Manasastra’. All this psychology and philosophy is not Indian. I always said that one should answer his conscience and not the World. If he is perfect to his heart and uncorrupt then it is OK.
Q: You said about the planet movement ruling us. Can you explain with an example?
A: Each and every part in human body is controlled by planet. I can give you the example of Bhishma Pitamah of Kannada cinema G.V.Iyer. He had cancer. He did three ‘Yagas’ and that solved his cancer disease. Iyerji went on record recently. I strongly believe that above this science and technology there is a super power, which is not seen.
Q: Is it because that age catches up fast on humans, they turn towards philosophy?
A: I again tell you that there is only ‘Manasastra’. It is not because of age factor one thinks like that. We did not know all these years but we are slowly learning the facts. When you take up the example of young saints do you say they are aware to the full circle? They are brought up like that.
Q: Why are you so furious about cinema halls?
A: It is inevitable. The temple of cinema has become a toilet today. Except the English films screening theatres no other theatre is in good condition. The cinema viewers have to take some daring steps.
Q: What happened to the taking over of Puttanna theatre in Jayanagar Bangalore?
A: It is a gone case. Puttannaji is our mentor. Ambarish and myself tried hard to give a facelift to the poorly maintained corporation theatre. We were ready to invest Rs.50 lakhs. Corporation said they could give lease for one year. It is a closed chapter.
Q: With one box-office hit after the other – Veerappanayaka, Suryavamsha, Soorappa and Yajamana in a row have changed your outlook towards films?
A: I have reached 175 films and I feel that doing one or two films a year is all right. In the name of remakes many subjects have flooded the market. I am not accepting too many offers. The next few years I am busy. I have underproduction Jamindarru and Simhadriya Simha. In these two films I am doing five roles. I have Kotigobba a remake of Rajanikanth’s Baasha ready for release.
Q: Are you against the current remake trend in Kannada?
A: Since I have also acted in remake films I am not against to it you may thing. Actually we have abundant stuff. Karnataka is the only State in the country that has bagged Seven Jnanapith award for literature. The search what others make for stories is not made here. But remakes have given employment and satisfied many families. When you take a close look everything in life is a remake.
Q: Have you rejected any offer recently?
A: I was asked to do a role for Malayalam film Thenkasi Patnam Kannada version in the beginning. I said no and suggested the name of actor Ramesh Aravind what Dileep had done in the original.
Q: In a nutshell how do you gauge the Kannada film industry?
A: It is the best. The government is also giving wonderful facilities to this mass media. We should do something for our cine workers on the lines of Film cities in Andhra and Tamilnadu.
Q: Since there is clubbing of big stars in Kannada cinema too do you accept to act with Upendra in the forthcoming days?
A: I am ready. I see something unique in this man called Upendra. While all others are in one slot he is on a separate track. I feel sometime the risk he takes and effort he puts has not been in our days. He recently spoke to me for keeping the title Nagarahavu for his Baazigar remake for producer Rockline Venkatesh. It has the same title as my debut film in 1975. I wished him all the success.