Despite having tasted colossal stardom, Shivanna has a down-to- earth vibe — which hardly ever goes unnoticed. A career spanning three decades and a 100 movies later, the Century Star Dr Shivarajkumar has emerged as a driving force behind Sandalwood cinema in his own right. The Hat-Trick hero who struck gold with back to back box office success right from his debut Ananda, is going strong and clearly knows how to rule the rooster — in his mid 50s, standing on top of his game with steely determination. The actor is back post the shooting of a sequence for his forthcoming flick Villain, where he shares the screen space along with Kiccha Sudeep for the first time. He exclusively speaks to Bengaluru Chronicle about his film Muthanna which is re-releasing this week, scores of his upcoming ones, and much more.
“It was my first ever film, where I played a dual role. I fond memories associated with Muthanna which was released in October 1994, which went on to become a huge hit. It was an honour to have worked in the film, which was actually a remake of Bollywood’s legend Rajesh Khanna’s blockbuster, Saccha Jhutha. The song Meri Pyari Behna from the film is still one of the evergreen Hindi songs. It was even made in Tamil as Ninaithadhai Mudippavan with MG Ramachandran. It feels great that some of my favourite works are getting re-released, and films like Muthanna have greater relevance as they shed light upon family sentiments and the special bond shared by a brother and a sister,” says Shivarajkumar.
Shivanna further adds that it was Hamsalekha’s musical brilliance which made the Muthanna peepi uduva…’ song along with other numbers from Muthanna such a great hit. “It is still played regularly. It is great that such films which had very entertaining elements are gettingre-released with an updated digital version”. After D Rajkumar, he is one among the few actors whose films have been re-released and especially Om, which has been produced under their own home banner and directed by Upendra, has been re-released several times, which is a record by itself.
On that note, Shivanna hints how he’d love to see a re-release of few of his favourite films like Janumada Jodi, Midida Shruthi and even Inspector Vikram. “I wish to re-release Janumada Jodi, which again has a lot of human values, which the present generation can connect to. Even Midida Shruthi is one such film that I would love to see a re-release of. This simple cute love story is one of my favourite genres and off course Inspector Vikram, wherein I play a police officer is one of the best picks for re-release,” says Shivanna.
About Villain, wherein he shares space with Kiccha Sudeep, for the first time. Shivanna shares, “I have just finished some portions of the shooting for it abroad and my solo shots are pending in it. It has a lot of comedy elements and I am working on a humour filled subject after a long time. Even, Tagaru, which is another film directed by Suri, has a lot of new elements and something which I am very proud of, as it reflects how Kannada films can also be made on par with any other languages films.”
He will also be seen, for the first time, playing a full-length visually-challenged person’s character in the remake of Oppam, a Mohan Lal starer Malayalam superhit flick. The star believes that an actor should always be open to criticism, which helps one move forward. “I would speak fast, which was something the critics rightly pointed out, which I worked towards and have corrected. Criticism always makes a person aware of where he is heading towards. Without criticism, life does not exist,” he adds.