'K.G.F' star Yash on his overnight pan-Indian popularity

'K.G.F: Chapter Two' is currently playing in UAE cinemas


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Published: Thu 14 Apr 2022, 8:53 AM

K.G.F star Yash says an actor either works his way up the ladder in cinema or becomes an overnight star but he has experienced both sides of the phenomenon in his career.

Yash, whose real name is Naveen Kumar Gowda, made his debut in Kannada industry with Moggina Manasu in 2008 and later delivered many commercial hits, including Modalasala, Rajadhani, Kirataka, Drama, Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari, Masterpiece and Santhu Straight Forward.

But the Prashanth Neel-directed period action film K.G.F: Chapter One changed the course of the 36-year-old actor’s career as he found a wider acceptance from the audiences beyond the Kannada film industry for his role of Rocky, a high-ranking assassin in Mumbai who works his way to the throne of Kolar Gold Fields.

“Generally, an actor gets the opportunity to be an overnight star or he would have earned it gradually, going step by step. So if it doesn’t happen in your debut, then eventually you get it but it takes time.

“I took a lot of time to establish myself and then got the success. After becoming successful in the Kannada industry, I got to know how it feels to be an overnight star with K.G.F. Outside of Karnataka, not many people would have heard about me before K.G.F. But they accepted me. So K.G.F brought that change in my life,” Yash said.

Promoting the native

The actor, who was born in Boovanahalli, a village in Hassan district of Karnataka, said he always wanted to showcase the treasure trove of stories that his native film industry has to offer to the rest of the country and the world.

“My vision since the beginning was to represent my industry and get that due respect from the rest of the country. When Karnataka is doing so well in other fields, I wanted to shine a light on my industry.”

Yash is now back as Rocky for K.G.F: Chapter Two, in which he will go up against Sanjay Dutt’s Adheera.

In the second installment, the character of Rocky has a “different dimension”, the actor said.

“It is more vibrant. I wouldn’t call playing this character a challenge but it was exciting. We created a whole world with chapter one but with chapter two, the layers open up. Because of the way the audience liked the film and made it a success, we had ample resources for chapter two and we have made it an even better movie,” he added.

With the sequel, Yash said the responsibility was to provide an even better experience to the audiences because people wholeheartedly liked K.G.F.

“When you get so much success, it doesn’t mean that you can relax with the work. Success is a responsibility and we have to always think about doing better than the last time.”

Pan-Indian movies

Yash credited the film’s director for making it easy for him to play Rocky.

“As an actor, when you know the nuances of that performance, then you know your job. Once you get a hold of it, then it becomes very natural and easy. And I, especially, get involved in every process.

“I’m involved from the moment the story gets written. This is why I never think about how to say a dialogue. And when I see a writer writing a dialogue, I know the reason behind it and the impact it will have on the story, the characters and the viewers.”

Yash believes that there shouldn’t be any competition between regional movies and the Hindi film industry. Instead, they should try to work together to take on the world.

“India has already come together as one industry because there’s multiple language options with pan-Indian films. Now, what happens is we have a film with a universal concept and we make it in such a way that technically or aesthetically, it will be very good. Plus, you cater it to the people in their language.”

Yash said actors and filmmakers today realise the importance of the dubbing process.

“I don’t think that dubbing can be taken lightly. It’s not easy. Every film is dubbed. Even if I make a Kannada film, often I have to go and dub it. Even if I make a Hindi film, I have to dub it. I haven’t dubbed K.G.F: Chapter Two because I didn’t dub the first one. It’s a sequel and a continuation.

“But the next film, I’m very sure I’m going to dub just to provide the authenticity and my voice. I always feel that I can communicate better with my voice. But in total, this dubbing is not like the previous dubbing where we don’t know how the dialogues are being dubbed. So it’s about making an extra effort to reach every nook and corner of this country.”

With K.G.F concluding with the second part, Yash said an actor should always be identified with his or her “recent work”.

“At the same time, let them respect what you have done in the past. For example, we still talk about Sholay, Deewar and Zanjeer. But it is not that after these films, people don’t like Amit ji’s films.

“I always believe that when I did my first film, then people recognised me with that film. Then after a few films, they recognised me by another movie’s name. Now it is K.G.F. So it is good to be associated with the present film.”

But actors cannot bask in the glory of one film all the time.

“No actor would be happy about it. People should like us in other roles as well and expect us to do even better with the next project. Currently, I want Chapter Two to be better than the first one.”

K.G.F: Chapter Two also features Srinidhi Shetty, Raveena Tandon and Prakash Raj. The film is out in UAE theatres.

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