Actor Kishore discusses playing the deadly forest brigand for the second time, and his newest passion: farming
He has explored many roles on screen but the one that actor Kishore fits to a T is Veerappan, the forest brigand who was killed in a Special Task Force operation in 2004. Kishore plays the sandalwood smuggler in AMR Ramesh’s upcoming web series Veerappan: Hunger for Killing. It will be the second time Kishore plays Veerappan following Attahasa in 2013, which was also an AMR Ramesh film.
Veerappan: Hunger for Killing has run into trouble recently; a Bengaluru city civil court ordered a stay on its release on digital platforms after Veerappan’s wife, Muthulakshmi, filed a suit seeking injunction. Kishore, however, remains focussed on work at hand. With the signature hairdo and moustache on him, the actor took time out in the midst of filming his portion in the forests of Karnataka for a chat with MetroPlus. Edited excerpts from an interview:
You are into farming these days. What prompted the change?
I believe returning to Nature is a logical thing. [Nature] is reminding us today that we need to stay rooted. I am not saying that what we did all these years was bad, but somewhere along the way we fell and committed mistakes. To rectify that, we need to reverse certain things and live an organic life which is in sync with Nature. Sustainable farming will help us survive.
You have a reputation as an intense performer…
To be honest, I have no clue about acting. Sometimes I just stand and it is seen as intense. Cinema is a group activity. Acting or the actor is just one tool of this huge creative process, which, sadly, always walks away with the attention.
You were working as a Kannada lecturer when you were offered a role in Kanti…
I studied Kannada literature, so the only job I could get was that of a lecturer. I was not interested in teaching. There were also a lot of clashes happening [in college] and I was planning to quit teaching when I was offered a role in Kanti.
Do you find it challenging to be a multi-lingual actor?
One good thing is that you get a wider choice when it comes to roles. And you get to work with talented people from across regions. Be it The Family Man or working with Vetri Maaran, I have learnt a lot and made new friends.
Despite great content, Kannada cinema isseems to be overshadowed by other industries. What do you think is the reason?for this?
We rarely depict Kannada culture on screen. We tend to focus on global and popular culture. We show fights and a lifestyle that is normally set abroad or in the cites, leading to a complete ignorance of the local and rural content. So filmmakers like Sumana Kittur (Kiragoorina Gayyaligalu) and Pawan Kumar (U-Turn), or a film like and Ulidavaru Khandate (which brings the north Karnataka culture to the screen) ought to should be applauded as they for their efforts, which capture the veryessence of our State.
Your thoughts on playing Veerappan a second time.
It is tricky because he is a popular name and everyone is intrigued by him. My aim is to see if something good can be conveyed through portraying him on screen. And, for me, a film like this is to give due credit to the many lives who fought him and lost their lives in the process.