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Filmibee Exclusive: Surya thanks everyone for making his film 'Kattu Kathe' a succes!

The revelation of quite a few new faces is creating an excitable buzz in the Kannada film industry. This show, unlike others in different industries of the same genre, is open to anybody who is eager and willing to put their talents out there into the world, and show their audience that they have what it takes to rise to the top. The name, “Kattu Kathe”, which you might have been hearing about for a long time, is creating quite a thrill in zealous fans. Join us as we ask the lead, Surya, about his various adventures in the film industry and his rise to stardom. 

By: Vinayak Naik | Editor: Renita D'souza

Vinayak Naik: Tell us something about yourself and your arduous journey to get where you are right now. 
Surya: Personally, I feel there isn’t much I can say about myself. Born and brought up in Mysuru, I initially entered the film industry with the dream of becoming a dance choreographer. I was always on the lookout for new opportunities to put myself out there. It was during this job-hunting process that I came upon my mentor, Mandhya Ramesh, who straight-out questioned my current interest in dance and told me that with my looks, I should be working in the film industry instead. He offered to help me improve my then-nonexistent acting skills and was a great motivator. Soon enough, I joined his theatre group, and dedicated two years of my life to becoming a better actor, while also assisting him in the direction of a lot of his dramatic works. I also used to act in a few of the smaller ones. In time, my performances started to catch the eye of agents from serials like "Devi" and "Akka". During these struggling days, Tamil actor Shivaji Prabhu spotted me on the sets of Boss, in which Darshan Tugudeep stars. Being a junior artist, I lingered around the back; he came up to me and asked me not to stand there, and instead to go up to the front to try for the lead role. He promised it would work out for me and kept pestering me to go until I did, and to this day, I'm grateful for that. You need all the encouragement you can get when you're trying to rise up in any field. A little while after that, I got an offer to act in a film named, “Preethi Alli Sahaja”, in which a well-known actor from our industry was already acting in. Finally, I found “Kattu Kathe”  

VN: Was there any intense training or a workshop you had to go through for your role in Kattu Kathe? 
S: We did initially plan to hold workshops for this so we could get better at playing our individual roles, but things didn’t work out like we wanted. The role I play is of a deaf person. One day I was observing my pet dog; they hear people, even though they don’t understand them, and react accordingly. Surprisingly enough, this one-way communication between my dog and I helped me act more easily. In the end a lot of the body language I used in the film came from practicing with my dog. So as humorous as it sounds, it was my pet that kept me grounded and is the reason I got my role down pat. 

VN: So how did you finally acquire this role?
S: Well, the director had the script ready, so he was out looking for an actor who could go through the lines. After closely observing my performance in small-town dramas as well as in my first film, he got in touch with me. The thing is, almost everybody wants to play commercially-centered roles, but I chose to go for a performance-oriented one and that was what caught his eye. My guru always told me to never look for stardom, but instead to keep giving my best performance and one day people would make me a star. That advice got me far in life, and is the reason I immediately accepted this offer.

VN: What did the director tell you before beginning to film the movie?
S: He promised me one simple thing. He was frank about the fact that the movie had no commercial appeal, but he was confident from the very beginning that it would do well. Now when I see so much of the audience liking the movie and handing out so many positive ratings, I feel honored. He truly did keep his word.

VN: How do you feel about the movie receiving so much positivity?
S: I feel extremely happy as to how things worked out, because this was not just individual effort. It was an entire team sweating and grinding day and night to get this movie on the road. I’ve seen people sacrificing their sleep and a lot of other things to get things done, so I’m content that all the work we put in has more than paid off. 

VN: Do you have a favorite moment from the shooting of the movie? 
S: (laughs) Every moment I’ve spent shooting this film has been a good one. When the movie’s also approved by the audience, you look back and realize that every part of shooting it was quite the enjoyable and memorable experience.

VN: Did you ever expect the audience response to be this good?
S: Definitely not. Since our entire team consisted of members who were new to the industry, we were all slightly afraid that it wouldn’t work out. So this response has been both unexpected and humbling, and I hope the audience continues to encourage new talent in the industry with the same zeal they showed us.

VN: Do you consider this film to be a ladder for you to step up in the world of Cinema?
S: Very much so, yes. My first film didn’t work out much, but because of Kattu Kathe, people in the film industry have started recognizing me, which is definitely a good thing for my future in the career. So all in all, it worked out amazingly and way better than any of us expected. 

VN: How did this film help you grow, as a person and as an actor?
S: During the shooting of this film, I worked in every aspect of it, be it picking up litter or associating with the producer and the director, or even helping out the camera men. Fortunately, being a personal part of everything has humbled me, and I’ve never let my ego stop me from doing things other people might consider menial or beneath me. It wasn’t just me, but the whole team that functioned beautifully as a unit, from the artists to the technical team. Being in this position has given me a clear insight on how every person plays their role in the shooting of a movie and the problems they face while doing so. Understanding everybody’s perspective of things has helped me grow a lot and I hope to be both a better person and a better artist in my upcoming projects. I want to take a moment to thank Anagha Productions, the producers of Kattu Kathe, Sweet Mahadeva Mysore & Co., and Savitha for giving me the oppurtunity to put myself out there.