Mahat Raghavendra looks forward to the big Friday for his first solo hero release
The title role of Backbench Student was, in a way, destined for Mahat Raghavendra. “Director Madhura Sreedhar had a couple of established artistes in mind, but for some reason he wasn’t convinced. The writer Lakshmi Bhupal mentioned my name and they saw a video interview I had given for my previous film, Mankatha (Tamil) and then chose me,” says Mahat, as he counts down to the film’s release this Friday.
At that time, Mahat was travelling and remained out of reach for more than a month. “I am not a big actor but the director waited for me. I was humbled by his gesture,” says the actor.
Campus capers and love stories are commonplace, unless one is armed with a script that gives this genre a new spin. Backbench Student, says Mahat, is one such example. “The story is not out of ordinary but the script is. The film tries to break the notion that backbenchers or students who fail in their studies are incapable of making it big. There’s something in the film for parents who pressurise their children to shine in academics,” he says.
Shooting for the film brought back memories of his own college days, when he studied in Hindustan College of Arts and Science, Chennai. “Unlike this role, I didn’t have 16 backlogs though,” laughs Mahat. His role, Karthik, is that of a happy-go-lucky guy who finds himself caught in a Catch-22 situation.
Backbench Student is Mahat’s first release as a solo hero. “I am excited and nervous. I’ve seen my friend and actor Simbu go through tense moments before a film’s release. Now I can relate to how he feels,” says Mahat. Incidentally, Simbu and composer Anirudh Ravichander have sung a song for the film. At a later date, the film will also release in Tamil with a few changes.
After this, Mahat will be seen in Vijay’s Jilla and a bilingual project.