Harish plays a pivotal role in Radha Mohan’s upcoming film Gauravam

Tall, sinewy, talented and sensible, Harish seems to have all that it takes to make it in cinema. Putting the lukewarm response to his Thaa — the commendable film that sadly didn’t cause a ripple at the turnstiles — behind, Harish is a picture of cheerfulness. It’s not easy to have debuted as a hero in one of the worthiest offerings and see it fade away. But things are looking up for the young actor, who will be seen in a pivotal role in Radha Mohan’s Gauravam. Harish is also playing the anti in Aadhi’s Yaakaavarayinum Naakaaka. “And both are bilinguals in Tamil and Telugu,” Harish sounds happy. He’s all set to do another Telugu film with Sunil as hero and Uday Shankar as director. Harish is also working in the Malayalam film, Mumbai Police that has Prithviraj in the lead.

When Radha Mohan showed Harish’s pictures to Nagarjuna, the Telugu matinee idol was quite impressed. “After two years of struggle, I land a plum role with a director of Radha Mohan’s stature in a Prakash Raj production and am complimented by seasoned actor Nagarjuna! What more can I ask for? When Radha Mohan called me up from Hyderabad and passed on the info to me, I was on cloud nine,” says Harish. From flying high literally between Chennai and London as part of the cabin crew with Paramount and later with British Airways, to trying to take off to fanciful heights in cinema, it’s beginning to be a rewarding journey for Harish.

In Gauravam, he has plenty of combination scenes with Prakash Raj. “Working with him was such fun. People had warned me, ‘If you look directly into his eyes when you act, you’ll fumble.’ I experienced it first-hand during the shoot,” he says.

Meeting Radha Mohan at the Tamil Film Festival in Norway where Thaa met with stupendous response has augured well for Harish. The icing on the cake was when he won the Best Newcomer Award for his performance in the film.

Does he feel disconcerted that he’s had to change tack from playing hero? “Not at all,” is the response. “Even when Surya Prabhakaran decided to cast me as hero in Thaa, my first question was ‘Are you sure?’”

At the preview of Thaa journalists stood up to applaud the film. Thaa “ When they clapped we felt we would make it in the theatres too.” But Nature played truant. “December 3 was the release, the day the rain gods decided to descend. The incessant downpour for the next 72 hours took its toll. The first five days determines the fate of a film. So we pulled out Thaa as we thought we would re-release it.”

So Thaa will come out again soon?

“Yes, and we are keeping our fingers crossed.”