Actor K.R. Vijaya returns to a mythological role in ‘Sri Rama Rajyam'
“Iwas telling Balakrishna recently that he looks so much like his father inSri Rama Rajyam. I acted with the father and also his son. The entire experience took me back to that era and I'm thankful to all those who made it happen,” says K.R Vijaya who played Kausalya for the first time in Bapu's mythological extravaganza. With an impressive repertoire of 500 odd films that includes Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, the actor is still hungry for more roles.
Down south her fans equate her to a Goddess and visualise an Aadi Parasakti and Devi Lalitamba. Yet she hasn't done many devotional films; the few that she had, created a huge impact on viewers. She adds, “My fans would come to me and say that whenever they went to a temple or did some puja at home they would see me in the deity. I haven't planned my life or career, in my childhood I did what my parents told me and on the sets I followed the director's instructions. I have no imagination and creativity and also since I have never been to school, my director was my guru and the little I know is from the movies.”
Wasn't she the first one to buy a plane in 1966? She responds modestly “Aiyyo, it's my husband's not mine. A ship, a plane…I don't bother much... it's his fetish. All I would do is concentrate on my work, be good with my co-artistes. The studio would be my home and I considered the artistes my family members but after pack up I wouldn't think about movies at all.” K.R. Vijaya's father was from Chittoor and mother from Kerala. She made her debut inKarpagam, a Tamil movie directed by Gopalakrishnan andSrikrishna Pandaveeyamin Telugu directed by NTR and speaks more in Tamil than in Malayalam or Telugu.
A very disciplined actor, it is heard that she would always stay separately in hotels and get her own food those days. She avers, “I don't like to give problems to producers, we had to wake up by four am and the boy would ask what time he needs to attend on us on the first day and would disappear thereafter. So I decided to handle things on my own. Producers have many problems and I thought from my side I shouldn't be an additional burden. I took care of the other things and focus on being punctual and dedicated to work.”
Vijaya says that her most vivid memory was of being busy and everyone in the unit people from the cinematographer, tailor, make up artist etc all treating her like a small child.
She adds, “I worked in two languages simultaneously and would hop from one studio to another every single day. My day would begin at four and we would be waiting in a queue for the make up. Seven to nine in one place, nine to one, two to five, five to nine and 9 to 12. I continued like this till I had a daughter, then I wondered if I should continue but my husband insisted I work because he considered this job as God's gift. I acted with all stars NTR, ANR, Shoban Babu, Harnath. They all hadbhaktifor cinema. This is my second movie with Bapu, the first beingTyagayya”. The actor signs off, “From my childhood if I had any problem I would close my eyes and place my problem before God and I would get the answer. Soon after my bath, I spend time in the puja room, only after that do I begin my day's work. Sometimes I feel I'm the happiest person in this world.”