Puneet Rajkumar admits he and his brothers are scrutinising scripts to find the perfect film to star the three of them
During the shooting of his multi-starrer film “Hudugaru” in the historic Chitradurga Fort, the scorching heat refuses to burn out his spirit as he constantly keeps a smile on his face, even amidst the swelling crowd.
Puneet Rajkumar, the youngest son of legendry actor Rajkumar has succeeded in carving a niche for himself in Sandalwood, yet he humbly believes that he is nowhere close to what his father achieved. “Being the son of such a gigantic figure always has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand you get instant recognition in the industry. At the same time, you will be constantly compared to your father.But, as an actor, I never got bogged down by such expectations from people or critics because I never tried to compare myself to my father.”
Fondly known as Appu, Puneet, who started his career as child artist, believes he is just doing his job. “Acting is my job and I want to do it with complete honestly, passion and sincerity.”The actor, who is about 15 films old, has had several hits including “Appu”, “Prithvi” and most recently, “Jackie”. Puneet very strongly opposes dubbed films. “We can produce our own films and steer clear of dubbing other language films.” While he opposes the dubbing phenomenon, Puneet does not see any harm in remaking other-language films.
“I have acted in three films including ‘Hudugaru', which is a remake of the Telugu film ‘Shambho Shiva Shambho'. We can adopt the storyline of other language films, yet we can make films that suit the taste of Kannadigas.”
Refuting the conception that producers in the Kannada film industry consider “remakes” a safe bet, Puneet points out “The failure of remakes clearly shows that there is no sure-shot formula for success. Unless the film is made to appeal to the audience, it cannot become a hit, no matter how successful the film was in the original.”
Talking of his bonding with his siblings Shivrajkumar and Raghavendra Rajkumar, Puneet says the brothers share a relationship which qualifies more as friendship. Asserting that the three of them discuss any new script before producing the film, Puneet says that he receives valuable advice from his brother for his films. He considers Shivrajkumar his biggest inspiration, after his father. Puneet admits that the siblings are in a process of selecting the perfect script, which will allow the three brothers to star together.
“In a film where all three of us are acting, there will obviously be greater expectations of us, and we don't want to disappoint our audience. So we are taking our time with the selection.”
Puneet rejects any suggestions of superstition behind the trend of selecting single names as titles for his films. He says that since a few of his films that had similar titles turned out to be hits, directors hope to get lucky with such titles. “However, not all my films with a single name title have been a hit at the box office. ‘Milan' was one such film which did not appeal to the audience”.
His next film will be “Paramathma”, directed by Yogaraj Bhatt of “Mungaaru Maley” fame. He has no regrets that he refused Bhatt's offer to act in “Mungaaru Maley”, which made a superstar out of Ganesh. Puneet says that he never runs behind success. “On the contrary, I feel elated to know that the Kannada film industry has got a talented actor like Ganesh.”
Will he ever consider stepping into the world of politics? The instant reply comes: “No”. He says he is only following the footsteps of his father, who refused to enter politics. While Puneet believes that politics is one of the best ways of serving humanity, it is not the ultimate choice. An individual, being in any field can do his bit for the society, he insists. “After I played the character of an IAS officer in ‘Prithvi', I received a mail from a fan stating that he would strive to become an IAS officer, which he felt has greater potential to serve common people. I earnestly feel I have succeeded in my endeavour even if I can encourage a person to join public service with honesty.”
Puneet says that besides “Hudugaru” and “Paramathma”, he is also busy shooting for “Anna Bond” and there are a couple of other projects in the pipeline.