Actor and director Upendra moved to Banashankari 10 years ago and is liking it

Alliruvudu Nammane, Illiruvudu Summane” (Our real home is elsewhere, this is where we live for now). This is how the heartthrob of thousands, actor Upendra reacts, when asked if he is happy to have shifted from Vidyapeetha — where he was born and grew up — to his new house in Banashankari III Stage.

Sitting in ‘Summane', the spacious and well-designed house where he lives with his wife Priyanka, son Ayush and daughter Aishwarya, the superhero says he has “adjusted to the new environs” in the 10 years he has been here.

After a successful stint in directing, Uppi, as he is known to his fans, took to acting and soon became the icon of the younger generation.

This was not least because of his critical approach towards the ‘hypocritical' middle and upper middle class.

“My roots are in Vidyapeetha. That is where I peddled my bicycle before becoming ‘something' in the Kannada film industry. It was initially difficult to adjust in Banashankari. But now I am comfortable,” smiles Upendra.

Besides directing eight films, he has acted in over 40 of them after his debut venture Tarle Nanmaga that released in 1992. His films triggered curiosity because of the peculiar titles such as Shhh, Om, A, H2O, Swastik, Upendra and the super-hit Super.

As a director and actor, Upendra has seen both ups and downs in his 20-year career. His real talent came to light when he directed Om with Shivaraj Kumar in the lead, the first movie that exposed Bangalore's underworld. Later, A saw a fresh, deceptive and innovative narrative that established Uppi as an indisputable hero.

The film that showcased Upendra's talent was H2O. It dealt with the century-old controversial Cauvery river water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka through a novel narrative technique.

Priyanka Trivedi was specially brought in as the female lead. It is also said that Upendra scripted the film for Rajkumar and Rajanikanth, but was forced to shelve the project as both actors refused to accept the offer saying they did not want to get dragged into the controversy then.

Today, Upendra is all set to do a triple role in Godfather said to be a remake of Varalaru, directed by K.S. Ravikumar with Ajith and Asin in the lead. Upendra will be essaying the role of a businessman.

Does Uppi still reminisce about his early years of growing up at Vidyapeetha? Pat comes his reply: “You can remove a person from a place, but not the place from a person.”

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Up CloseApril 13, 2011