Exclusive: I want to present Yuva Rajkumar as a complete actor, says Santhosh Ananddram

The writer-director is launching the grandson of Kannada thespian Dr Rajkumar, in 'Yuva' under the Hombale Films banner.

ByShashiprasad S M

Published Mar 06, 2023 | 8:18 PMUpdatedMar 06, 2023 | 8:28 PM

santhosh ananddram director

Santhosh Ananddram’s first venture as a director, Mr & Mrs Ramachari (2014) featuring Yash and Radhika Pandit, was an instant hit.

He followed it up with two more blockbusters — Raajakumara (2017) and Yuvarathna (2021), both starring the late Dr Puneeh Rajkumar — which set new records in the Kannada film industry.

Now, in his latest venture Yuva, the director is all set to launch Kannada thespian Dr Rajkumar’s grandson Yuva Rajkumar.

In an exclusive interview with South First, the writer-director talks about his special bond with the late Puneeth Rajkumar, Hombale Films, his upcoming releases, and the most expected debut of Yuva Rajkumar.

On his special bond with Puneeth Rajkumar

santhosh ananddram puneeth rajkumar

Santhosh Ananddram with late Dr Puneeth Rajkumar. (SanthoshAnand15/Facebook)

“It has been over a year since Puneeth sir left us but he remains to be the guiding force in my career,” Santhosh Ananddram said, reminiscing about the Power Star.

He claimed that not even a day goes by without him feeling the presence of the late actor around. “His energy and enthusiasm inspire me to work every single day!”

The filmmaker seems to have experienced mixed feelings during the launch of Yuva. The movie marks the acting debut of Yuva Rajkumar, the grandson of Dr Rajkumar.

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Made under the illustrious Hombale Films banner, it is set to hit the theatres on 22 December 2023.

“Though I am happy with the launch of Yuva, I dearly miss Puneeth sir. As long as I remain to be a writer-director, I dedicate my work to the Power Star,” Santhosh Ananddram declared.

He also stated that the love and support from the Kannada audience have been the same for him as that of Dr Rajkumar’s family.

On Yuva Rajkumar

The script for Yuva is entirely new and is not based on the project that Santhosh Ananddram was working on for the late Puneeth Rajkumar.

santhosh ananddram with yuva rajkumar

Santhosh Ananddram with Yuva Rajkumar. (Supplied)

“Though Yuva Rajkumar is making his debut, he already attained stardom because of his unique personality. Hence, I had to carefully tailor everything according to his image and, most importantly, the needs of the subject which Yuva celebrates,” the director explained.

Launching a film with a release date is a rarity in the Kannada film industry. And Santhosh Ananddram attributed the achievement to proper planning and immense support from Hombale Films.

The release date of Yuva was finalised since the director has been busy with the pre-production works for the past eight months.

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The director noted that Yuva Rajkumar is good at dancing and performing action sequences which became evident after a couple of his stunts became public.

“He can pull off stunts and dance easily which is a plus for any debutant. However, I’m focusing on showcasing him as a complete actor,” the filmmaker said.

“We are working on the emotional and intense aspects. In its second half, Yuva has a lot of depth and ample opportunity to showcase the acting skills of Yuva Rajkumar.”

His association with Hombale Films

Santhosh Ananddram’s association with the Hombale Films banner, especially his bonding with its producer Vijay Kiragandur, dates back to Mr and Mrs Ramachari.

santhosh with vijay kiragandur

Santhosh Ananddram with producer Vijay Kiragandur of Hombale Films. (SanthoshAnand15/Facebook)

He recollected that he shared a good bond with Vijay even before filming his first shot for Mr and Mrs Ramachari.

“Vijay sir approached me to write a script for Puneeth sir. He wanted the family audiences to remember it as a memorable film. Thus, Raajakumara happened,” he revealed.

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Since then, his association with Hombale Films has been an organic bond and not based on the success of his debut film.

Santhosh Ananddram stated that he and Vijay never talk about business or returns but about delivering a memorable film to the audience.

On Raghavendra Stores

The director’s third venture with Hombale Films, Raghavendra Stores starring actor-politician Jaggesh, is set to hit the screens in the next few months.

raghavendra stores poster

A poster of ‘Raghavendra Stores’. (Supplied)

“I worked on this project during the lockdowns. It is not a regular subject but an unusual one written to cater to the family audience and the youth. It is about late marriage,” he explained.

He said working with Jaggesh has been a delightful experience for him. “Raghavendra Stores will showcase Jaggesh sir in a new avatar which only a few filmmakers have explored till now. It is a contemporary movie with a social message. It is easily relatable.”

About the writer in him, Santhosh Ananddram said he only writes for his projects.

“I only write for my films, be it script, lyrics, or dialogues. I did pen lyrics for others but only since I am completely familiar with their work or involved with the making of their project,” he signed off.