It was fun working with dad's heroines: Puneet

Aug 13, 2009 R.G. Vijayasarathy

Bangalore, Aug 13 (IANS) Kannada actor Puneet Raj Kumar says he had a whale of a time shooting for "Raj: The Showman", which is said to be the costliest film of his career, especially with the actresses Bharathi, Jayanthi and Jayaprada who were his father's leading ladies.

"I had a good time working in the film with some great artists including my father's heroines like Bharathiji, Jayanthiji, Oorvashiji, Jayapradaji and Roopa Deviji," Puneet told IANS before going abroad to shoot a song for his next film "Raam".

Releasing Friday, "Raaj..." is directed by Prem and Puneet is paired with Bollywood actress Nisha Kothari in the film.

Asked about the film's budget, he said: "I really don't know... I don't think about the budget, but one thing I can say is that producers Srinivasa Murthy and Suresh Gowda have spared no efforts to make a good product," said the actor.

Puneet ventured into films with "Appu" and went on to give hits like "Abhi", "Ajay", "Namma Basava", "Mourya", "Akash", "Arrasu", "Milana" and "Vamshi". Now expectations are high from "Raaj..." and the actor admits that he is worried about its fate at box office.

"Naturally. The release of every film brings some anxiety to any artist. I am not expecting anything for myself, but it is my responsibility to make my fans happy by delivering a superior entertaining product," he said.

All of us have worked hard to make it a good film, said Puneet.

"Prem is a very competent director and he is a perfectionist too. The technicians worked day and night to ready the film for festival release. It was my elder brother Shivanna who suggested the title for the film. When Prem went to Shivanna to narrate the story, he suggested the title Raaj. And everyone liked it. He had earlier suggested titles for my hits 'Appu', 'Akash' and 'Arrasu'. I must say Shivanna's titles have benefited my films."

Talking about his role, he said: "I will be seen in several different types of costumes in the film. The locales selected for the film are really stunning. Though the film took a little longer to complete, all of us are happy with the final output. The commitment shown by cameraman Krishna and music director Hari Krishna. I'm sure 'Raaj...' will be an exclusive and exciting film for the Kannada film audience. It will be a good entertainer."

While songs of the film were shot in South Africa Switzerland, Leh and Ladakh, Srinagar, Taj Mahal in Agra and Rajasthan, major portions of the film were shot in Mysore and Bangalore.

Despite several hits, you haven't signed too many films, why?

"It is something to do with my attitude. I'm not as energetic as my brothers. Even while selecting stories, I take help from my elder brother Raghu. Shivanna is like a dynamo. Also, I want to be steady... I want to do films that are technically sound and have entertaining values," he said.

The actor feels filmmakers should concentrate on the technical aspect of films to make it internationally viable.

"I think Kannada films can have an larger international appeal if we make high quality films and market them well. I have tried to enter foreign market by releasing 'Akash' in Australia, New Zealand and the US. This has started a new trend and now most of my films and other Kannada films are being released abroad. The producer of 'Raaj' has already announced that the film is being planned for a simultaneous international release," he said.

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Raj - The Showman


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