May 01, 2011 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
Karthik Kumar is not new to Telugu people, theatre lovers have seen him perform with his group 'Evam' in Hyderabad for the past few years. The simple, cool and good-looking actor's film Veppam is being dubbed and released here as Sega soon. He becoming an entrepreneur is an offshoot of his passion for acting; right from the time he was in school to his work in the theatre it is something he always enjoyed doing and the biggest bonus is bringing theatre back to the people.
Armed with an engineering and an MBA degree, Karthik had something pending to do before getting into the business of theatre. He had to pay back his educational loan and so worked for a couple of years in Real Images. In an exclusive chat the actor says money is an inevitable by-product of the business but what's more important to him, is what one is doing to make money.
In theatre one performs for an audience, in a cinema the focus is on to please the director. Karthik has learnt to accept both the different mediums. The gaps between shots don't frustrate him, he gets ready to give energy whenever the director screams 'action!' He's had plays that have been huge hits but there have been dull moments as well, but the irony is the effort he's put in is the same. He remarks every play is special, and flops much more because every time one loses there is so much to learn.
The theatre has made him disciplined and patient as a human being, he doesn't see the bad, good; for him it's a process, a journey. Lot of people have been asking Karthik that if he gains equal popularity in cinema one day, will he give up theatre. The answer is a stern no, he says many advantages. He explains in cinema, fame comes first but in theatre it is the last. Many actors worry, get scared about their future in cinema but here an actor is a lot more secure. Theatre is lot more democratic, anyone can get in directly and be accepted by the people.
Karthik adds that Suriya took 12 months to mature as an actor, if he had done theatre first, his first film would be Nanda. On his part the actor like Al Pacino wants to do one play every season and two films a year as it keeps him mentally challenged. On Hyderabad, Karthik says it's his favourite city, "It has the best in combination of Bangalore and Chennai. Evam entered Hyderabad five years back and if I were to settle in any place, it would be here. Telugu and Urdu are the sweetest languages where as Tamil has harsh, strong syllables. When a villain says I'll break your face in Telugu, it doesn't sound like that at all."
He's observed that over the years Tamil and Malayalam cinema are becoming louder while Telugu is changing. Sekhar Kammula and Krish Jagar have been doing some interesting cinema and some day he would like to be a part of a straight Telugu film. He's game to running around trees and thinks that if he doesn't believe it he would look fake on screen. He adds, "Ravi Teja is a fun actor, his work was believable in Vikramarkudu but if Irrfan Khan or Naseeruddin Shah were to do the same role, it would be a tough challenge."
Finally on Sega (Veppam), Karthik says he is looking forward to people's reactions. Director Anjana Ali Khan had made a believable action packed film. The aggression in the film comes from her black belt background, you would never expect that from a woman, he signs off.