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Interview : Girish Kumar

'I admire Salman Khan's confidence and Hrithik's multi-tasking'

Son and nephew of Bollywood music barons, Kumar Taurani and Ramesh Taurani (owners of Tips Industries Ltd.) respectively, Girish Kumar is all set to step his foot in the glitzy Industry with RAMAIYA VASTAVAIYA, directed by Prabhudheva, who has given two back-to-back hits - WANTED & ROWDY RATHORE in Bollywood. The film is a remake of Prabhudheva's own directorial debut, Telugu blockbuster NUVVOSTANANTE NENODDANTANA. And Girish is super excited about his debut flick with the filmmaker. While many may be of the opinion that being a producer son, it was a cakewalk for the Kumar scion to get an entry in the industry, Girish had his share of struggle and had to prove his mettle to his dad Kumar Taurani & filmmaker Prabhudheva before embarking the project.

In conversation with the young, boisterous actor on the block Girish Kumar, who finds Salman Khan's confidence and Hrithik Roshan's multi-tasking inspiring. Here are the excerpts:

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Was facing camera your childhood dream? When was the first time you decided to be an actor?
Actually, I think, it was always on my mind but it was only at the age of 13 when I realized about my fondness towards acting. Like when I was 2 my mom dressed me as Lord Krishna, then at the age of 5-6 my parents got me KHALNAYAK costume, which I used to don wherever I went...I think the acting bug bit me from that point onwards...

How you prepared before getting in front of the camera?

I often used to sit with my dad for scripting and other post production work. I used to accompany my dad on the sets. I got to learn a lot while assisting him on the films like RACE 1 and PRINCE. The knowledge which I acquired behind the camera quite helped me while working in front of the camera.

'Prabhudheva is the most down-to-earth filmmaker'

What is more comfortable working behind the camera or in the front?

Initially the very idea of facing the camera was like...'how is it going to be?'. But as the camera rolled it all went smoothly.

Why you chose RAMAIYA VASTAVIYA as your launch pad?

I wanted my first film to reach out to as many people. meri picture ek bacche se leke budah tak dekh paaye I wanted a wider audience and RAMAIYA VASTAVIYA will appeal to one and all.

But are you ready with the current Bollywood norm and transcend the moral boundaries, given?

Yes absolutely...I am not saying it's a bad thing or a good thing. But all I want to say is as an actor I don't want to limit my audience in the first film. I want as many people to come and see my film as I am absolutely new to this field.

We were looking for a perfect script so when we came across Prabhu Sir's directorial debut Telugu blockbuster NUVVOSTANANTE NENODDANTANA we thought what could be a better film than this? My father then discussed with the writer and arrived at a decision of having Prabhu sir on board for the remake, as he had already given a hit film like WANTED...In the meantime his ROWDY also came and did well at BO. So, we were confident & happy to have Prabhu sir on the project.

So, how was the experience as Prabhudheva comes with an assured success rate in today's date?
Prabhu Sir is very disciplined man. But he was extra strict to me because he did not want me to be a producer's son and behave like one. I may have come with that intention but his strictness let me forget it on the sets. And it worked in my favour to a great deal. He extracted good performances out of us.
He talks less but he knows every single word. He knows every dialogue of the movie. He has an eye on every detail. Sometimes he expresses everything in gestures and yet we get the entire communication to what he wants say.

'I had the opportunity but the journey to opportunity was not easy'

Prabhudheva is known for his heady combination of dancing & action?Any difficulty matching up to his levels

Mehant toh bahut karwaai Prabhu sir ne...However, he did not made me do anything specific. On the contrary he gave me a general training so that I can pull off anything...He just made me very spontaneous be it acting or action or dance or emotion. I know he is God of dancing and the aura which he possesses, but because of his friendly attitude I never felt that he is such a big personality. In fact he is the most down-to-earth filmmaker I have ever come across.

Didn't you consider having a newcomer opposite you instead of Shruti Haasan, who is an established name down south and trying her bit in Bollywood?

Shruti Haasan is very professional and good at what she does. She did not have any sir about herself that she is Kamal Haasan's daughter. She has really done good work down south before she did my film. She was very supportive and patient...As far as casting is concerned I was never a part of it. It was always Prabhu Sir and my dad Kumar Taurani who were deciding on it. We tried casting new girls, we even met quite few of them but it just happened that Shruti came in picture and Prabhu Sir thought we two really make good pair. Moreover, she is already established name so it would only benefit the film. And it is little less pressure on the director to have another newcomer on the block.

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Being a Producer's son was it a pushover to enter Bollywood?
Yes you are right it was easier because the opportunity was there but the journey to opportunity was not easy. I had my share of struggle. I had to wait for three years, I had to prove my father and Prabhu Sir before embarking. So aajkal koi bhi paisa lagata hai toh soch samajke hi lagata koi nuksaan karne ke liye nahi lagata hai There can be only 1% of emotional factor otherwise nobody would want to make a loss venture.

For any newcomer there is always an extent of learning curve. Were you given that extra time to pick up the craft since it is your home production?

No that is not true. Learning curve for everyone is equal. For me the advantage that I came with was the opportunity but again I earned that opportunity it wasn't a cakewalk. I do understand the economics of the territory. As today it's not difficult to acquire any knowledge. Additionally, as an actor your learning curve never diminishes. Even as you do 100 films you keep learning something or the other. Aapki craft hi aisi hai audience always wants something new. Audience keeps guiding us somewhere.

Since you play a romantic hero, your antics in RAMAIYA VASTAVIYA quite reminds us of Shahrukh Khan's initial films?Was he is the inspiration somewhere? Who is your inspiration from the industry?

I am not a die-hard fan of SRK. We have all grown up watching his films. Stars like him are textbooks for us.

Salman and Hrithik are my inspiration. It's just their personalities which inspires me. I would say Hrithik Roshan creates that drive of being good at everything like I can say KAHO NAA PYAAR HAI was a turning point in my life..he knows how to dance, act, he is good at actions and he looks good also..Ab aur kya chhaiye ek insaan ko... While Salman Khan is a personality who exudes immense confidence that 'I am star and I am walking in'...the kind of love that he gets from people inspires me a lot.

'Stars like SRK are textbooks for us'

Elaborate a little about your role in RAMAIYA VASTAVIYA and also what the title wants to convey?

I play the character called Ram in the film. So the title means Ram Will you come? He is very mischievous, naughty guy, party animal, he keeps everyone happy but at the same time he is a sincere boy at the heart. He is a very honest person and loves wholeheartedly.

Being born in a filmy family how was your childhood like?

My childhood has been very normal because my parents are very simple people. They are not very filmy people. It is just part of our work. I don't have any friends from the industry. Since we are a very simple any other Indian family our interaction is very less and so we have limited friend circle from the industry.

With so many star sons and daughters making their presence felt you feel the pressure to break the clutter?

I believe thoroughly that good talent should come ahead in the industry. There is enough space for everyone. Everyone and anyone can be a star.
- By Rachana Sheth, Glamsham Editorial

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