A heartthrob in the south, Yash is all set to be introduced to the Hindi cinema audience, through ‘KGF’ which is being presented by Excel Entertainment in Hindi. We catch up with the actor to talk all about this film!

What did you really have to work on for ‘KGF’ in terms of your preparation?
Physically, I didn’t prepare much because I wanted to look very natural, nowhere close to someone who goes to the gym every day. He is a drunkard. But the behaviour or mindset of the character is very strong, unique. There are two ways to approach a character. One is that physically you look strong, for the character and second is, you look very normal but the small expressions or mindset of the character is more impactful. This film needed that kind of impact. There have been other films where I had to really work hard to maintain my physique for six-eight months; here the character is natural but strong. I feel the essence of the character is not through the physical appearance, but it should be through his persona. The way he talks or expresses or thinks. I just grew my beard, did nothing more, physically.

Mentally, emotionally, how was it to get that angst or intensity?
When I tell you, someone has stolen your vehicle, it comes naturally on your face. If you believe it for a second, it comes naturally. Actor’s job is the same. I have to go through that trauma, pain. I have to believe in that situation, only then it comes naturally. You cannot be a good actor if you just plan your expresses. That’s an actor’s job, to feel it, and that’s why they pay me (laughs).

Do you think that today, it’s really important to up the game when it comes to the visual experience and canvas to bring people to cinema halls?
We pay the same money for every film, and if we are getting a large canvas or great visual appeal, we would definitely go more. But this film was not made keeping that in mind. Somewhere down the line you have to be prepared for that. I love to watch television series but it cannot match with cinema. Cinema is a different viewing experience. It’s like community viewing. When you go there, you mentally prepare yourself to go there, sit and unwind. You switch off your phone and completely get into that world. Cinema will always be special, but you have to scale it up. Also, cinema is a visual medium. Television will have a lot of close-ups. Sometimes, my mother will be in the kitchen just hearing the dialogues while the TV is on. So, television also largely works on the audio medium. Cinema is not like that. When you have that kind of an access, that big screen so you do make use of it.

Films from the south, still have a lot of colour, vibrancy, song and dance – while Hindi films are slowly being influenced by the west. Do you think, it’s also essential though, to retain our song-dance-entertainment element that we are known for?
We have to. Cinema has given us the power to think, imagine. So, if you get very realistic, it becomes boring. That’s what happens at home, that’s what happens in the society, that’s what news channels show, and if you show the same things even in films, then it is boring. Cinema should give you hope and energy. I became an actor by seeing movies. Cinema definitely gives you motivation and belief. I like commercial cinema but at the same time, it shouldn’t go overboard. Cinema is also a culture in our country. For example, our weddings. Imagine a wedding without songs in our country? If you make films like Hollywood, what will they do in our weddings or festivals? So, we shouldn’t completely ape the west. We should respect our culture. What’s wrong with it?

What are the kind of movies you grew up on?
I used to watch a lot of Kannada films. I watched very few Hindi films, which use to play on Doordarshan on weekends; like, all Amitabh Bachchan films. I am a huge fan of Amitjee and Salim-Javed’s work. I love that kind of cinema and ‘KGF’ is partly influenced by that. The first of the film will remind of the 70s films because the film is set in that era.

Are you happy that Excel Entertainment came on board and decided to present it which of course will give the film a much larger release?
Yes, it’s important to have good presenters because this is a new market. Over there, my fan following, my work and good will of the last 10-12 years will be remembered which will add on to the film, ensuring a good release. But here, I’m a newcomer. I’m glad Excel has come on board because they have credibility which will add on to the film. The association has happened after watching the film, and that itself is a big thing. If they like the film, believe in it, only then they can come on board. And I should thank Mr. Anil Thadani, it happened because of him.

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