Vishal Krishna would go on Himalayan trips a couple of years back without getting noticed by the people up North. But that’s not the same now, as people across the country recognise him, thanks to all the South Indian movies being dubbed in Hindi. Vishal made headlines when he took over the educational expenses of 1,800 children in Karnataka. They were were earlier sponsored by the Kannada super star Dr. Puneeth Rajkumar until he died of a heart attack last year. The South star will soon be seen in Laththi. In an exclusive interview with The Free Press Journal, the actor opens up about his upcoming film, choosing a simple life over luxury, his philanthropic initiatives, and plans for Bollywood debut.
Laththi will hit screens on December 22. The actor was also in the news for his Bollywood debut, but he denies the rumours. “There are no plans for Bollywood as of now,” he says.
Opening up about Laththi and his role in it, Vishal shares, “It has been a long journey with the movie. I finished the action sequence a few months back. This is the most painful and tenuous journey. This film will resonate with every person in terms of pain and injury. I have been boasting about being an action hero, but this movie gave me true confidence to call myself an action hero since the film demanded a lot from me in a 60-day straight action sequence during the shooting. We have one of the best stunt choreographers in India (Peter Hein). I am enjoying the journey and the bruises on my body.”
When asked how he braved those bruises and injuries, Vishal explains, “I have never used any duplicate in my films. I have always done my scene myself. I always bonded myself with action. I always did that for myself and didn't want people to clap for something which I didn't do. Recently, I had a bad fall from the fourth floor which could have been done by a duplicate but I decided to do that myself. We all are stuntmen at the event of the day.”
When quizzed about his philanthropic activities, Vishal says, “I feel it's better for the kids to speak in future. They are children, I don't want to talk on their behalf. Half of them don't know that I am the one who is sponsoring them. I don't want to be seen as a forefront person in this initiative. It's good that the children are able to follow their dreams since not many get facilities and resources to do that. I am just joining hands with many others. My foundation is named after my mother and I believe if a girl is educated she will be the leader of a better future.”
The actor is also into martial arts. Speaking about it, he states, "Someone told me that I should have done martial arts in my 20s. But I wanted to say that age is just a number. When I saw Tiger Shroff doing a stunt and Allu Arjun dancing, it put me to shame. I felt they were so talented and what am I doing. So I thought trying a new thing and martial art was the closest for me. I do everything that confuses my workout so I do martial arts, MMA, aerobics because it helps me stay mentally healthy."
Tamil cinema has a history of actors moving into politics. One wonders if he too intends to down that road. "I think if you want to do social service, you don't need a political party. Only two hands and hearts need to know what you do in terms of your social service. If politics is to extend your service and help to someone then I am a politician already and I will always be," he avers.
Vishal is known to live a luxury-free life and he doesn't throw hero-like tantrums. "My room is the best room in India. I like to live low-key. There's nothing to boast about and I work because I love working. I have everything that I need to live. The whole idea of luxury is different for me. I have everything that I need to live a basic life, beyond that I don't need anything. I don't want too many things around me that I am not going to use because that's a waste of energy for me," he states.
On a parting note, we quiz him if he has any plans for pan-India movies, since many actors from South have become pan-Indian actors. "Going pan-India is the future for every actor and movie. Now, there is no barrier for language and content. I used to go to the Himalayas just as a backpacker and travel through local transport but now I can't go because my films got dubbed in Hindi and now people know me. I have stopped going there. So, the point is that you can reach out to people through content, no matter where and in which language you make the film. I am a Tamil language actor and I am happy people watch my movies dubbed in Hindi," he concludes.
Vishal will soon make his directorial debut with Thupparivaalan 2 scheduled to release next year.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )