Kannada actor and director Rishab Shetty is riding high with the success of Kantara. The actor recently dropped the first look teaser of Kantara: Chapter 1 and as we write, a little over one minute video has crossed over 19 million views. The actor recently attended the International Film Festival of India in Goa where he spoke to the media about the prequel of his Kantara franchise, Indian cinema, filmmaking, regional cinema, and why he never wants to do any Hindi language film.
Elated with the response to his film Kantara and now the prequel, Rishab said the idea of a prequel was to tell the story differently and that the makers always had an idea to do Kantara first and then a prequel. “We thought of telling a story first and then wanted to say prequel. We usually do franchises but after doing this film we decided to do something different. Usually, filmmakers announce franchises, but since we received so much love from the audiences, we announced this prequel,” said the actor.
Exploring the religious and traditional beliefs of a community in a film can be challenging, as it may bring a backlash from the devotees. The actor agrees. “Kantara brings in a huge responsibility. It is a folklore of India so it resonated with the audiences more. They feel it’s their personal story. I think the rooted culture is more focused and thus audiences get more attracted to this story,” he stated and added that he is a firm believer in following each ritual and tradition. “I believe in the rituals and follow the rituals of the Kola community. I worship this god, that is the main strength I guess. It signifies the rooted sentiments and culture of the Indian belief system. It has been shown in a positive manner,” he said.
Rishab credits the film's success to the original content and the way it has been shown on the screen. “If the content is good people accept the film. This film has brought in a revolution, so now we will get to explore more content. We have a great response from the Kola community,” he shared.
Being an actor, director, and producer, Rishabh wears many hats. But he enjoys directing movies more than writing and acting. “I love to direct. Writing, I just dictate and the team writes. I have co-writers. Direction is something I love more. While directing I bring forth my life experiences as I am intrinsically connected to society and people and try to bring forth real life,” expressed the actor.
When asked about his plans for acting in Hindi films, the actor declined. “I have received a lot many offers not only for Hindi but from all the other language cinema. I cannot leave my Kannada industry. I am always grateful to the Kannada audience who supported me. I would not like to be away from making Kannada films. I will shoot in Kannada and lip sync in other languages because I can speak good Hindi as I learned Hindi while I was working in a production house in Mumbai. But as of now, there are no plans for Hindi movies,” said the actor in conclusion.