Bangalore: He’s all of 11 and he is a burst of energy. Known by the masses as ‘Democracy,’ which was the name of his lively, heart-warming character in Rakshit Shetty’s Ulidavaru Kandante, Sohan Shetty from Udupi has been the centre of Sandalwood banter of late. The mischievous glint in his eye is ever-present, be it on-screen or off it, but in Rakshit’s Shetty’s words, “he was really easy to work with. He took quite a number of takes in the beginning, but began to even improvise on the dialogues later.”
The school-going boy, who had never been in front of a camera before, effortlessly transformed into a favourite of Kannada movie followers. “I gave an audition and I got selected,” he says. His supportive mother quips in, saying, “The teachers sent a word through the children to their parents that auditions were happening in school. Sona as he is fondly called, was very insistent on going for it. He has always had this craze for acting,” she shares. Even in school, this sixth grader heads all the extra curricular activities. Ask him about his studies and he happily says he studies well and that environmental science is his favourite subject. But he is a bit bummed about not having met his teachers and friends after the release of the film. “I got permission to take holidays when I had to go for shooting during school. But the film released only in the summer holidays,” he muses.
But that won’t let Sohan down. He is really kicked about being on-screen. He has watched Ulidavaru Kandante four times already but calls Rakshit Shetty from time to time to ask him to explain bits of the film to him! Ask him why he keeps watching it, and he cheekily says, “because I have acted in it,” much like the cheeky dialogue-producing ‘Democracy’ in the film. He speedily, repeats the dialogue, “democracy is by the people, of the people, for the people,” from his film; it was apparently the last thing he learnt in his sixth grade. Speaking of dialogues, this child actor had a great many dialogues in the film, but he had no issues learning them by-heart, with no one’s help! “I learnt the dialogues myself, it was easy. But Rakshit anna helped me,” he says.
Now, he’s basking in the popularity he has earned in his hometown, but is quite bored after the buzz he was surrounded by while shooting. “I cried on the last day of the shoot because I didn’t want to leave anyone,” he admits. He looks forward to coming to Bengaluru, where the rest of the crew lives. Surprisingly, although he has hung out with actors and film crew, he doesn’t intend to be an actor when he grows up. “When I grow up I want to be an IAS officer,” he beams. He can wait a good 10 years for that, because right now, he still has to play cricket and badminton with his friends, and of course, his favourite cycle awaits him!