He is one of the most celebrated actors and is known for his simplicity, just like his legendary father, the late Dr Rajkumar. Now, he is back in form after recovering from a minor illness. In his early 50s, the Century Star, the Kohinoor of South and popularly known as the Hat-Trick Star Dr Shivarajkumar is one of the main pillars of Kannada cinema. He speaks to us about his love for films, his recent London trip with his family, and his wish to see his father at the Madame Tussauds wax museum, and much more.
Apart from two of his upcoming releases, Santheyalli Nintha Kabira and Srikanta, Shivanna has at least half-a-dozen projects lined up including S/O Bangarada Manushya. His last three films – Vajkraya, Killing Veerappan and Shivalinga did wonders at the box-office.
“I wake up at 5.30 am and go for my morning walk. I then head to shoot from 9 am to 6 pm. I come back home, spend some time with my family members and go to bed without fail by 10 pm,” says Shivanna, adding that he has been going about this routine very religiously for some time now. His mantra is simple: “I enjoy working, and it is my energy booster. I don’t get tired as I plan my work well and enjoy what I do.”
Shivanna was recently honoured in London, a first for any Kannada actor. He was felicitated in front of the Sri Basavanna statue, right next to the famous Thames river. Shivanna shares his experience about his first trip to London, along with his newly married daughter and son-in-law. This was a special trip as his film Shivalinga was screened for the Kannada audiences there. “It was a great trip as I went along with my wife, daughter and my son-in-law. The love and support I received was amazing. We had actually planned the release of Killing Veerappan, but when Shivalinga released, we screened it in London, and the response was amazing. It was nice to watch a Kannada film amongst Kannadigas. In fact, I never felt I was away from India. I am truly blessed as I was also honoured with the title ‘Kohinoor of South’. Most of my fans invited me for a meal and even urged me to shoot more there,” says Shivanna.
The star says he checked out all the local hotspots like a regular visitor and even traveled in the London tube. This was a much needed break for the star, whose upcoming films will also be screened in US., UK and Australia.
But there is one desire that would make Shivanna a happy man. He would like to see the statue of his legendary father when he visits Madame Tussauds museum next. “I have already spoken to the concerned authorities. I am not raising the issue just because he is my father, but he has also contributed extensively in terms of his social work. He was involved in the Gokak Chaluvali protest and no actor can even imagine something like that. I wish people will take note of it, and the future generations will know about his greatness.”
His favourite film for the season Santheyalli Nintha Kabira, in which he portrays the role of saint Kabir Das, will be releasing just before his birthday on July 12. Whereas in Srikanta, he plays a common man, in which he recently climbed a 60 ft cut-out poster dedicating it to all his fans who climb his cut out posters!...