Guess who is grabbing eyeballs as the new hunk on the Kannada television block? The sizzling boy who essays the role of Raman in the popular TV soap Radha Ramana. Not many are aware that Skanda who hails from Chikmagalur is already a star in Mollywood, having acted in atleast eight films so far, including a handful in Kollywood. The model-turned-actor was the first choice for director Shashank’s Moggina Manasssu which was also the turning point for both Radhika Pandit and her hubby Yash who went on to become the Rocking Star. Skanda speaks about his TV debut playing Raman and his silver screen journey so far.
“It was 11 years ago that I made my acting debut for the super hit Malayalam movie Notebook directed by the national award-winning Rosshan Andrrews. After that came Positive, which was again directed by another national award-winning individual VK Prakash. Later, the film was made in Telugu titled Malli Malli and in Malayalam titled Elektra. Then came Angusam, in Tamil that is based on the RTI Act. Finally, it was Kannada and Charulatha followed by Pawan Kumar’s U-Turn. However, the Kannada audience know me better as Raman. I cannot believe the huge reach of television,” Skanda says.
After tasting stardom on the big screen, the model-turned-actor decided to take to television after he was offered a pivotal role in a serial. “Being a Kannadiga, I always wanted to make a mark in the Kannada industry. Though, I had worked in a couple of films, my work was yet to reach higher ground. When I was offered the serial, the director and channel convinced me with the subject and storyline, which I felt connected well with family audiences. It is a different kind of story and I liked it immediately. The concept, the making as well as the ease of working with Colors Kannada made me take it up,” says Skanda.
Incidentally, many do not know that Skanda was the first choice for the film Moggina Manassu. He explains, “I had an unfortunate accident before the shooting started. Shashank Sir even waited for some time for my recovery. I had even shot a few scenes for the film before I opted out of it due to injuries. It was Yash who later stepped into that role,” he reveals, speaking of how the film changed fortunes for Yash.
On essaying the role of Raman, the actor reveals that he finds that he has an uncanny resemblance to the character, with high family values and an empathy for the those in need. “Even during the shoot, if anyone was going through a rough time, I would try and console them. The character has brought me more fame, and I get a lot of attention now rather than when I had tasted a slice of stardom as a film actor in regional languages. I have had the pleasure of working with several renowned filmmakers and great ventures. I do not know why they call it smallscreen when the reach is so huge,” he smiles.
Still getting used to the pace of telly, Skanda is extremely happy being Raman. “I am grateful that the channel had no limitations with regards to my taking up films and other projects, which makes it even more wonderful,” he says. Back in Chikamagalur, Skanda takes care of his ancestral coffee plantation and gets busy with the travails of coffee and pepper cultivation. Acting was a coincidence that occurred when a profile photograph taken by his cousin reached some filmmakers. “I have been modelling for ads even while doing my BBM at National College, and somehow the photos reached the directors and led me onto the big screen,” he says, adding that he has a couple of Tamil movies in the pipeline as well....