Playing RK was challenging

Prashant Karthi thrilled at bagging the power-packed role

When Ram Gopal Varma (RGV) announced the film Konda (a biopic on the couple Konda Murali and Konda Surekha), everyone was waiting with bated breath to see who would play the powerful role of the late Naxal RK (alias Polam Sudharshan), a close friend of Murali and a big influence on the latter’s life.

Though a senior actor was expected to be cast in the role, young Prashant Karthi was chosen.

Actor Prashant Karthi

“When RGV Sir selected me for the part, I was thrilled, but nervous too, because it’s a very powerful role,” says Karthi.

Although he knew who RK was, Karthi says he started doing research on the Naxal leader and zoomed in on his personality only after he came on board for the project.

“I went to Warangal and met several of RK's friends and acquaintances and found out what he was like. I tried to understand his attitudes, the way he walked and talked, and tried to get into his personality. Besides, RGV showed me videos of the late leader,” he shares.

Karthi spoke to Murali himself, and got to know a few of RK’s traits. And through Murali, he met RK’s wife Bharathi. “She was glad that I was acting the part of her late husband; she is a quiet person. She did not talk much, but wished me luck,” says the actor.

Looks wise, Karthi is excited by his makeover. A team of technicians (hairdressers and makeup artistes) flew in from Mumbai to make the actor look the part. It took him about three months to achieve the makeover.

“I was stirred by RK’s ideas” says Karthi. “His revolutionary thoughts, poetry, philosophy, etc., have inspired me a lot,” he reveals.

What Karthi likes about the character is that it is raw, rustic and genuine, and he loves the role. But when asked if he was apprehensive about playing the part, he said, though it was challenging, he wanted to push the envelope. Also, realistic roles bring him closer to the audience, he feels.

Was he worried about criticism from his parents or friends for playing such a role? “None of them have expressed any concern. In fact, my parents are happy that I am playing a powerful role,” he says, signing off.

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