Rishab Shetty talks about the year that was, his plans for Bell Bottom 2 and much more
The actor received multiple offers from various cinema industries but chose to finish the movies he planned to do
Rishab Shetty might give the impression that the phenomenal success of Kantara has changed him but the actor-filmmaker says that the only difference is the lack of time and space to sit down for discussions in an open space. "The recognition has pushed me to have my discussions in closed doors, but otherwise I am still the same."
While Rishab agrees that the result of Kantara was indeed a great positive from 2022, his approach to films hasn't changed. "My efforts for Kantara were the same as the efforts I put for Sa.Hi.Pra. Shaale, and in fact, it is the same for any film I am part of. Since I was also an actor in Kantara, the challenges were even more. The scale, the production by Hombale Films, acting and directing it was a huge responsibility. Having said that, some films turn out to be magical, and Kantara was exactly that. You can call it a miracle or God's blessings."
While Kantara is still quite the rage across the country, Rishab plans to end the year without any baggage or pressure. "I want to start my next film with a fresh mind. Of course, Kantara was a good experience, and its success has given me the space to think differently and look for unique subjects."
However, Rishab is clear that he wouldn't want to encash the fame by doing something that he might not have his whole heart. "If I wanted to, I would have started my next project two months ago. In fact, apart from widespread appreciation, I have been offered opportunities with big production houses from Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam industries. However, I'm sticking to my original plans. Considering my commitment to my next project for Hombale Films, and following it up with Bell Bottom 2, I have requested those who have approached me not to wait because I believe that Cinema should not wait for anyone.
Will his next film be a pan-India project or just a Kannada film? "Audiences across India have liked Kantara. At the same time, Kantara was just a Kannada film, and it is the audience who broke that language barrier, and made it an Indian film. So I'm looking to bring in content with a universal appeal. Having said that, I will not go with the intention of making my project pan-Indian. It will be a Kannada cinema but if it is something that reaches all kinds of audience, then we will think of dubbing it in other languages."
What did the Kantara journey, right from the making to the release to the national-level reach, teach Rishab? "More than the success, the work and its result is what is most important. It is the result that brings you opportunities. If I had not traveled with Kantara across India, it would become just another dubbed film. I was a guest to the North Indian audience, and today they have accepted me whole-heartedly. The appreciation and respect that I have received from big stars have given me a lot of energy. Coming from Keradi, which is 500 km from Bengaluru, having studied in a Kannada medium school, I took to cinema as a passion. I have worked in various fields, and even worked as an office boy and a driver in a Mumbai-based production house. From then to this phase of my career, I see it as a result of all the efforts I've done to date. Cinema is like God to me, and I worship it. Kayakave Kailasa (Work is worship)."