Pushpa actor Dhananjaya on Badava Rascal: I will never fall into the image trap

Actor Dhananjaya first came into prominence for his negative role in director ‘Duniya’ Soori’s Tagaru (2018), which had Shivarajkumar in the lead. Now, he is a star in his own rights, with the recent box office success of his solo film Badava Rascal.

“The audience has been very encouraging and supportive of all the characters that I have done since Tagaru. People like it when I come on screen. I think I met their expectations in movies like Salaga, Rathnan Prapancha and Badava Rascal,” Dhananjaya told indianexpress.com.

He noted that the support he enjoys with the Kannada movie audience helped the movie to sail through the challenges and become a blockbuster during the pandemic.

“We hardly put up any posters of our film. But, the fans made our job easy by creating creative ways to promote the film everywhere. They celebrated the film every step of the way. And after the movie released, it became a huge blockbuster at the box office. I toured around 30 cities to express my gratitude to fans across the state. However, I had to cut short my ‘thank you’ tour owing to the rise in cases of Covid infections,” he added.

He revealed that when he first read director Guru Shankar’s script, he knew that the film would appeal to the sensibilities of middle-class people. “It has values, humour, and emotions specific to middle-class people and I think that’s why people were also able to relate to the film. The film became a hit because of the family audience,” said the actor, who was also seen in the Telugu blockbuster Pushpa: The Rise.

Dhananjaya has made a career playing gangster roles. However, he has been actively trying to redefine his onscreen image to make himself appealing to a wider audience. “Badava Rascal is a mass commercial film. And that film is required for an actor to define his market potential. As an actor I should expand my portfolio to sustain my success in this industry. That’s why I have started my own production house and produced Badava Rascal,” he added.

However, he said his desire to expand his market won’t stop him from experimenting with his characters. “I want to do all kinds of roles. Otherwise, the audience and I both will be bored. I am already shooting for a gangster movie called Head Bush, which is based on the life of underworld don MP Jayaraj. I will never fall into the image trap,” he said.

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Dhananjaya’s Badava Rascal will premiere on Voot Select on January 26.

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