Puneeth Rajkumar has completed 45 years in the industry, including his time as a child artiste, but he feels his career began only in 2001. The characters he plays on screen defy his age. The actor features as a college student for a segment in Yuvarathanaa. Though the makers haven’t revealed too much about his character in the film, several hints indicate that he will also be seen as an investigative officer. “You will have to find it out in the theatres,” he says.
Asked if his star status influence the characters he plays, he says, “A wide audience watches my film. I have always said that I don’t mind doing any kind of script, provided it is watched by the masses. After all, we are doing films for them. At the end of the day, it is all about a good film which connects to the people.”
Puneeth, who has joined hands with Santhosh Ananddram and Hombale Films for Yuvarthanaa, calls it a fun entertainer and is eager to see the response of the audience. “It is a good entertainer with a social message. The audience, especially youngsters, will be hooked to the screens for 2 hours and 40 minutes,” he asserts.
The actor, who shares a great rapport with the director and the production house, says, “It is always a pleasure to work with Santhosh Ananddram and Hombale Films. At times, Santhosh and I debate about particular scenes, but that’s a part of any professional discussion.”
Yuvarthanaa revolves around the educational system. As someone who has spent a large part of his life on film sets, I ask if his days there taught him any lessons. “I acted as a child artiste in a different era, and at that time, I never considered it as a profession. It was all about being on the sets with my parents. It was never serious,” says Puneeth. He goes on to reveal that he actually wanted to try his hands at computers, after doing a three-year course, or pursue a career in the granite business. “Somehow fate pulled me back into film production, and I began as a manager. I worked as a distributor with my mom (Parvathamma Rajkumar) and that was a department that interested me. Acting and everything connected to it weren’t my passion till the year 2000.”
Puneeth has an interesting line up of projects. He plans to do more 12 films in the next five years. “I would like to explore different kinds of films and work with different directors and production houses. James will be my next release after Yuvarathnaaa and I have been shooting for it. Next will be a film with Hombale again, followed by director Dinakar Thoogudeepa’s project made under Jayanna Production. I also have Krishna’s film in the pipeline.”