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‘I want to create my own identity’

When the tall and handsome Hrishikesh says he always wanted to be an actor, it isn’t surprising. While everyone knows him as music sensation Anirudh Ravichander’s first cousin, not many know that his filmi roots run deeper. His maternal great-grandfather was film director K Subramaniam, a pillar of Tamil cinema and founder of Gemini Studios. His maternal grandfather is ad maker and film director S V Ramaman. “I’ve grown up watching films being made and was cast as Sai Baba in a telefilm when I was six years old.

I wanted to get into acting right after school, but completed my degree in Vis Comm for my parents,” grins Hrishikesh.

He decided to start from the basics and learn on the job by working as assistant director to ad filmmaker Jayendra for two years. He was never tempted to ask his Anirudh for referrals to get into the industry. “Had I done that, I could have gotten into cinema sooner. But I wanted to create my own identity. At the end of the day, no matter where you come from, you have to work hard and prove yourself. I wanted to take that route,” he says.

Anirudh, who is a year older, has been his best buddy since childhood. “We’ve grown up together and we share a deep bond. His friends are mine and vice versa. To the world he may be famous, but his school friends are still closest to him and he works with them. He always knew I wanted to be an actor and I knew he wanted to get into music. We share secrets like best buddies. He’s a friend and a brother to me,” says Hrishikesh.

The actor who turned hero with Rum got his first break in Dhanush’s hit Velaya Illadha Pattadhaari (VIP), playing his younger brother Karthik. “Dhanush and Aishwarya are very close to me. My mom and Anirudh’s mom are sisters and very close to Latha Rajinikanth. I have grown up in and out of Aishwarya’s home. Dhanush always knew I wanted to act. One night she asked me to come over for a look test. I had no idea what it was for. Later they told me I was playing Dhanush’s brother,” he recalls. He’s doing VIP 2 as well.

Despite being a hero in Rum, he has no qualms about playing Dhanush’s brother again. “VIP is where I started. I’m never going to say no to a role in it, he says.

How did the break as hero happen? “After VIP, I got many similar offers. I also got offers to play a hero. I wanted to wait for the right script, so I waited a year till Rum came along. I didn’t want to do an over-the-top hero-centric film, putting too much pressure and responsibilty on myself. In Rum, three central characters take the story forward. I play a character people can relate to. It’s is a heist horror movie directed by newbie Sai Shiva. Vivek, Sanchita and I play hired robbers who get stuck in a horror house. It was perfect for me.”

Anirudh has composed the music for his first horror movie, thanks to Hrishikesh who told him about the script. The movie releases this month.

Source: The New Indian Express