In a chance to return to his roots, the ‘Rama Rama Re’ plays a physics professor in his next film

He mesmerised us with his quiet strong presence in the critically acclaimed Rama Rame Re. In the film, directed by D Satya Prakash, Nataraj, plays an escaped convict (Sandal Raja). The actor will now be seen as a Physics professor in his next venture, Padavi Poorva. The film is directed by Hariprasad Jayanna and Nataraj will share the screen with Sharath Lohitashwa, Pruthvi Shamanur and Anjali Shah.

Nataraj, whose last film Kallabettada Darodekoraru did not do too well, says, “Padavi Poorva is a light hearted film. I am not the protagonist, yet, the story revolves around me. The protagonist is my student played by Pruthvi. I play a popular professor, who has a huge fan following on campus. I identified with the character, because all of us have swooned over that one professor on our campus.”

The actor says with a laugh, “I play a Physics professor, when in reality I am an Arts and Journalism student. I studied the subject for a few days so I could sound like a pro. I hope the hard work studying physics yields good results on screen.”

The first leg of the shoot has been completed at MES College, Malleshwaram. “The college was chosen as the story is set in the ‘90s and the ambience suits the timeline to the T.”

The actor will be sharing the screen with Sharath Lohitashwa and Prithvi Shamanur.

Nataraj talks of another project, as yet untitled, where he is playing a crooked cop. “I have been working out to to look rough and tough. I am looking forward to the role because it has an underplay in emotions with negative shades.”

He will also be collaborating with Rama Rama Re director, Satya Prakash. “Each character and story is unique. I am inspired by actors such as Raj Kumar Rao, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vijay Sethupathy. They are actors who have grown because of the characters they have portrayed and I hope to follow suit. Things have changed in the industry; just looks and backing will not get you far. Talent matters and so does content. We have seen such success stories in our senior actors such as Jaggesh, Shashi Kumar and Ambareesh sir — they have all had their own struggles and have grown from one film to the next, building one character after another.”

Coming from a theatre background in Shivamogga and Kundapura, Nataraj says he wrote a couple of plays during the lockdown. “It was a blessing, because, when left all by yourself, you tend to introspect and that led to my writing two plays, which I hope to direct soon. Being and working alone is challenging as we get to discover the various aspects of human psyche and emotions.”

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