Kannada actor Vijay's raw appeal

EVER since he debuted in Duniya, Vijay has been making news. And, frequently, it’s been for the wrong reasons. Recently, Vijay attracted media attention when he attended an event with Shubha Poonja — his costar in Chanda and Slum Bala — with whom he’s been linked with for a while now. He reportedly arrived and left with Shubha in his car, which led to much speculation. “Shubha’s my co-star and friend. If we hang out together, does something have to be brewing between us? It’s my personal life, so what I do or who I go out with is my concern. My family knows what I am, so I don’t care about anything else,” Vijay lashes out.

His spat with filmmaker S Narayan, who directed Chanda, also generated a huge buzz. Vijay was accused of unprofessional behaviour during the making of Chanda by the director. What’s his equation with him today? “We still aren’t on talking terms. I was a newcomer and was unnecessarily dragged into industry politics. Narayan kept dropping big names and how he’s made films with them, and tried to make a bakra out of me. I wasn’t willing to toe his line, which hurt his ego,” explains Vijay.

After kannada movie Duniya, why didn’t he cash in on his popularity to bag big projects?

 “It’s not easy to survive in the industry because there’s politics at every stage. And it’s taken me this long to get out of the S Narayan mess,” he says. After the commercial success of Duniya, why’d Vijay do an art film like Avva? It didn’t succeed at the BO, but his liplock with co-star Smitha garnered publicity. “Avva had a strong message and a wonderful storyline. Everyone said my market value would go down if I did that film, but it remains unshaken. And what’s wrong in kissing? It’s a part of acting. When Emraan Hashmi can do it, why not me? If I get a chance to kiss, I’d do it again,” he laughs. Is he getting stuck with the same rugged look in every film? “People like me in mass-oriented roles. If I don’t fit the conventional image of the tall and handsome hero, I’ve no regrets. I’m not a polished hero, but people like my raw appeal,” he says. So what’s with the sixpack? “When everyone made such a big deal about Bollywood heroes sporting six-packs, I thought, ‘Why can’t I do it?’ So I trained with the best instructor — a former Mr India,” the kannada actor informs us.


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