He is known as Sri in ‘Thakita Thakita’, Kishore in ‘Naa Ishtam’ and Harsh in ‘Avunu’. This multi-talented hero with stunning looks and enviable knowledge learnt the nuances through theatre and laid strong foundation for his acting career. Born in Rajahmundry, Harshvardhan Rane, carved a niche for himself initially in small screen as Rummy Gaur in SAB TV’s youth show ‘Left Right Left’ before shifting his focus on the big screen. After his film debut as the lead man in Bhoomika’s ‘Thakita Thakita’, Rane did a supporting role in ‘Naa Ishtam’ and succeeded in drawing the attention as long as he appeared on the screen. Last weekend, his 3rd film ‘Avunu’ hit theatres and he won critical acclaims for his performance. This promising actor with an international flavour is delighted to steal some moments and share his views with Ragalahari which is presented here to you, the dear film lovers.. read also about him being a fitness freak with strong taste buds and cooking capabilities, his future plans and others….
Firstly we would like to congratulate you on the success of your recent film 'Avunu'. You have received critics acclaim for your performance in supporting role in 'Avunu', especially in climax part. What kind of research did you do to prepare yourself for this role?
A month before the start of the shoot, I enquired with the director Mr. Ravi Babu if he would be conducting a preparatory workshop of sorts for my role. "Harsh just come to the set" was all he stated. Since my stint at the Barry John's Acting Studio, Mumbai I've been equipped in several forms of prep work, so it helped me examine and understand my characterization well and be prepared for any untoward surprises on set. Director Ravi Babu would break down every scene like a Mathematician with so much detailing that that it only made my job easier while shooting for AVUNU.
We hear that you are not a big fan of horror films. Then what do you like the most about Avunu?
Apart from me being a big fan of unconventional cinema, what made me love AVUNU was the use of static camera, the stylish look of the film, no 'graveyard', no 'dark haunted bhooth bangla', and no 'white sari clad ghost singing songs'. The complete contrast amazed and thrilled me entirely.
What genre of films do you enjoy the most?
Movies lead us to experience feelings unfamiliar with ourselves, sometimes the need to laugh makes us enjoy a comedy, and sometimes the drama makes us cry. All movies have something to offer, I love the edge of seat, the unexpected, that make you think kind of movies - Inception, The Prestige, The Illusionist, Perfume, Memento, The Usual Suspects, Fight Club, Gladiator, Pulp Fiction, Blade Runner, and the list goes on...
After making your acting debut with `Thakita Thakita', your next film was `Naa Ishtam'. Exactly at what point did you jump into that project?
It all started for me some ten years ago. Thakita Thakita was the beginning of this ten- year process to be part of this movement. It started with theatre, television, and when Naa Ishtam came my way, and gave me the opportunity to work with some of my favorite stars Genelia and Rana, and I absolutely jumped at it. Mr. Kona Venkat one of my best friends and well-wishers was instrumental in recommending me for Naa Ishtam.
How did Ravi Babu come together?
Mr Ravi Babu said that he chose me for the reason that I was a theatre actor. Since I looked forward to challenges in my life, I did not even think twice before saying yes to him. As I was not familiar with him initially, I was told by the people that he is extremely strict with artists. However after I met him, I got to know him better and learnt that he is a brilliant personality and quite contrast to what I had heard about him.
How do you like your relationship with the Director? Do you like to be left alone or do you wish to be a director's hero?
The relationship between an actor and director is extremely critical for the success of any project. It's tough to say how and when, but when it does happen, an actor-director relationship 'pops', they trust each other and inspire each other to excel. I have been lucky to share that kind of relationship with all my directors till now.
In general, heroes become familiar through commercial films. However, it's interesting to note that you have shot to fame with your short film 'Infinity' which you produced and acted in it. Tell us something interesting that you learned while working on this project?
Infinity happened because I met a similar film passionate and crazy guy called Karthik Gattamneni whose team of filmmakers call themselves Pond freaks. We hit it off instantly and Infinity was a result of that combined energy, desire and spark, which is so clearly visible in our humble effort. And by virtue of not being able to afford it, we were forced to be involved and be a part of the entire filmmaking process; from design, production to post, to promotion. The best lessons learnt from Infinity are that we learnt what not to do very quickly.
You even did a few stage shows. How is it preparing for a stage role different from a screen role?
Stage is completely an actor's medium, once u start no one can stop you. Whereas in film you shoot in sync with the crew, any technical or creative bump can make the director say cut and then it's your job to shift gears and start fresh over and over again.
What can one expect when they come to see Harshvardhan's performance?
Well I am very new to set any expectations, my only goal would always be to entertain, make my viewer's fall in love, laugh, cry, and enthrall them wholesomely.
Reports say that you have bagged a meaty role in 'Ram Leela'? Can you give us an idea about the role you are playing in the film?
Ram Leela is not happening for me now, as they needed me there for almost a year. I already had made commitments here, so I couldn't take it up.
What is the typical day in the life of Harshvardhan involves?
On non-shooting days, my average day starts with a light breakfast, a brisk jog and workout in the mornings, meetings during the day, kick boxing in the evenings, night badminton at the Gopichand academy, and some cycling late at night. It helps keep my mind and body in harmony.
Wow Magazine covers with your picture as Hyderabad's Master chef, tells that you have a great passion for cooking. Can you share some of your kitchen secrets with us? What's your favorite food?
I started cooking after I moved out of my home. The best-kept secret ingredient for cooking is love. Breakfast is not just the first meal of the day, but many times it is the first meal we learn from our folks to cook. My dad used to make amazing dosas, till date dosa remains one of my favorite foods.
As a budding star, you have three films to your credit till date. Where would you like to see Harshvardhan go next?
I would like to see Harshvardhan Rane working with mainstream cinema and new age cinema parallely. I would like him to see him work with some of the finest directors, technicians and stars in the south Indian film industry. I've already started working on some very exciting projects and will soon share the details.
Why do you love acting?
I love acting as a career because it allows me to be so many different people in so many different ways. It allows me to learn and enrich my life experience. Cinema is a constantly evolving medium, it makes me understand people better, learn where they come from, and keeps me absorbed in the journey of life. As an actor I always find myself on a learning curve, continuously growing every moment.
Before concluding the interview Harsh shared some of his other interests too. Yes, he is also passionate about music, photography and long drives. His favourite subject was Science. He loves the typical Andhra sweet Pootharekulu. He grew up eating pastries and says that his mom used to prize him with a pastry as and when he would be a good boy. He adores his dad so much that he still remembers the smell of his hands as he worked with wood, sand, grease and other stuff. He also gifted him a Nokia 3310 for his dad with his first salary which he fondly remembers. “I joyfully treasure each moment of my family, which is why I make time for my mom and sister,” the graceful hero said with a sweet smile.
__ Ragalahari Exclusive Interview