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“My Tollywood career will never take a backseat” – Harshvardhan Rane

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Though his first Hindi film could not set the cash registers ringing, his performance received quite a good response from those who watched the film. After working in Telugu films over the last couple of years, Harshvardhan Rane has his eyes set on Bollywood now. In this interview, the actor talks about being a part of the Hindi remake of ‘Agni Natchathiram’, working with Dhanush and striking a balance between Tollywood and Bollywood.

You have signed on to be a part of the Hindi remake of Mani Ratnam’s ‘Agni Natchathiram’, which is to be directed by Bejoy Nambiar. How did you bag this film?
I got a call from Bejoy Sir, he offered me the part and I signed the film. The story strongly resonates with today’s times. The original is a cult film and I believe the remake will strike a chord with today’s audience as well. The fact that I will be getting a chance to work with Dhanush makes me very happy. In 2012, I was asked in an interview that who is that actor you would like to be reborn as and I named Dhanush. So, it feels great to have got the opportunity to share screen space with him.

Your performance in ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’ received a fairly good response from the audience. The film, however, did not do very well at the box office. In hindsight, what do you think went wrong with the film?
This is a question that can be best answered by the producers or the directors. As an actor, you do your work and look forward to the audiences’ feedback on your performance. That is exactly what I have always done. On social media, I get instant and honest feedback. I feel lucky that the kind of love and appreciation I received was a lot more than what an actor could have expected to receive for his first film.

‘Satrah Ko Shaadi Hai’, the first Hindi film you had shot for, has been ready for quite some time. Do you have any idea as to when it is releasing?
I have no idea about the release date at the moment. It is a very sweet film and I hope it releases soon. The film is with UTV and I think they will come up with some plan and release the film accordingly. I am very proud of the film and would be very happy as and when it hits the theatres.

You work in both the Telugu film industry and the Hindi film industry and have to shuffle between Hyderabad and Mumbai for work. Do you find it difficult to strike a balance between the two industries?
Yes, I have to shuffle between the two cities and I have been doing it for a while now. I started my career in Tollywood. The industry has given me all that I have today and I will be forever indebted to it. I have been meeting producers and directors in Hyderabad. There was a film which I almost signed but there were some date issues and I had to let go of the project. I am trying to get a foothold in Bollywood but at the same time, I am looking forward to doing a Telugu film soon. My Tollywood career will never take a backseat. Thanks to flights, it is not difficult to manage my career in both the industries (laughs). If I am in Hyderabad and somebody calls me and asks to be present in Mumbai the next day, I will be there. That would not be a problem. Because of flights, it is possible to be in two cities on the same day.

Apart from the Agni Natchathiram remake, is there any other project you are working on?
I am not fortunate enough to have several projects lined up for me. I guess people who are born in this industry get a little more opportunities than outsiders like us do. I always work on one project at a time. That also enables me to work more efficient as my focus is on just one project at a given point of time. I am meeting a lot of people and have been offered scripts of different genres. While some people come to me with the conviction that I can pull of an action film, there are some who think I can do justice to a romantic character. That really makes me happy as people see the ability in me to portray different kind of roles. As an actor, you want different people to have different people have different opinion about you and think of you as a versatile actor.

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