Duniya Vijay, the name might not ring a bell to Telugu audiences, but the actor has numerous films to his credit in the Kannada film industry. Now, the actor is making his debut in Tollywood in the upcoming Nandamuri Balakrishna starrer ‘Veera Simha Reddy’ which is set to release on Sankranthi.
Sporting a glint of a smile on his face, actor Duniya admittingly says he can manage the language if not so perfectly when asked if he could speak Telugu.
Ask him if his family has distant roots in Telugu land, Duniya says, “No, but as a young boy growing up in Karnataka you can’t miss watching legendary actor NT Rama Rao on the silver screen. I still remember watching ‘Daana Veera Sura Karna’ along with my parents. Of course, Balayya garu was my childhood favourite. The film ‘Muddula Mavayya’ made me a Balayya fan,” he says.
Duniya Vijay plays the role of a baddie Pratap Reddy in the Balakrishna starrer ‘Veera Simha Reddy’.
How was the experience of sharing screen space with Nandamuri Balakrishna?
“I am enamoured by Balayya’s iconic image on and off the screen. Besides speaking about his energy and his passion for cinema, Balayya garu is a good humanitarian. Balayya is a kind of God for those numerous cancer survivors. His work is immeasurable as a philanthropist and as an actor,” says Vijay.
Before finding his passion for cinema, Duniya happened to work as a manual labourer in quarry fields in his native town to make both ends meet. His life took a dramatic turn after he found a small role in a Kannada film named ‘Duniya’. “I had to start everything from scratch as an actor. Coming from a lower-middle-class family, the only thing that was in mind when I entered films was to earn money. As I grew film by film, I found happiness in enthralling fans on the screen. How can you refuse if audiences constantly like to see you watching over and again, what else an actor needs? The whistles, uproar and appreciation are immeasurable. I believe in natural process. I feel lucky to have landed a such role in Balayya’s movie,” he adds.
When you were approached for the role, have you asked director Gopichand Malineni why he has to choose you?
I’ve seen Gopichand’s work in the Telugu industry. He approached me after knowing my work in Kannada films. He felt that I was suitable for the role. ‘Veera Simha Reddy’ is going to be a great emotional journey for fans this Sankranthi festival.
How did you feel experiencing Tollywood’s culture? How do you differentiate the Kannada industry?
Comparatively, the Telugu industry is massive in all measures. I’m happy to work with a top star in my debut. But, talent is hidden everywhere irrespective of region. Take the example of Prashanth Neek sir’s ‘KGF’ or the work of Rishab Shetty’s ‘Kantara’. And ‘DJ Tillu’ from Tollywood scored a resounding hit. There could be someone attempting the experiments from other industries.