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Dhananjay to appear in underworld don Jayaraj’s biopic

Actor Dhananjaya is all set to transform into one of Bengaluru’s infamous dons from the 70s, Jayaraj, for his upcoming project. Written by former gangster and writer, Agni Sreedhar, the movie is being directed by debutant Shoonya (who has worked with team Avane Srimannarayana) and backed by Ashu Bedra. “The movie is set between 1974 and 1977 and shows the reign of the don, Jayaraj, during that period. We are making it a three-part film because we wish to capture the journey of the character as effectively as possible,” he shares. He adds that taking on an underworld subject, creates curiosity among audiences. “World over, this is a theme that has captured the fancy of many. Even people like Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have taken up such roles. Coming back to the film, I love the way Agni sir has penned the script. I have read many of his works. The experiences he brings to the table, for this project, will end more gravitas to the subject. I feel proud that I have got the opportunity to be a part of a challenging film like this,” he says.

Most actors take up method acting, especially when it comes to biopics — Ranveer Singh for instance, had locked himself up in an apartment for weeks to slip into the character of Alauddin Khilji that he played in Padmaavat. Does he have a similar game plan in mind? Chuckling, he says, “I am not going to do anything of the sort.” However, he says, “Having said that, I am excited to prepare myself physically and mentally and transform into Jayaraj. I will be listening to inputs from the writer and director, and brainstorm with them on the nuances of this character. And, if a role like Khilji had come my way, I believe I would have been able to do justice to that too, without locking myself in a room.”

Making biopics is a trend that many industries have taken up in the recent past, and Dhananjaya himself has dabbled in the genre too, with Allama. Speaking about the same, he says, “The mark of a good biopic is that you need to make the audience connect with the characters and make them wonder about the life that personality led, like the Keerthy Suresh-starrer Mahanati, for instance, which showed the life of the late yesteryear actress Savitri. That is the kind of impact we are looking to create,” he tells us. The shoot for this film is scheduled to begin in three months.

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