‘Keeping Sanchari alive through the film’: Janardhan Johnny

The director of the Kannada film Pirangipura says that they are looking for an actor to step into the late actor’s shoes

“The Kannada film Pirangipura was supposed to launch the late actor, Sanchari Vijay, as an action hero,” says the director Janardhan Johnny. “Fate had other plans. The film is about 40% done and sees Sanchari Vijay in two roles as a young, dynamic soldier and a 60 something angry man.” Vijay passed away in a motorcycle accident on June 15, 2021.

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The film, Johnny says, is set in a fictional desert called Pirangipura in Rajasthan. The protagonist, Vijay, is travelling from Karnataka to Pirangipura. “We created extensive prosthetics for Vijay as we wanted him to look different for the two ages he plays in the film. We also created a 3-D rubber model of the actor. We faced budget constraints and the shoot had to be stalled due to the pandemic and the lockdown and then we lost Vijay.”

Johnny says the production team is looking for an actor with the similar build as Vijay. “We can use the prosthetics created for Vijay on the new actor and complete the film. We should be able to pull it off as the film also involves a lot of VFX.”

Pirangipura is a psychological melodrama and a thriller, Johnny says. “The film is set in the 1971 War. If we are unable to find anyone to step into Vijay’s role, we will have to reshoot the entire film with a new actor. This is not our aim, we are hoping that we find someone with the same build as Vijay to take up from where the National Award winning actor left off.”

‘Keeping Sanchari alive through the film’: Janardhan Johnny

The film’s trailer was launched on Sanchari Vijay’s birthday on July 17. “We dedicated the film to him and launched him as the ‘Silent Hero, Sanchari Viay’. “He worked extensively on this character. We discussed the character for almost six months. Vijay would constantly come up with ideas and looks and finally we locked the look that became the poster of the film.”

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