A kilometre-long queue, of mostly bearded, well-built youngsters, waited in front of a private hotel on Malleswaram, 8th Main, as curious bystanders looked on.
It was a busy Friday again for the Kannada blockbuster K.G.F.: Chapter 1 (KGF), this time for its yet-to-be-made sequel.
Awed by the massive success of the first chapter, aspirants for supporting roles in the ambitious sequel of the film, starring Yash and directed by Prashanth Neel, made it for the auditions. Some of them even made the trip from outside Karnataka.
Karthik Gowda, creative executive producer of K.G.F.: Chapter 1, told The Hindu: “Following an online call for auditions, over 4,000 youths from various parts of the country queued up in front of the hotel. We needed only five to 10 of them for various roles.”
Abu Dinal, who had come all the way from Kochi, said he got to know about the auditions through different social media platforms.
Aspirants comprised theatre artistes, art enthusiasts and amateur actors, and some who came just to try their luck. Cinematographer Bhuvan Gowda primarily auditioned them.
Beards in demand
A quintessential characteristic of most of the characters in the film, who went on to become instantly recognisable, was their long hair and beards.
The look donned by most of the characters in K.G.F.: Chapter 1, including Yash, went on to become an instant hit. On Friday, as the queue swelled, several aspirants were called out of the line and asked to leave because they did not “fit the character”. Some were told that they were not “hefty enough” for the role, and some others because they did not have a beard. Those who were waiting eagerly from 5 a.m. were left disappointed.
“They initially pulled me out of line saying I did not fit the criteria. They only let in those who sported a beard,” said Tej Kumar from Thiruvananthapuram. Those who wanted to audition could either perform something they had prepared on their own or deliver the dialogues given to them.
“Though thousands registered online, some came just on the feeling that they would fit into the character and try their luck,” said a member of the audition team.
The enthusiasm was triggered after the success of multilingual K.G.F.: Chapter 1, which was touted as the biggest film — budget-wise — in the history of Kannada cinema. The film catapulted Yash to superstardom not only in Karnataka, but also elsewhere.
“The sequel, which is set to release in 2020, triggered curiosity as it would provide answers to all the apprehensions in the first part of the film. The shooting of the film will commence in the first week of May,” added Mr. Gowda.
(With inputs from Meghana Vasanth)