777 Charlie actor Rakshit Shetty looks special to Aamir Khan: 777 Charlie has got over 20 million views with his Kannada trailer and more than 28 million views with Hindi dub trailer. 777 Charlie’s lead actor and producer Rakshit Sethi is on a promotional tour of his film, released on 1022, 2022.
After the success of KGF: Chapters 1 and 2 which are the biggest blockbusters in Chandan and the great success of Southern films in Hindi speaking belt, do you feel any pressure in terms of box office expectations from 777 Charlie?
The reason we release the film across the country is that there is a market. Dog lovers are everywhere, and we want to reach out to them and explore the market. Otherwise, there is no such pressure because most of the southern films released in the Northern Belt so far have a commercial aspect to them. 777 Charlie belongs to a different genre. So, for me trying this is the first step forward. If it works, it’s okay otherwise maybe next time. But there should always be a start.
Four-legged companions are said to be emotionally sensitive and they reciprocate in their own way. How challenging was it to reveal Charlie’s weak point as a co-star in an emotionally demanding scene, your chemistry with the dog in the promo seems quite believable?
It was a big challenge because I was training with Charlie before the movie hit the floor. Before each schedule, there would be one or two weeks of training so that we would not have to spend a lot of time showing the scenes on the set. But we still had to take a long time to get the right shot. There were times when we wanted to take -0-40 to -0-70, even the director wanted for just one shot. Because of Charlie, we’ve been shooting for more than 167 days, usually, a movie like Bahubali takes 200 days. Shooting such a long schedule for a film like ours is no small matter. A lot of time was spent getting chemistry between me and Charlie.
Kiranraj K (director) Ricky and Kirik were Eddie at the party in your film. What qualities of his as an actor fascinated you that made you decide to make his debut as a producer?
He was the most enthusiastic and dedicated associate director I have ever worked with. So, when he wanted to make a movie, I knew he would give it his best shot. I was very sure about it. Once I read the script, I was confident about it and had no doubt about his filmmaking ability.
Your films are known for depicting Indian folklore and mythology. The trailer mentions Dharmaraja and Kali Yuga. And your name in the movie is also religion. Is this meant to be a reference to Yudhisthira’s journey to heaven with his companion dog?
Yes, at the last moment of the Pandavas’ journey to heaven, only Yudhisthira’s paradise reached Loka, among them the rest including Draupadi died. But Yudhisthira reaches heaven with his dog, and without the dog, he does not go to heaven, for which reason he is called Dharmaraja. Similarly, the ride on the 777 Charlie is somewhat similar but quite the opposite. Here religion teaches about dog life. Although, religion is not going to heaven if you look at the picture it will feel very close to heaven. So, using the mythological aspect in most of my films is a conscious decision because mythology is one of my favorite subjects. This time Kiranraj used this aspect because he has been working with me for a long time and I have done the same in my previous film. I believe he probably thought the same way.
In the trailer we see Charlie coming into your house, and you see Steven Spielberg’s ET on television. Since it was also an emotional story of an unusual friendship, how much did that movie affect you as an artist and movie lover?
Apparently, the director is related to it. I think ET has had a big impact on him for writing this film for sure. So maybe that’s why he included that scene in our movie.
In epidemics, we have seen people abandon their pets. Do you think 777 Charlie would change people’s perceptions and make them more sensitive to animals in general?
People who have left their pets will cry 10 times more if they see this movie.
Check out this post shared by Rakshit Sethi on her Instagram handle:
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Are there any contemporary Bollywood actors or filmmakers that you enjoy watching as an artist?
Aamir Khan is the one I always look for. I relate to him a lot because he is also a writer, filmmaker, and actor. He gives his best in every new film which is unique from the rest of Bollywood films. I usually think a lot like him. When it comes to acting, I believe in giving 100% and it will not take me 2-3 years to complete a film. Therefore, there are many similarities between me and Amir, so I am always looking forward to his work.
You are an actor, filmmaker, and screenwriter. What do you enjoy most about being a creative person?
I enjoy managing the most. Because, at that point, it’s completely your baby. When the final product appears on the screen and the kind of response it gets from the viewers is just amazing. It only happens when you direct a movie.
From a book on your wish list or from a real-life dream of a person?
So far there is no character whom I have read a book and have been inspired to portray. But there is one thing that I am scripting myself and playing that character is currently the dream role for me. The narrative and the role are my own ideas which I want to play in the near future.
Do you have any plans to work in Bollywood movies if given the opportunity?
I have no plans at the moment. Because I already have a line-up of Kannada films and I have to finish them. But today everything is going on worldwide, so I don’t have to act in Bollywood movies to reach the Hindi-speaking audience. I can make a Kannada film and bring it to the Hindi-speaking belt if there is a market for that film. But once I finish my current projects and if I can make a character in a Hindi movie that is valuable then I will consider it.