Debutant Karan Hariharan, son of popular singer Hariharan, may have chosen to be an actor, but he says music can’t be separated from his life as it has an integral part to play in it.
"Ever since it was announced that I’m being launched as an actor, the question that’s been asked to me the most is, ‘Why didn’t you take up a career in music?’ It’s not like I don’t sing. I do, and I play the piano and guitar and I also program music. Even if I don’t pursue music as a career, it’s a very integral part of my life," Karan said.
Making his acting debut in this week’s thriller, Missing on a Weekend, he says his heart lies in acting.
"I’ve never asked myself if I’m good at acting. Even as a kid, while playing instruments and singing, I was acting, like I was performing in a show. It didn’t take me much time to realize that’s where my heart really lies," he said.
Asked when he realised he was equipped to be an actor, he said: "The sheer need to be an actor happened when I was 14 or 15. Being aware that you have the confidence to do something is different than realising you want to do it professionally. It takes a lot more than just the belief.
"It was after I returned from my acting course in Los Angeles, that I truly believed I was ready to be an actor."
He said making inroads into the industry wasn’t a cakewalk, despite his father’s popularity.
"As a person, I’m very stubborn, and hence, I didn’t take dad’s help. I didn’t want to wake up one day and question myself, ‘Have I achieved this or was it given to me’). I used to give auditions under the name of Karan Ash (read, Anantha Subramani Hariharan). That way people didn’t know who I was and I believe it’s that challenge that has brought me to this stage," he said.
In the film, which is directed by Abhishek Jawkar, Karan plays the protagonist who after a trip in Goa goes awry, suffers from short-term memory loss.
"It’s a murder mystery set in Goa, and I enjoyed working on the project. To share the screen space with a seasoned actor like Pavan Malhotra gave me an opportunity to learn so much," he said, and added that the film chose him.
"Around four years ago, I met Abhishek and asked for an acting opportunity. I weighed around 120 kg then and he just looked at me and smiled politely. When I met him again after I lost a lot of weight, he asked me to come by his office and audition for a role. I liked that I bagged my first film through my own efforts," he said.
Karan would love to sing in films while essaying a character. However, he says he wants to establish himself as an actor who can sing rather than as a singer who can act.