Kannada superstar Shivarajkumar has decided to rein in unruly fans. The actor said that he would not visit theatres during the screening of his upcoming movie The Villain if his fans do not behave properly. “I have come to know about certain incidents that tarnish the image of my fan base. I won’t have them behaving like hooligans. They are gentlemen and ladies and must always remain so. If they step out of line this time, I will stop watching my movie with them. It will be very painful for me, but I will do it nonetheless,” he told Silverscreen in an exclusive interview.
This stand is welcome, but ironical too, because the actor has repeatedly insisted that his fans are responsible for his current status. “Yes, I hold my fans very close to my heart. I want to be their big brother and friend. But that doesn’t mean I will put up with bad behavior or condone it.”
Shivarajkumar says that social media has worsened things. Before, fan wars were a rare thing. Now, every other tweet or post sees fans of one actor engaged in a war of words with those of others. “Sometimes, I get shocked reading these messages. There is so much negativity. It’s alarming how people are using the anonymity offered by social media to orchestrate such attacks. I hope all actors step up and rein in their fans. Else, things will go awry.”
The Villain sees him in a face-off with Sudeep. Does the coming together of two mainstream actors make things difficult? No, says Shivarajkumar. “Sudeep is a good friend, a good artiste. We don’t have any ego while performing. In some scenes, he is the winner. In some, I am the winner. So, there is no talk of competition here.”
Fans of both actors think otherwise, though. Social media fan accounts dedicated to these stars speculate about which actor will get the better of the other. “I sincerely request my fans to not indulge in such mudslinging, in public, private and on social media. It is disreputable and brings no one any joy. Watch The Villain as a film. Not as a competition,” Shivarajkumar said.
The Villain releases on October 18. It is directed by Prem.