Bollywood looks with admiration at Arjun Reddy actor Vijay’s award auction plan
Telugu actor Vijay Deverakonda says that ‘the journey of this award would become bigger’ if he can use it for a good cause. Award-winning personalities from the Hindi film industry are all praise for the star.Updated: Jun 21, 2018 14:28 IST
Telugu actor Vijay Deverakonda, the star of Arjun Reddy (2017), has caused a sensation after stating that he’d auction his Best Actor trophy in Filmfare Awards South 2018, won for the film, and donate the money to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The decision of the 29-year-old actor is praised by several award-winning Bollywood names we spoke to.
Vijay tells us, “It’s my first award and I’m really proud to have received it. My dad wanted to be an actor and he couldn’t become one, and he knows what a proud moment it is for him and [for] us all. I didn’t see a point in [the trophy] sitting on my shelf. The journey of this award would become bigger. I’ve already got a lot in life, more than I asked for. The award’s life would increase if it can, instead of just landing on my shelf, go one step more.”
Commenting on the decision, actor Richa Chadha, who herself won several awards for her performance in Masaan (2015), says, “I look up to friends like (lyricist-writer) Varun Grover and (director) Neeraj Ghaywan, who donated their money from the National Award for Masaan for the cause of water. Not just awards, but actors can also use their voice to effect [a] positive change in society. And what Vijay has done is an encouraging act.”
National Award-winning filmmaker Onir feels that Vijay’s act is all the more admirable because he is a “youth icon”. Onir says, “We do have a lot of celebrities who do their bit to help society, like what Aamir [does] for water conservation. It’s great looking at young actors like Vijay, who’re youth icons and inspire so many people.”
Actor Juhi Chawla, who began winning awards very early in her career, says that “awards are special and hold a special place in everyone’s heart”, but that Vijay’s decision is “a very sweet initiative”. Juhi adds, “People look up to us, as celebrities, to contribute to society, and Vijay’s gesture has definitely won hearts.”
‘A unique way’
With her latest film Veere Di Wedding turning out to be a big hit, actor Shikha Talsania has gained a huge youth fan following. Asked what she feels about Vijay’s decision and whether he should be emulated, Shikha says, “It’s a great initiative and a unique way of engaging more people to contribute for a cause. When it comes to the Hindi film industry, there are a lot of artists who have auctioned costumes, shoes, jewellery, awards etc for causes, and I believe that it’s admirable to see people stand by their cause. It encourages the rest to follow suit.
Meanwhile, preparation for the auction has begun
Vijay says, “I made the decision [to auction the award] in the spur of the moment, without thinking of the practicality of the issue. But now, I’m figuring out how to go ahead in a fool-proof, transparent, and legal manner — if I can raise some money and give it away, I think it could be a damn cool story in my life.”
What would be the right way to auction?
The actor says, “One option is opening a website; the second one is putting up the auction on a website I created for fans; and the third one is maybe we’d want an event where the [chief] minister would also be present. We still have to decide.”
Should other actors follow suit?
“I think something like this can only work if it’s a one-off thing or is done two-three times,” says Vijay. “If you just start doing it repeatedly, it loses its value. We can definitely replicate it for memorabilia, anything important or personal. I’m sure if a Bollywood actor wanted to do it, then a huge number of people would need [to take part in the auction]. It’s a personal choice and I don’t know if I’d do it in the future or not.”
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First Published: Jun 21, 2018 14:28 IST