Dhananjaya, also known as Daali Dhananjaya is an Indian actor, producer and lyricist who works predominantly in the Kannada film industry. He made his feature film debut in Kannada called Director's Special in 2013 for which he won the best debut actor award at the 3rd SIIMA Awards for his performance. He is widely recognized as a versatile actor for choosing different kinds of roles in films.
Kalenahalli, Arasikere, Hassan, Karnataka, India
|Alma mater||SJCE college, Mysore, Karnataka|
|Occupation||Actor *Writer *Lyricist *Producer|
He got the major breakthrough in the film Tagaru directed by Duniya Soori for his performance as a menacing villain. He is now popularly addressed as “Daali” - the character name in the movie. Dhananjaya has also played roles in films in other languages such as Telugu and Tamil. He has also opened a new production house called “Daali Pictures” through which he is also becoming a producer for the movie titled "Badava Rascal" which is scheduled to release in late 2021.
Early life and familyEdit
Dhananjaya was born in Kalenahalli on 23 August, Hassan district, Karnataka. His father was a government primary school teacher. Dhananjaya excelled in studies and had secured top marks for the whole of Hassan District once when he was in 7th standard and then again in 10th standard. He says he grew up watching Dr. Rajkumar movies and hence he started acting in dramas, mono-acting competitions and street plays while he was still in school.
Dhananjaya then moved to Mysore for higher studies and having completed his PUC in Marimallappa College, he secured an engineering seat in one of the reputed engineering colleges in Mysore, SJCE. He even got a job in a software company, Infosys. However, he started taking acting more seriously and joined an amateur theatre group called GPIER which was headed and mentored by a senior Rangayana artist named Mime Ramesh. He was also recognized and mentored by Germany theatre artist Christian Stückl in Germany. During one of his performances in a drama, he was recognised by popular Kannada director Guruprasad and was offered a lead role in a feature film. Thus began his career in Sandalwood.
Early years (2013 - 2018)Edit
Dhananjaya was offered a lead role in Guruprasad's feature film Director's Special. The film took three years in the making and was finally released in 2013 to mixed and negative responses at the box office. Dhananjaya was lauded for his performance and won the best debut actor award at the 3rd SIIMA Awards for the same. Many prominent filmmakers approached him for the roles in their films. He was then cast in A. P. Arjun's next film Rhaatee opposite Shruthi Hariharan under musician V. Harikrishna's debut production. His next was Preetham Gubbi's film Boxer, produced under Jayanna Films banner, which brought him wide accolades. He was known for his fit boxer's body, which he had achieved by rigorous training. He was then offered a role by National award-winning director T. S. Nagabharana for the film Allama which is based on the life of 12th century saint poet Allama Prabhu. Dhananjaya underwent harsh training to master the musical instrument Mridanga and also the classical dance for the role and received great reviews for his performance. Although his movies did not make a big impact on the box office collection, he constantly received good reviews from the audience and critics for his acting skills.
Daali and after (2018 - present)Edit
His biggest breakthrough came when he was offered a negative role named "'Daali" opposite Shiva Rajkumar In Tagaru directed by Duniya Suri. Director Suri has shared that he was a bit hesitant to offer negative role to Dhananjaya as he was always playing good deed doing lead (or hero) roles in his previous movies and was pleasantly surprised when he accepted the offer. The film opened with very good reviews and was declared a huge hit in terms of box office collection. Dhananjaya's acting as a menacing villain won him accolades across the film fraternity, critics and the audience. The role earned him nicknames such as "Nataraakshasa", "Nata bhayanakara", "Daali" etc.,. He is currently one of the most sought-after actors who is seen as a capable lead to play both antagonist and protagonist roles. After this movie, he has played many roles with leading actors in the Kannada film industry such as Darshan in Yajamana, Puneeth Rajkumar in Yuvarathna and Duniya Vijay in Salaga as well as paving the way to receive offers for films in other languages.
Director Ram Gopal Verma was the one of the first to recognise and appreciate the acting skills of Dhananjaya in Tagaru. He went on to collaborate with Dhananjaya to make a bilingual (Kannada + Telugu) movie named Bhairava Geetha marking Dhananjaya's first film to be released in Telugu. Dhananjaya then bagged a role in one of the most anticipated South Indian movie Pushpa opposite Allu Arjun which is due for release in multiple languages. He is currently also playing a crucial role opposite Vikram Prabhu in the upcoming film Paayum Oli Nee Yenakku which will mark his debut into the Tamil film industry.
Producer, Lyricist and a WriterEdit
Riding on the success of his acting career in Sandalhood, Dhananjaya has setup his own production house "Daali Pictures" named after his popular character Daali. Badava Rascal - A upcoming Kannada film, will be marking Dhananjaya's entry into the journey as a producer under his home banner. The film has the production part and is due for release soon. According to recent announcements Dhananjaya is set to produce second film named Head Bush under his home banner Daali Pictures. The film based on the life-story of Bangalore's infamous underworld don - Jayaraj.
Dhananjaya has also penned for songs in movies that he has starred in as well as other indie films. The upcoming Kannada film named Orchestra - a first production venture by musician Raghu Dixit being one of his first as a lyricist in Kannada film industry. He has also written multiple songs for his upcoming movie Badava Rascal among which one of them was released recently and was a huge hit.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2013||Director's Special||Dhananjaya||Kannada||Kannada film debut as lead|
|Happy New Year||RJ Danny||Kannada||Cameo Role|
|Life Jothe Ondh Selfie||Karthik||Kannada||Cameo Role|
|2020||Popcorn Monkey Tiger||Tiger Seena||Kannada|||
|Paayum Oli Nee Yenakku||TBA||Tamil||Tamil film debut, Filming|||
|2022||21 Hours||TBA||Malayalam||Malayalam debut, filming|||
|2014||Jayanagar 4th Block||Himself||Kannada||Actor and Story-writer|
|Director's Special||3rd SIIMA Awards||Best Male Debutant||Won|||
|Allama||65th Filmfare Awards South||Critics Best Actor||Won|||
|Tagaru||Zee Kannada Hemmeya Kannadiga Award||Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|66th Filmfare Awards South||Best Supporting Actor||Won|||
|8th SIIMA Awards||Best Actor in a Negative Role||Won|||
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- "Dhananjay takes over the production of Head Bush". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
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- "Dhananjay turns lyricist for Hariprriya's D/o Parvathamma". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
- "Dhananjay writes lyrics - Kannada News". IndiaGlitz.com. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
- "Lyrics are not things that can be bought over-the-counter: Dhananjay". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
- R, Sumit. "Daali Dhananjay's Udupi Hotelu Song From Badava Rascal Is A Hit - Kanlish News : Karnataka - Latest Kannada Breaking News Today, Headlines, Movies, Fashion, Political, Sports News And Entertainment Channel". Retrieved 19 August 2021.
- "ಮಾಡುವ ನೀಡುವ ಕಾಯುವ ನಿಜಗುಣವಿದ್ದೆಡೆ". Vijayavaani. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
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- "ಪುನೀತ್ 'ಯುವರತ್ನ' ಚಿತ್ರಕ್ಕೆ ಡಾಲಿ ಧನಂಜಯ್ ಎಂಟ್ರಿ". Vijaya Karnataka (in Kannada). 13 February 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
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- "Director Vijayaprasad is the reason I chose Totapuri: Dhananjay". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
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- "Dhananjay to play MP Jayaraj, Bengaluru's first underworld don - The New Indian Express". www.newindianexpress.com. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
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- "Dhananjay and Rachita Ram join hands for film? - The New Indian Express". www.newindianexpress.com. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
- "Dhananjay, Rachita Ram's film titled 'Monsoon Raaga'". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
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- Durga Krishna, Rahul Madhav and Sudev Nair in the Kannada thriller 21 hours
- Jayanagar IV Block comes alive in film
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