Rishab Shetty is an Indian actor, director, producer and writer. He is known was working predominantly in the Kannada film industry. In 2014, he played the role of Raghu in the Kannada crime drama film ‘Ulidavaru Kandanthe.’ He is known for directing the famous Kannada- language film ‘Kirik Party,’ which was released in 2016. In 2022, he acted in the Kannada film ‘Kantara,’ which is also directed and written by him.
Rishab Shetty was born as Prashant Shetty on Thursday, 7 July 1983 (age 39 years; as of 2022) in Keradi village, Kundapura, Udupi, Karnataka. His zodiac sign is Cancer. He went to Board High School in Kundapur, Karnataka. Later, he studied Master of Business Administration in Human Resources at Vijaya College in Jayanagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka. He studied at Bhandarkars’ Arts & Science College in Kundapura, Karnataka. He holds a diploma in film direction from Government Film & Television Institute in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Height (approx.): 5′ 11″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
He belongs to a Hindu family in Keradi village, Kundapura, Udupi, Karnataka.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Y Bhaskar Shetty, who is an astrologer, and his mother’s name is Lakshmi Shetty. He has a sister named Pratibha Hegde, who works at Wipro.
Rishab Shetty’s parents
Rishab Shetty’s sister, Pratibha Hegde
Wife & Children
On 9 February 2017, Rishab got married to Pragathi Shetty, a fashion designer and celebrity stylist. The couple has two children; a son named Ranvit Shetty and a daughter named Raadya Shetty.
Rishab Shetty with his wife Pragathi Shetty
Rishabh Shetty with his wife and son, Ranvit Shetty
Rishab Shetty’s daughter Raadya Shetty
In 2012, he debuted with the film ‘Tuglak.’
Rishab in a still from the film ‘Tuglak’
In the 2013 film ‘Attahasa,’ he played the role of an undercover cop. In 2014, he was cast to play the role of Raghu in the film ‘Ulidavaru Kandanthe.’ In 2016, he played a supporting character in the hit film ‘Ricky.’ He appeared as Inspector Kempraju in the 2018 film ‘Sarkaari Hiriya Praathamika Shaale, Kaasaragodu, Koduge: Raamanna Rai.’ In 2019, he made his debut in a lead role with the film ‘Bell Bottom.’ He appeared in a cameo role as Cowboy Krishna in the 2019 film ‘Avane Srimannarayana.’ In 2021, he played the role of Hari in the gangster film ‘Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana.’ He was cast to play the role of Shiva in the popular 2022 film ‘Kantara.’
Rishab on the poster of the 2022 film ‘Kantara’
In 2022, he debuted in the Telugu film industry with the film ‘Mishan Impossible’ in which he appeared in a cameo role as Khaleel.
Rishab in a still from the 2022 Telugu film ‘Mishan Impossible’
In 2016, he debuted as a director with the film ‘Ricky.’ In the same year, he directed the film ‘Kirik Party.’ He directed his third film, ‘Sarkaari Hiriya Praathamika Shaale, Kaasaragodu, Koduge: Raamanna Rai,’ in 2018.
Rishab Shetty directing the film ‘Sarkaari Hiriya Praathamika Shaale, Kaasaragodu, Koduge Raamanna Rai’
He wrote his first film, which was titled ‘Ricky’ and was released in 2016.
Poster of the 2016 film ‘Ricky’
The second film written by him was ‘Kirik Party,’ which was released in 2016. He wrote the film ‘Sarkaari Hiriya Praathamika Shaale, Kaasaragodu, Koduge: Raamanna Rai,’ which was released in 2018.
In 2018, he produced his first film titled ‘Sarkaari Hiriya Praathamika Shaale, Kaasaragodu, Koduge: Raamanna Rai.’
Poster of the 2018 film ‘Sarkaari Hiriya Praathamika Shaale, Kaasaragodu, Koduge Raamanna Rai’
In the 2019 film ‘Katha Sangama,’ he worked as a producer and creative head of the film. In 2021, he produced and co-wrote the film action comedy film ‘Hero.’ In 2021, he produced the film ‘Pedro.’ He produced the film ‘Shivamma,’ released in 2022.
Panjurli, a bhoota (a divine spirit of a male wild boar), who is the protector of righteousness and a part of Bhoota Kola, was portrayed in the 2022 film ‘Kantara’ as a Hindu god Vishnu’s incarnation, Varaha. In an interview, Rishab Shetty stirred up a row, when he considered the Bhoota Kola tradition of the Dakshina Kannada region as a part of Hindu culture, he said,
Those gods, they are all part of our tradition. Definitely, it is part of Hindu culture and Hindu rituals. Because I am a Hindu, I have belief and respect for my religion. But I will not say others are wrong. What we have said is through the element that is present in Hindu dharma.”
Netizens criticised him for depicting Panjurli as Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, Varaha. Later, Rishab defended himself by saying that he did not want to hurt the religious beliefs of people; he went down to rural coastal Karnataka, where all these rituals and tales were born, for research and to be more accurate about the culture. In an interview, he said,
I was looking at a story rooted in coastal Karnataka about agricultural land. But it isn’t just land. Bhootakola, Daivaradhane, our culture, our rituals and beliefs are all part of that. Once agricultural activities finish, it is marked with a celebration for 3-4 months because that is a ritual. People who have left the village also return for it. Such strong is the belief around all of it. It’s a rule. I wanted to bring all that but I did not have the complete idea and knowledge about it. I didn’t want any problem. I didn’t want anybody to be hurt or offended. I talked to the people who perform these rituals. I asked them more about it and researched more about it to be sure about how to go about it. I talked to the people who perform these rituals. I asked them more about it and researched more about it to be sure about how to go about it.”
- Won Best Family Entertainer Award for the 2016 film “Kirik Party” at Karnataka State Film Awards in 2016
- Won Best Director Award for the 2016 film “Kirik Party” at the 64th Filmfare Awards South in 2017
Rishab Shetty after winning Best Director Award at Filmfare Awards South in 2017
- Won Best Director Award for the 2016 film “Kirik Party” 6th South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) in 2017
Rishab Shetty after winning Best Director Award at SIIMA 2017
- Won Best Family Entertainer Award for the 2018 film ‘Sarkaari Hiriya Praathamika Shaale, Kaasaragodu, Koduge: Raamanna Rai’ at Karnataka State Film Awards in 2018
- Won Best Best Children’s Film Award for the 2018 film ‘Sarkaari Hiriya Praathamika Shaale, Kaasaragodu, Koduge: Raamanna Rai’ at the 66th National Film Awards in 2019
- Won the Kannada Popular Entertainment Award (Second Most Popular Kannada Cinema of the Year Award) for the film ‘Sarkaari Hiriya Praathamika Shaale, Kaasaragodu, Koduge: Raamanna Rai’ at the 11th Bengaluru International Film Festival in 2019
Rishab Shetty after winning the Kannada Popular Entertainment Award in 2019
- Audi Q7
Rishab Shetty standing next to his car, Audi Q7
- Skoda Fabia
Rishab Shetty sitting in front of his car, Skoda Fabia
- In 2016, he founded his own production house named Rishab Shetty Films.
- Before working as an actor, he worked as an assistant director with director A. M. R. Ramesh on the 2006 Kannada-language film “Cyanide.” After seeing Ramesh working as a director, Rishab got influenced by him and decided to become a director.
- After the 2022 Kannada film ‘Kantara’ grossed over Rs. 100 crore globally, in an interview, while talking about what really made audiences like the film outside Karnataka, he said,
I strongly believe in the line – more regional is more universal. I think what we are doing wrong with the whole pan-Indian cinema dream is that we are trying to make bigger films. What’s the point when I try to make the kind of film that has already been made before in some other industry or in the west? Why will audiences pay money to watch such a film in theatres when they can watch it on OTT? In Kantara, I took elements from my own village and mixed it with a story about the conflict between some patch of land owned by some farmers and the forest department. It’s actually a story of humans versus nature. The differentiating aspect was the use of the mythology which is very region-specific and it worked wonders with the audience.”