Kamal Kamaraju is making his debut as hero with Sekhar Kammula produced film Avakai Biryani in which he plays the role of a 7-seater auto driver. Kamal speaks about his journey into films and about Avakai Biryani in an exclusive interview given to idlebrain.com. Here are the excerpts -
I am born in Gandhi Asramam, Sevagram, Maharashtra. I am brought up in Hyderabad. I did my schooling in LFHS and degree in Architecture at JNTC.
It was Aithe film that motivated me to get into films. I was awestruck with the narrative technique in that film and I became an instant fan of Chandra Sekhar Yeleti. Hanumantha Rao who works for Chandra Sekhar is a good friend of me. I met Chandra Sekhar Yeleti through Hanumantha Rao and expressed my willingness to join him. I got a call from Yeleti’s office when I went to Delhi to do practicals of Architecture. I got an offer to work in art department. Chandra Sekhar Yeleti was supposed to do a film with Uday Kiran as hero. I joined as an assistant under art director Ravinder. But that film did not take off. I worked for AOR (Anukokunda Oka Roju) film in the art department. The same team worked for Rajamouli’s Chatrapati. I acted as one of the 4 guys who follow hero Prabhas all the time in that film.
That is when I came to know that Sekhar Kammula was planning to direct a film titled Godavari. Aithe and Anand are two trendsetting films in Telugu film industry in my opinion. I went to their office in Padmarao Nagar met the co-director Praveena. I got a call from Rajahmundry when they were just about to start the shoot. I got an important character in that film.
That is when I met Anish Kuruvilla. During the time of Happy Days, Anish Kuruvilla came up with the idea of ‘Confessions of a Filmmaker’. We did that film during that time. After the super success of Happy Days, Sekhar Kammula wanted to introduce Anish as a feature film director. That is how Avakai Biryani happened. I feel lucky to have got the role of main lead in this film.
Tell us about the name of your character and specialty of it?
I can’t reveal the name of my character in this film. Avakai Biryani is about a 7-seater auto driver who has goals and ambitions. He also wants to pursue studies while working as auto driver. He is not the kind of guy who accepts defeat. He falls in love with a pickle selling girl who is also strong and ambitious.
What is Avakai Biryani?
There is always a story to the passengers who travel in an auto. But nobody has shown it from the angle of an auto driver. Avakai Biryani captures the human side of an auto driver and a pickle seller. If Happy Days is about romanticizing college life, Avakai Biryani is about romanticizing village life.
Did you do any research on auto drivers?
Yes. I observed the 7-seater auto drivers both in Hyderabad city and the villages surrounding Hyderabad. The 7-seater auto drivers in Hyderabad are very practical and they just bother about money. The 7-seater auto drivers in village are more courteous with people and they tend to have bonding with the passengers.
Any precautions for this character?
Anish wanted me to appear lean. Hence I had to shed 8 kgs of weight. I am doing the role of a guy who works hard and it should show in my appearance. And I could relate personally with the characteristic of auto driver.
Tell us about Anish Kuruvilla as a director?
Anish Kuruvilla strikes balance between art and commerce. He is also very good with actors. He narrated the film naturally without missing entertainment.
Bindu Madhavi mentioned that you are a serious actor? What is so serious about you?
I am not a guy who jokes around the set. Sekhar Kammula and Anish Kuruvilla have given me the biggest opportunity of my lifetime by making me hero in this film. I should not let them down. Hence I tried my best to be 100% dedicated to what I am doing.
Tell us about your co-actor Bindu Madhavi?
Bindu Madhavi has a tremendous potential in her as an actress. She will give Bombay-based heroines a run for their money in the future. She is an ambitious girl and she will become a big mainstream actress.
What is your gut feeling on the final product of Avakai Biryani?
It will become a classic masterpiece in Telugu that transcends all the classes.
How are you planning to mold your career?
I want to create a brand name and trust for myself that the movie should be good if Kamal Kamaraju acts in it.
Who are your favorite directors?
Rishikesh Mukherjee and Akira Kurosawa are my all time favorite directors. Asutosh Gowarikar, Dibakar Benerjee (Khosla ka Ghosla), Chandra Sekhar Yeleti, Sekhar Kammula and Anish Kuruvilla are my favorite directors among the new generation.
Who are your favorite actors?
Amitab Bachchan and Dileep Kumar from the old Hindi films. I admire Kamal Hassan and Ameer Khan for their perfectionism and the way they brought revolution in Indian films. Naseeruddin Shah is an idol for me and I remember him whenever I find a tough acting job. In Telugu, I am a huge fan of Chiranjeevi. I grew up watching his films. Chiranjeevi is the one who brought style to Telugu films.
What are your next projects?
I have five scripts with me and two of them are really nice. I will take a call on them if I could get the right people doing it.
Harsha Reddy (Director n producer)
Bindu Madhavi (Actress)
Shweta Basu Prasad (Actress)
Dil Raju (Actor)
Santhi Chandra (Actor)
Teja (Director n producer)
Lakshmikanth Chenna (Director)
Manoj Manchu (Actor)
Ajay Sastri (Director)
Sekhar Kmmula (Producer)
Ravi Krishna (Actor)
Sunitha (Playback singer)
VN Aditya (Diector & Producer)
Nallamalupu Bujji (Producer)
Uday Kiran (Actor)
Chandra Sekhar (Actor)
Dil Raju (Producer)
Siva (Souryam director)
Mamata Mohandas (Actress)
Lakshmi Lahari (Actress)
Ramesh Varma (Director)
Neha Thota (Child actress)
Srinivas Avasarala (Actor)
Uday Kiran (Actor)
Ram Gopal Varma (Director)
PG Vinda (Cinematographer)
Hari Yelleti (Director)
Kishore Ganji (Producer)
Ram Mohan (Producer)
Salim Panda (Actor)
Surekha Vani (Actress)
Manjari Fadniz (Actress)
A Raja Sekhar (Director)
Sayaji Shinde (Actor)
Viswa Tej (Actor)
Geetha Madhuri (Playback Singer)
Sneha Ullal (Actress)
Prem Kumar Patra (Producer)
GV Prakash (Music director)
Mohana Krishna Indraganti (Director)
Bharat (Child actor)
Malini Dasari (Cinematographer)
Rama Jogaiah Sastry (Lyricist)
Uday Kiran (Hero)
Aditi Sharma (Heroine)
Nagur Babu (Mano) (Singer)
Sekhar Suri (Director)
Sindhu Menon (Heroine)
Vinu Thomas (Music director)
Nihal (Music director & Singer)
Smita (Pop singer)
Sonal Chauhan (Actress)
Raghu Kunche (Singer)
Udaya Bhanu (Anchor)
Meher Ramesh (Director)
Rao Ramesh (Actor)
Gopi Mohan (Writer)
Ajay Sastri (Director)
Vara Mullapudi (Director)
Bhumika Chawla (Actress)
Jagapati Babu (Actor)
Vijay C Kumar (Cinematographer)
Sekhar Kammula (Director)