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Interview with Ram
Date: June 16, 2008, Hyderabad

The maxim – Practice makes a man perfect – has become the biblical standard for Hero Ram. Undoubtedly, the young actor won rich accolades for his more than convincing performance in Devadas, followed by raking histrionics in Jagadam. Success or failure, it least bothers him. This is the enviable parameter which an actor can hardly have at just 20. His latest film Ready is all set to hit the screens on June 19th. Ram dwells into his early days, a greenhorn’s touch in Devdas, failure of Jagadam, friends, love; and more about career. How many of the audience really know that Ram’s first priority was Tamil films as an actor? His info about Eyebrow dance is a thrill. Excerpts from an exclusive interview to Idlebrain.

What pulled you towards film industry?
It was right from the time when I got to my senses. My entry into film industry has nothing to do my background as the one who belonged to filmmaker’s family. Even I hardly watched Telugu films. Most part of my childhood and education happened in Chennai. But, a sense of becoming an actor seeped my nerves involuntarily. Even as a child, I used to dance, so say my family members. They had even videoed the footage. They told the neighborhood and the inner circles that I was a good dancer. Perhaps this kind of constant exposure to live and nonstop encouragement from all sides might have made me passionate about acting.

As I grew up, what ever I did, I kept mind that it should be useful to me when I take to acting in future. The outlook still guides me. I showed a lot of interest in crash courses of all kinds – acting, dancing, horse-riding, stage performance, book reading and what not. I spent hours going through Oxford University Press publications. At the age of 12, I acted in a short film, which won high praise and got me an award at a film session in Switzerland. To become an actor is not a child’s play. I trained myself in dance, aerobics, horse-riding and whatever that was necessary to become an actor, before I set my foot here.

When I was in school, Oscar Ravichandran found a good actor in me and I was about to do the film Kadhal in Tamil (Premiste in Telugu). I had to do Devadas by rejecting Premiste. MS Raju asked me for his film when I was 13 years. It was YVS Chowdary who introduced me with Devadas. I didn’t know any rules and regulations. But I was confident. I used to do a lot of homework before I entered the sets. I believe in this adage – Practice makes a man perfect. I am thankful to YVS, who wanted to introduce me not as a mere actor, but as though I was the son of a big hero. Devadas turned out to be a complete mass flick.

What went wrong with Jagadam?
When I signed the movie Jagadam, I was filled with an urge to become an actor, and not a hero. If you want to make Jagadam, it should be like that only. Any change is required, better not to make the movie at all. This was the perception. The film suffered a steep fall in the second half and unconvincing climax. Basically, it was done with youth in mind. The film is about – what happens when youth gets carried away by violence and goondaism? My role saw heroism in goondaism. The audiences are such that they praise the movie when it becomes a hit, and won’t miss to point out when it flops. Definitely, I have taken too much of load on me in Devadas and Jagadam as well.

You got a mass image where success or failure of a film doesn’t really matter. Don’t you think, over a period of time, it might lead to stagnation in your career with channels of exploration to become a good actor blocked?
Yes. I agree with you. I take the flop of Jagadam as an advantage. I never really concentrated much on the image of a mass hero. Take Devadas, a little bit of loud acting on the part of the hero was necessary. In Jagadam, a kind of underplay was done. I wish to be called the way – He can do anything. YVS Chowdary calls me – Chocolate boy with rough looks. I can be too cute and I can be manly too. With these two options at my disposal, I am always interested in bringing variation in film.

Into what kind of genre does Ready fit into?
Even I too can’t categorize it into any particular genre. It is a mix of everything. Those who don’t understand which genre is Ready up to will surely understand it most well. Ready is not entirely about the hero. It has all elements of entertainment. You have comedy, action, sentiment, music and all. It is a lighter vein subject, touching the corridors of a film like Nuvvu Naku Nachchav. It has both family and youthful orientation.

Genelia is an established and energetic actress. How did the chemistry between you two come out on the screen?
Genelia’s energy is endless. Actually, YVS Chowdary wanted to bring Genelia as my heroine in Devadas. Even for Jagadam, we tried. On both occasions, we didn’t get her. Coming to ready, we didn’t think of any other alternative. We were completely focused on Genelia, only Genelia. She is the most professional actress I have ever seen, both as an actor and part of the production. Her interest in flawless modulation is amazing. Unlike other heroines who just do it away with lip sink, she takes extra care for perfection.

What about director Seenu Vytla?
He is one person who keeps my spirits bouncing for something new always. He had a word of praise for me during the 175 days function of Devdas. From that day onwards, he continuously expressed his wish to do a film with me. For the success of a film, first we need directors who get excited about their projects. They should get excited about their heroes. No doubt, his comedy sense is wonderful. He made Ready as a feel good film on a fair angle with polished comedy.

The producer is always bothered about commercially. Won’t this parameter affect the real potential of an artiste?
Definitely. This development at present is unavoidable.

Tell about the producer of Ready?
Generally, the producer tends to spend less in hero's home production so that he could get more table profit. But for Ready, my uncle Ravi Kishore spent a lot of money just to make sure that the film is rich in visuals and content.. A lot of planning is involved in setting the combination of artistes and adjustment of their dates. In the future even if other producers are not willing to produce films of artistic/experimental nature, I always have my home banner Sravanthi Movies to fall back on.

How do you look at a movie, when it comes to business? If a producer gets losses, what’s your part up to?
So far, I never took the business angle seriously. Hereafter, I feel like interested in that also. I generally think of doing a good film and my producer should get his money and even profits. Coming to my role in bailing out the producer from losses, such situation has not come to me till now.

What about your friends here?
I don’t have many friends over here in Hyderabad. My friends’ batch is in Chennai. I don’t go out except during the shoots. To be frank, I don’t have friends in film industry here. Getting into new association for its own sake will not interest me. It will look artificial. I went to Touch a couple of times, so far. I don’t drink and I don’t smoke. Of course, I did it for the screen in Jagadam.

Tell us about your female fans? Their number swells each time they see Devadas.
I don’t feel free moving with girls. I am shy, but I put on a brave front. Recently, I got a call from a girl. I attended it casually. This call multiplied and multiplied with many girls on the line even after the midnight. Later, I strictly controlled it. But, I give a lot of importance to the feedback from the audiences and my well-wishers.

Can you make a comparison of your perception before and after coming into the films?
To be clear and say again, I never wanted to become a hero. I am obsessed to become an actor. As such, I don’t hold any particular view of it.

What kind of girl you want in real life?
Still a long way to go. I never thought of it. I am a family person. And I don’t have any dream girl. But one thing is sure. If I were to love, I will make it very seriously. When I get attached, that’s final. Okka Sari Fix Aithe, Anthe.

What’s special about your dances in Ready?
I am ever ready to experiment with new things. I did a simple gesture with eyebrows in Jagadam in a sequence. Now, I have done a full-length eyebrow dance in Ready. I practiced a lot for that. It will sure impress one and all. It is first of its lengthy experiment in Tollywood. It has been developed to a finer level by choreographer Prem Rakshit, who also worked with me for Jagadam.

Most artistes cherish a dream to direct, whether it materializes or not. Did you ever think of becoming a director? After all, it’s a culminating point!
I want to get into each and every field of filmmaking. In fact, direction is the most strenuous job. I will definitely do direction, but it takes a long time.

Your favorite quotation?
(Thinks for a few seconds) Of course, Here is a couple of them – “Don’t walk as if you rule the world. Walk as if you don’t care who rules the world”. Next: “Do what you believe in. Believe in what you do.”

What’s your favorite holiday spot?
Switzerland. Of course, I like Araku and Vizag too.

What irritates you most?
I hardly get irritated.

What makes you excited?
When I try something different and when it’s appreciated.

Your favorite films in Hollywood?
I like the films of Jim Carry. He is one actor who would make us watch his films irrespective of the content.

Do you do faces like him?
Yes. I tried eyebrows experiment for a song in Ready.

What are your hobbies?
I don’t have time for hobbies. If I get free time, I stand in front of the mirror to improve/invent expressions,

Don’t you think the combination of your film with MS Raju-B.Gopal is little wierd?
Yes. It sounds very crazy and odd. That itself might work as a big publicity. People already told me the film would be flocked by one and all. Just because, they will more interested in knowing what the trio has done. B. Gopal and MS Raju thoroughly readied the subject in tune with my body language.

What about yours next with YVS Chowdary?
It is titled as 'Rey'. It will come up after MS Raju-B.Gopal film. Like Devdas, YVS project “Rey” requires lot of shooting in US.

You are one actor, who doesn’t like to be called as Babu in the industry. Why?
I always tell people around me not to call me Babu, as I have not come as a heir to anyone and I am not the son of a big hero. They think I am arrogant.

You spent most years in Chennai. But, you are able speak chaste Telugu. How is it possible to do without Tamil tinge?
If I speak Telugu, it should be completely the same language. If I speak Tamil, nobody will find that I am a Telugu man. Basically, I am from Vijayawada; and we speak Telugu in our house, and most of my friends are Telugus.

What about your interests in Tamil film industry?
Actually, before coming to Telugu film industry, my first and foremost priority was Tamil. Now that I have come here, I have to do many more films, before taking up Tamil projects. Definitely, I am going to do Tamil films.

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