us about your background?
I belong to a farming family of a tiny village in
Maharashtra. I completed my BA in Marathi in Satara
town. After completion of my BA, I worked as a watchman
for Government's Irrigation Department for a salary
for Rs. 165 per month (around year 1974). I worked
in that position for a couple of years during which
I developed interest in theater with the influence
of theater personality Sunil Kulakarni. I started
my career in theater in 1978. I acted in lots of one-act
plays. Then I shifted to Mumbai and got trained in
workshop of Rohini Hattangadi. I worked my way up
in theater of Mumbai. I acted in a play called Hizda
(Eunuch) in 1987. The people who saw me in that role
thought that I was a hizda for real. Theater celebrities
like Poola Deshpande and Vijay Tendulkar predicted
that I would reach greater heights. I got maharashtra
state award for my performance in Marathi film Abholi.
has Shool happened?
Majon Bajpai happened to see photos and an article
on me in TOI (Times of India). He recommended me to
Ram Gopal Varma. Ram Gopal Varma just glanced at me
for 20 sec and he selected me for the role of Bichoo
Yadav in Shool film. That is how entered Bollywood.
on I acted in a Tamil film called 'Bharati' (a biographical
film on one of the greatest poets of Tamil). I got
tremendous appreciation for my role in that film.
I also acted in blockbusters like Alagi and Dhool.
did Tagore happen to you?
I worked for Calcutta Mail film that was jointly produced
by Allu Arvind and Aswini Dutt. They selected me for
the role of villain in Tagore film.
is you experience of working with Chiranjeevi?
I remember the day 1 of Tagore shoot. Chiranjeevi
asked me if I were comfortable doing the role. Then
I requested him that I would like to do my own dubbing.
I can't see somebody else dubbing my voice on screen.
Voice gives life to the character (aawaz is jaan).
Chiranjeevi responded immediately and cancelled my
shoot for that day and assigned me an assistant who
would teach me dialogues in Telugu. Since I am from
theater, I have the habit of byhearting the entire
dialogue version a day before. I followed the similar
pattern for my film career also. I byheart all the
dialogues a day before the shoot. I dubbed myself
in all languages - Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Marathi and
Kannada' - I acted in so far. I would like to thank
Chiranjeevi from the bottom of my heart for understanding
me and letting me to dub my own voice.
old are you now and how do you keep yourself physically
I am 47 now. I do Yoga regularly for physical fitness.
I practice voice exercises to keep voice effective.
the characters you played so far are of villainous
nature? Don't you want to play any other characters?
All the characters I played so far are of political
villain type. For a change, I am doing a positive
character in Nagarjuna's Super. I play a cop. I would
be interacting with comedians like Ali and Sunil and
comedy arises out of situations. I am playing heroine's
father in YVS Chowdary's Devadasu.
different is Telugu film industry from Hindi film
It takes less time to make films in Telugu. It takes
2 - 3 years to make most of the Bollywood films. It's
easy to stay concentrated in Telugu film industry.
There are lots of politics and ego hassles in Bollywood
and environment in Telugu film industry is cordial.
Telugu filmmakers are thorough professionals.
solo photo is featured on the cover page of India
Today Telugu. How do you feel about it?
It's been 17 years since I came into Showbiz. For
the first time a magazine came up with my photo on
cover page. I am feeling extremely happy. I am grateful
to India Today.
started your career as watchman with Rs. 165 per month
as salary and now you are one of the top notch villains
in Telugu film industry charging 14 lakhs per film
as remuneration. How do you feel about it?
I do definitely miss those days when I used to
do one-act plays. When I was earning Rs. 165, I used
to give 150 to my family and do partying with remaining
15. At that time, my dream salary was Rs. 400/-. I
attribute it all to the destiny. I am happy now because
I have been doing the work which I always wanted to
do. More than money what matters to me is job satisfaction.
are the Telugu films you acted in so far?
Tagore, Veede, Andhrawala, Gudumba Shankar and Nayudamma
are the films you are working in now?
Super, PB Arts film (Bala Krishna), Athadu, Andhrudu,
Devadasu and That is Pandu.
is your objective?
When I did stage plays, I used to think that I would
change the entire world with my performance in plays.
Later on I realized that it is not possible. Right
now, I want to entertain people. That is my aim in
Gowri Mumjal (Heroine)
MS Raju (Producer)