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Interview with Sesh Adivi
Date: 8 December 2011, Hyderabad
sesh adivi

Sesh Adivi who made his debut as actor, director and producer with Karma shot in USA is making his debut in a negative role in Pawan Kalyan's Panjaa. He is keeping both the options of acting and directing open. Here are the excerpts of an exclusive interview -

KARMA experience:
KARMA was both the most rewarding and the most stressful experience in my life. I dont think I have ever worked so hard before with so little sleep. I was writer, director and lead actor on the film. I can safely say that the film changed my life for the better. Prior to KARMA, even in the eyes of certain relatives, I was just some kid who wanted to make movies. I wasnt being taken as seriously as I hoped. So, I saved some money. With support from my family and outside investment from two friends, I put together the KARMA project. It was a two year process from the germination of the idea to the film's release.

Though we lost 25% of our investment, the film got noticed. The film got respect and in turn, gave me a lot of respect in the industry. A lot of prominent technicians and actors appreciated my work and it helped me embark on my journey in Telugu cinema. If there is one thing that KARMA gave me, it is "credibility". Credibility to speak. Credibility to be taken seriously. To have an opinion. To act in more movies. To make more movies.

Lead role offers started coming my way and every one of them was a regular romantic film. I love romantic films but I kept getting the feeling that audiences would want to watch a love story with more freshness. There were so many established and talented stars doing some great love stories already. As a newcomer, I had to be on top of my game. So, I waited.

I kept waiting for a movie with a difference. Some kind of role that had a different dimension. Then, a couple of months after KARMA's release, I was offered PANJAA.

My character in PANJAA:
Its a pivotal role with negative shades. The character is named Munna. He is essentially an NRI who is a rich spoiled brat, a very dangerous fellow both to others around him. Its a pivotal role that is quite important to the story. I loved playing such a role. I hope the audience thinks I'm the right fit. Moreover, I hope to get their appreciation with my performance.

How my role is unique:
Most people who meet me in real life tend to feel that I'm soft spoken and that I mostly come across as calm, quiet and other terms of that ilk. The character of Munna is the polar opposite. The character is a very volatile character. To be able to take over a scene like that took some getting used to initially. Thankfully, Vishnu Vardhan garu, the director, planned for it and eased me into the tougher scenes that came later. Also, Vishnu garu had exact detail on how he wanted Munna played. It was so precise that it became a simpler interpretation as time went on.

Working with Vishnu Vardhan:
Vishnu Vardhan is a supremely dedicated director. He has boundless energy. He worked with me from a place of mutual respect. He allowed me freedom to interpret the character in my own way, all the while making sure that I stuck to his notes for the character. He also has an incredible eye for detail. He could catch anything that was out of place in my perfomance. A small lip quiver here, an out of character body movement there, he'd catch it. It kept me on my toes but it kept me excited because I felt like I was working with a man truly on top of his game. I hope the audience likes what we did. This film is his vision and I'm simply a part of it.

Working with the Producers:
Neelima garu had first seen some of my work in KARMA and had forwarded it to Vishnu garu and Shobhu gaaru. I was told that Vishnu gaaru also liked what he saw. I think Neelima garu and Nagesh garu come with a set of fresh ideas and fresh thoughts, that have helped push PANJAA into new dimensions. Whether it be the audio launch or the PANJAA T shirts, there has been a unique and novel aspect to their methods. On the same note, Shobu gaaru has been so courteous and graceful to me. He is just a very professional man and has been there for me whenever I've asked for anything. He's truly been one of the solid forces behind the movie. I'm truly thankful that on just my second film, I'm working with producers of repute and substance. Sangamitra Arts and Arka Media have been very professional with me work wise, and very caring & courteous, personally speaking.

I know for a fact that Pawan sir is one of a kind. It is common knowledge by now that He changed his look to suit the character and gave his character in the film a new dimension. However, I'd like to share a couple of personal observations. I saw that His passion and dedication to his craft was phenomenal when we were shooting in Kolkata. He shot continuously everyday for a duration of 100+ days on this film. I was told that during an important action sequence, he had gotten a massive sprained ankle but he continued with the shoot, all the while making sure that everything still looked great on screen. He did the shots looking stylish and walking upright in front of camera. I can only begin to understand how much more people like Neelima garu or Vishnu garu might have seen. Moreover, Pawan garu was incredibly supportive of me and my abilities. He was encouraging, friendly and down to earth with me from day one. He took the time out to speak to me whenever he could and gave me motivation about strengths I didn't know I had. I truly have to thank him for this opportunity. My conversations with him are my most cherished moments of the PANJAA experience.

Working with Anjali Lavania (One of the heroines of the film):
Being a former Kingfisher model, Anjali's beauty was expected and is a given. What I didnt expect was her height and personality! She is tall! She was also incredibly courteous to me and incredibly professional. In fact, because I'm vegetarian, she would offer me half her lunch whenever it was vegetarian! I think she will be a surprise package for this film.

What next:
I'm currently in talks to direct a film for a major production house. I'm working on the script right now and hopefully, it shapes up well. Its a "Heist" film and is a story about a robbery. I am very very excited about it.

Also, my brother, Sai Kiran Adivi and I have been talking about collaborating together on a project for some time now. He is currently busy with his own project, 'Kerintha'.

Once he is finished with it, we are going to come together to make a film set in Australia. It will be our own production and will be an action drama. I will be playing the lead role in it. Its exciting and adventurous times ahead.

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