Tell us about your background?
I was 8 years old when my father expired. I completed my studies in Chennai. There was no direct influence of my father in my childhood. I went to Russia to complete engineering studies. I was not at all interested in films during that time. My elder brother Premchand was working as an associate to Muthyala Subbayya. When he made his debut as director and started working for a film on our home banner, he expired in a car accident. I was in Russia and it was big jolt for me. I could not come to India for the funeral due to certain Visa problems. I wanted somebody to carry the legacy of my father. As my brother was no more, I decided to enter films. After completing my engineering, I joined dialogue modulation course for an year. Then I made my debut as hero with ‘Toli Valapu’.
Where did you learn dialogue modulation?
Veteran Telugu film artist Kakarala trained me with the nuances of dialogue modulation. He gave me a book on acting and dialogue modulation written by Stansloski.
How did you career took off?
My debut film as hero was Toli Valapu. It was a heroine-oriented subject and it misfired at box office. Then there was a gap of 8 months. Teja asked me to do the role of villain in Jayam film. My role in Jayam changed my life forever.
Were you frustrated during the gap between Toli Valapu and Jayam?
Yeah. I wanted to become successor to T Krishna. I was having the guilty feeling of being a failure and not living up to the standards of T Krishna. I did not get any offers after Toli Valapu. During that time, I spoke to Teja over phone that I would like to meet him. Teja said that there was no need to meet him and he would call me at the right time. He came up with Jayam offer.
Were you not afraid to do villain role as it affects your choice of becoming hero?
No. I felt it as a challenge to do villain role. If you observe my villain characters in Jayam and Nijam, you realize how powerful they are. There is an absolute rawness in the villain character of Nijam. My roles in Jayam, Nijam and Varsham helped me to create market in masses which later translated into openings for Yagnam film in which I re-entered as hero.
Yagnam is a mass film. But Andhrudu and Ranam are more like class films. Was it a deliberate ploy?
I did not want to brand myself as an actor who could only do certain kinds of roles. If I continue doing mass characters like Yagnam, I will be tagged as mass hero. That is the reason why I chose to plays roles with softness in Andhrudu and Ranam. If I keep on working on mass films, I get stagnated once I get a huge hit as there will not be growth in it anymore. Let us see how it is going to work in the future.
How do you select directors?
When somebody approaches me to narrate a story, I ask him to narrate it in a simple fashion. I don’t want him to narrate the story with hero buildup scenes and shot divisions. If I don’t get bored while listening to that story, I accept the project. I always believe that story is more important that anything for a film. Any hero could get his film running housefuls for the first 10 days with image/stardom, but ultimately it is story which will make the film run for the rest of 90 days.
Do you do any homework while enacting critical scenes in films?
I feel that every person in this world is an actor. We tend to act in our real life as per the situation and need. We would have seen all the characters in real life. We need certain imagination while playing characters that we do not see in real life. Acting is more like behaving in my films. I try to be myself and try to deliver dialogues in perfect way. If you could get emotion in dialogues, your face expression changes automatically.
I have the confidence inside me that I can do any kinds of roles. I feel like my character is central one all the time even if I a play villain role or character artist role.
Tell us about your memories with T Krishna?
I was afraid of my father when I was a kid. And he expired when I was 8. But I love watching his films. Though there is social message in all his films, he also made those films commercially viable. I always want to do those kinds of films. I never get bored by watching Pratighatana, Neti Bharatam etc for any number of times.
Tell us about your attachment with Pokuri Babu Rao?
My father and Pokuri Babu Rao were classmates in college and were close friends. I call him Babai. They started Eetaram Pictures banner and produced many blockbusters. After my father expired, we withdrew from Eetaram pictures. Pokuri Babu Rao started Eetaram Films banner. I expressed my wish to enter films to him after coming to India. He discouraged me by saying that film industry is not a fair industry and I would be facing rough weather. I invited him for the opening of my debut film Toli Valapu. He was impressed with my performance in my first day’s work.
He narrated the subject of Yagnam when I was doing Nijam. I tonsured my head for Nijam film and it might take months to grow after completion of Nijam work. I did Yagnam after completing Nijam and Varsham work.
Who are your favorite actors?
Telugu films: SV Ranga Rao is my all time favorite actor. His acting is very natural however difficult is the role. With impeccable dialogue delivery and slight change in facial expression, he can bring out a different mood.
Hindi films: Amitab Bachchan
English Films: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. I am very much influenced by these two actors and would like to do characters enacted by them.
Who are your favorite actresses?
Madhu Bala (old Hindi actress) and Jaya Sudha.
What is your marital status?
I am running on 29 now. And still unmarried. As of now I don’t have any plans. I never had any girl friend in my life.
Which film is your favorite among Ranam/Andhrudu/Yagnam?
Do you have friends in film industry?
My friends circle involves mostly people who are not from film industry. I am more close to technicians in film industry than actors. I talk very frankly and it might hurt the filmy people around. I maintain my distance in film industry.
What is your next project?
I am doing a film in the direction of Udaya Shankar. There is lot of difference in characterization. The audiences are going to identify themselves with that character.
Do you want to give any personal message to the visitors of idlebrain.com?
If you work hard with honesty, then you will achieve whatever you want. Some people might get the results immediately and some people might get it after some time.
Kalyan Ram Nandamuri (Hero)
Siva Kumar (Director)
Rasool Ellore (Cinematographer & Director)
SS Rajamouli (Director)
Sameer Reddy (Cinematographer)
Marthand K Venkatesh
Sayaji Shinde (Villain)