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Interview with Krishnudu
Date: September 3, 2008, Hyderabad

Better late than never! You should have guts for bigger dreams. At the same time, patience is the king. This is what guides Krishna alias Krishnudu (the solo hero of the film Vinayakudu), a great believer in destiny. In pursuit of his dreams, he even skipped marriage for several years. Hailing from the agricultural family in Rajolu, East Godavari district, automobile engineer Krishna arrived in Hyderabad … all the way from Bangalore. He wanted to become an actor. Even finished a course in film acting. This didn't work out. A piercing road mishap made his leg clogged. With a sheet of disappointment, he left for Mumbai and learnt the art of fashion photography. Ran his own studio for sometime, but his constant company with assistant directors (still going on), Krishna's eyes fell on direction and worked as the assistant director in Rasool Ellore's Bhageeratha (2004). He did a small but memorable role in Happy Days. Now, it is what you say – thante garela buttalo paddatlu. An assistant director of Sekhar Kammula (Happy Days) dreamt of a hero like Krishna for his subject. If you are lucky, no power on earth can shake your stars. Fortune tapped at his door. Now, Krishna does the hero, he does the role in a film named after the auspicious lord – Vinayakudu, which is set for release, soon. Krishnudu with for an exclusive interview:

Tell us about your journey in film industry?
I was born and brought up at Rajolu (EG dist). My father is a farmer. After schooling I left for Bangalore and studied diploma in automobile engineering. I was a diehard fan of the tinsel world. Throwing the books in the air, I dreamt of becoming a star. Instantly, I arrived in Hyderabad. I took training in a film institute. But, things were not that easy. While I was making frantic efforts in my pursuit to become a hero, I got very badly injured in the leg and I was most immobilized for about two years. During this period, I had put on a lot of weight. Things didn't work out for me. I left for Mumbai, where I got trained in fashion photography with Subi Samuel. Next, I returned to Hyderabad and started my own studio The Faces, in 1999. I worked for films Gangotri, Appudappudu and a few Puri Jagan's films. Then i got interested in scripting and directing. I joined as an assistant director for Bhageeradha film under Rasool. During that time, I did the lead role in a short film – Che Foot Neeche. Priyadarshan Ram saw my performance and gave me yet again a prime role in the film Manodu. Then Puri Jagan gave me a good role in Pokiri and this brought me the required break. Of course, Modati Cinema was my debut film, though the films which started after that released prior to it. My films included Okkadunnadu, Madhumasam and Shock. Definitely Happy Days brought me a very big break in recent months. Yuva serial in MAA TV also helped me a lot.

At first, your ambition was to become an actor. Later, you took up career in fashion photography, followed by your desire for direction. Why these contrasts?
Yes. When I came to the industry to become an actor, I tried my level best. But, my leg injury made my further pursuit almost impossible. This forced me to consider photography as the immediate alternative. But, there was no viability for fashion photography those days. There was no much scope for creativity. Now that I am gaining ground, I feel like pleasant at my initial thoughts. So, now, I am an actor. Everyday, I move with a lot of assistant directors. Their influence is there on me. Anyways, my ultimate ambition is to become a director.

How you got selected for Happy Days? Did you apply for that?
No. It was like a miracle. A friend of mine Prudhvi took his album to Sekhar Kammula. Sekhar happened to see a group photograph of Prudhvi. He spotted me in that photograph and this was how things happened. Of course, my friend didn't get an opportunity. (Smiles) As you know, my role was doing haircut to one of the heroes in Happy Days. But, Sekhar said that I had a great scope to perform and he would make my role a memorable one with inclusions whenever necessary. I obeyed him all through. It was here that I got acquainted with Saikiran Adivi, assisting Sekhar Kammula.

How you got this project Vinayakudu?
Yes. I am coming to that point. While doing Happy Days, Saikiran said that he wanted to talk to me. It happened several times and I simply didn't take it seriously. After Happy Days, one fine day, Saikiran narrated me the subject of Vinayakudu. Coming to closer to the climax, I was moved and wept. He said I was doing the film as hero. What luck? After 15 years, my dream was coming true. When I persisted, I didn't get it. When I just didn't take it seriously, the offer came to me. It is the fate. I believe it.

Tell us about Vinayakudu?
In fact, I play the title role as Vinayakudu. It is a big fat love story. It is pure love. Decent romance and comedy. Going by my role, I hail from Rajahmundry and come to Hyderabad and join an ad agency. My heroine Sonia will also be working there. I am a fatty guy; and she, a beauty. My attitude is such that I care mylife for happiness than a mountain of currency. Sonia is very dominating on the screen. Whether the chemistry worked for us? Does the film have any message? These are the crucial points.

Tell us about your working with Sonia?
I felt great. She is a beautiful and talented artiste. Though she does play an arrogant role in Vinayakudu; in real life, Sonia is very cool and positive person. She is a natural actress. She holds the punch to carry out the feelings very naturally.

What about your producer?
I shall be grateful to Prem Kumar garu. He is a gentleman. When Saikiran Adivi took me to him, he instantly liked me, gauzed my characterization with the script. More than a producer, he is good at heart. Otherwise, he wouldn't have produced Aa Naluguru.

How you worked with director Saikiran?
I felt extremely comfortable. After all, it was he brought me to this position. When he narrated the subject and wanted me to do the role, first I felt quite embarrassed and expressed my doubts as to whether I can do the role. But, Saikiran did cheer me a lot and true to his word he constantly guided me all through the making of Vinayakudu. He has built up high levels of confidence in me.

What about the comedy in Vinayakudu?
Comedy is inbuilt and it is not a track business here. See, first of all, the very combination of mine and Sonia is a funny thing. What is this? Do you find any slim girl in love with a fatty guy? The comedy is situational.

Now you are doing the solo hero in Vinayakudu. What next?
My concentration is mostly on doing the characters. I suited to the script for Vinayakudu. I am going to do good roles in two films. Sukumar garu offered me one such role in his Arya 2 film. And I am set to do another role in Siddarth's film in the direction of Anand.

Planning to reduce weight? Any difficulty in doing so?
Why not? For Vinayakudu, my weight is my strength and it is hand in glove with the script. I have two more films, which require this size of mine as it is. In future, I hope to take up the thing. I don't think it difficult to cut down weight, if we are serious about it. Adnan Sami is my inspiration in this aspect.

You are being introduced as Krishnudu, now. Don't you think the name sounds deglamorised?
Not at all. For me Krishnudu sounds very cute. Mudduga anipisthondhi.

What kind of films you want to do?
Generally I like romantic films. I would like to do versatile characters like by Paresh Rawal.

What inspired you to dream of becoming a director?
Yes. Direction is my ultimate goal. Basically, I am passionate about films. Most of my friends are assistant directors.

How is the support from your parents?
Initially, they didn't like my ambition to become an actor. For several years, I pulled on with much difficulty. My younger brother got married, but not me. Of course, I was a little bit scared that marriage might adversely affect my dreams. Anyways, it was all a bygone thing. Now, my parents are happy, after Happy Days and Yuva.

So, when are you going to marry? Is it love marriage or arranged one?
(Blushes) But, I can't tell you exactly. Love or arranged. It will be in 2009.

What are your strengths?
Definitely, my friends.

Your hobbies?
Photography (from profession to hobby) and travel. I almost toured all over India. My favorite place is Rajasthan.

Who is your favorite actor?
Kamal Hassan.

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