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Interview with Raahul
Date: September 26, 2008, Hyderabad

All the four guys of Happy Days chose to become lead male leads in their parameters. One among them is Raahul with his screen name Tyson, making a mark of his own. Now, he gets ready to entertain the crowds as Shyam in VN Aditya’s film Rainbow. Call it luck or providence and coincidence, Rainbow is set for release on October 2nd, the date on which Happy Days got released last year. With a few days left for the release, the young man is excited to test his fortunes as solo hero in Rainbow. “I am confident that Rainbow will sure make me free from the Happy Days hangover on me. The audience will find altogether a new character in me.” In an exclusive interview to Idlebrain, Rajesh talks about his journey in Tollywood post Happy Days and with Rainbow.

How different is your character in Rainbow from your debut Happy Days?
I am happy that I am well remembered by the audience as Tyson of Happy Days. That one is basically made out of the mold of sacrifice from the start to finish. But, in Rainbow, I play the role of Shyam. My character will be identified by all people in the age group of 15-25 years. It reflects the budding stages of life where one gets caught in between love and commitment. This character has anger and pain and a strong bond with the family. I am feeling lucky that Rainbow film has given me a chance to exhibit each and every type of emotion. It is a perfect film for me as an actor. My work in Rainbow will work as a show reel for my ability as an actor.

How did your entry into Rainbow project happen?
In December, VN Aditya called me. I knew him as the director of hit film Manasantha Nuvve. He narrated the subject of Rainbow to me in 45 minutes. The basic concept of Rainbow has never found in Indian cinema so far. The USP of this film is going to be the concept of the film and the beautiful representation. Interval bang of the film is very different. In fact I got goose bumps after watching the final copy. I kept my fingers crossed for the release.

The entire film is realistic. There is justification for every scene. There are no loopholes in the script. Director VN Aditya asked us to be open and critical about every scene as it would help the output. Aditya used to tell me frequently: What you are acting here on the sets is watched by a few of us. But, it will be watched by people all over Andhra Pradesh. He loved debates on the subject. I am happy Aditya is very happy with my performance. He is a cool person. He used to act for me and say; I want this and like this. I used to follow his instructions applying my body language to it.

Tell us about your costars?
Rainbow has a strong plot and each of the lead has a different role to play. We don’t consider ourselves as hero and heroines. We are like central character to a mind-blowing subject. Telugu cinema is changing very much when it comes to the styling and performances. Sindhu Menon is a senior artiste compared to me. She acted in all South Indian languages. It was very pleasant working with her. She is so good that your performance will be better in her combination scenes. Sonali Chauhan is one film old. When she came to our project, she was doing her film Jannat. She became good friend of mine later. We come from the same age group. That time, she didn’t know the Telugu language. She patiently learnt the dialogues and tried to give the best performance from her. Sonal’s character in this film starts as a village girl and she turns into a highly glamorous one.

What are your favorite songs in Rainbow?
Superb music. I liked Asha Chinni Asha, Manasa Chalinchake. I did not like the Jhallu Jhallu song when I first heard it. But VN Aditya has asked me to see it on the screen. I was shocked when I saw it in the final copy. This song explains the entire theme of the film and it possesses a great lyrical value.

What preparations did you do to change your profile from a nerd (Tyson in Happy Days) to a more glamorized hero?
I had two months gap before the shoot. I used to spend 5-6 hours with VN Aditya and two hours with Paruchuri Brothers. I learnt a lot about modulations and expressions from them. VN Aditya asked me to give 80% of my performance the way I behave in my real life. I added only 20% of dramatization. There are two intense scenes in the film – one is with Prakash Raj in interval episode and another one with Sindhu Menon in climax of the film. I would give the total credit to VN Aditya for my work.

Regarding the looks, I did not take any special precautions. What you see in Rainbow is the real me. I had very little make-up in the film. There is no hard lighting.

You seem to be quite popular on Orkut?
I feel blessed that so many people joined my fan club communities on Orkut. One group has over 14000 members and another group has 16000 members. It keeps on increasing. They love me and accepted me as an actor. They are very kind people. I find that girls like me very much than guys. I wish that guys will also like me. I hope I have a good female following. It sounds flattering. I really want guys following also. Because it is the guys who spend money and go to movies. I am happy kids liked the Tyson character very much in Happy Days. They also liked the song Krishna Krishna in Rainbow. Their judgment is powerful. Children are innocent and their judgment is unbiased and stark open.

What about your studies?
I finished my BBA before the start of Happy Days shoot. I have no intentions of doing any further studies.

So, you want to take up acting seriously?
Yes. God willing, I look forward to do more and more films. I also have a big burden to look after my father’s business. It is also a big priority for me as I am the only son.

Any sisters?
I have twin sisters.

What’s your future projects?
Not yet decided. Aditya suggested me to wait till the release of Rainbow and its feedback. I am hoping that Rainbow will completely change my profile and image. Quantity is not my priority, but purely quality.

In Happy Days, your group was eight. Now you are single person. All of your mates are doing solo-hero projects and two of them already released and failed at Box-office. Are you worried about the second film jinx?
No. The script is good and director has done a fabulous job. I am happy that I acted in a good film. I screened the film to 100 students who are not related to films and all of them are impressed with Rainbow film. Everybody said the movie is a feel good one. My debut film Happy Days got released on October 2nd. Call it fortune, luck or providence, my second film is also releasing on October 2nd, exactly a year after. I know we can’t do anything. All this publicity can only help to garner the openings or the first day collections. From the second day onwards, it’s only the real stuff, performance and entertainment that will speak.

Which films did you watch recently?
I loved Aamir, A Wednesday and Rock On

What’s your hobbies?
Movies, Cricket and Food. I love playing cricket whenever I get an opportunity. I am an all-rounder in cricket.

Your favorite cricketers?
Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. More recently Dhoni.

Do you want to say anything to the visitors of
I visit every time I log on to internet. I read idlebrain first and then I open my email. I would like to thank all of visitors for encouraging me with Happy Days film. I request all of you to give a fair chance to Rainbow by watching it. I am confidence that nobody will get disappointed with it. Director/producer VN Aditya risked everything and produced/directed Rainbow by putting a lot at the stake. I am desperately waiting for the feedback of IB visitors after watching the film.

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