Rao Ramesh blogs about his struggles and his journey in TFI.


It isn’t easy for a wannabe to get a break in the industry and there’s no leverage in store even if you’re an industry insider. Frankly, the expectations then only get bigger. Being Rao Gopal Rao’s son got him some notice but the struggle was all his own. In a chat with Telugu360.com, Rao Ramesh, who has entered the big league with Mukunda reminisces his salad days and how Srikant Addala gave him a much needed break with Kottha Bangaru Lokam.

“It has been seven years since I came into this industry. My only passion was photography and I wanted to learn everything that has got to do with the cameras. I hardly showed any zeal towards acting. When dad passed away, the hobby just vanished. Even now, I do spend a lot of time with cinematographers. My family wanted me to at least earn a degree. My siblings too studied well. I was also good at studies but for some reason, my mind was always on the camera. We were in a financial mess post dad’s death. His death left me in frustration. I was angry with God. Vipareetamaina kopam, yedho anyayam jarigindi ani. I was blank. I wrote stories, two of them for direction too. My mother though spoke facts and said none would give me an opportunity. She said my knowledge of lens and camera wouldn’t be of any help. She pushed me instead to learn about life, mingle with people and understand their ups, downs and struggles. Oka scene pandinchali antey jeevitam artham kavali. She thus advised me to take up acting. I was shy and would imitate Gabbar Singh after seeing Sholay but still felt my forte was behind the camera. All my life, dad never asked any questions pertaining to my career. My mother had faith in me that I would be a good actor. All she said was that an opportunity in a right film would bring out the artist in me. She goaded me to talk, socialise, observe people and was blunt in saying that none would invest a penny on me immediately. It took me one good year to digest the same.”

“I wasn’t trained formally in acting. I would wake up and had no work. I knew dad’s name wouldn’t get me work and that I had to prove myself. I did not even have a great personality or wasn’t so resourceful that Rajamouli would spot and offer me a movie. I worked in television for around 5 years. I understood that in this industry they don’t give a dialogue. Even if they do so, you don’t get a close up shot. You cross all that, the audience won’t applaud and taking some salary home also seemed a dream. Gopal Rao gari abbayi antey neerasanga choosevaalu. Ayyo paapam ani. I hunted for a year for roles and returned to Chennai. For serials, I would hate being prompted. I would deliver pages of dialogues at once and one fine day, Omkar and Balaji Tele Films gave me an opportunity.”

“I asked Omkar for a role and he gave me a track in Pavitra Bandham. I craved for work. At the TV studio, they asked me how much I expected and I said I would take anything they gave me, lest they would reject me. I met Krish later and it took almost two and a half years for Gamyam to materialise. The television content was tiring. I would go early in the morning for my shot only to be called at ten in the night. You shouldn’t ask questions in showbiz. You develop patience that way. Finally, I confined myself to one serial and kept some breathing space for the film. The reviews for Gamyam were very fulfilling.”

“After Gamyam’s release, I got many films but not from good banners. I would wait for negative roles. After Kottha Bangara Lokam though, there was no turning back. I must tell you how I bagged this role. I was in Vizag and got a call from Dil Raju’s office. Those people didn’t see Gamyam nor knew much about my journey. I was told to go without any expectations. Venu Sriram and Srikant Addala were the ones I met. I asked for the title and enquired if it was for a Dil Raju film. I left and one day, Venu Sriram said they were looking for a younger looking man. I knew I’d lost the chance. I was then shooting for Aavakai Biryani. One day, I got a call from Dil Raju’s office. This time Srikant Addala enacted the role. Bhale ga undi, chalk piece teesikodthutunnadu. Ee role mana chetiki vosthe bagundu anipinchindi. He told me to eliminate him from his mind and act it in my own style. I finished the audition and both of them were in tears and hugged me tight. He then showed me a piece of paper that had names of the roles on one side and the persons name on the other. The lecturer’s name had the director’s name written beside. He thought if I wouldn’t do it well, he would do it himself. A person stepped in to take my measurements for the costumes. I had a sentiment. Earlier too, I was okayed and my measurements were taken for a film and was dropped. That weighed heavily on mind.”

“Now post Mukunda and Seetamma Vakitlo, Etakaram (sarcasm) has become my brand. You shouldn’t be debating with film makers. Anukunnadhi iccheyali and such people are accomplished actors. Forget hits and flops, this journey is an enjoyment and the process gives me a kick. I have cut down on my work now and can’t do three or four shifts a day. I feel my best is yet to come. I am being offered Tamil films too, but where is the time and energy? There are some fabulous films coming up. Hope you all will like them too.”

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.


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