'Srihari Used To Treat Me Like His Own Son'- Sai Dharam Tej Interview

By - November 15, 2014 - 04:59 PM IST

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Sai Dharam Tej has been creating much buzz all over with his youthful release Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham which was finally out yesterday. While the promos showed him as a promising new comer, the film lived up to the expectations and has been receiving positive reviews all over. On that note, here is an exclusive chitchat with the actor:

Hello Sai Dharam Tej..congratulations on the first release Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham!
Hi..thank you so much!

How did you feel when you looked at yourself on screen?
I watched the film in Sandhya Theatre along with the common public yesterday. The moment my introduction shot of legs and the panning of camera to my face began, I was clouded with tears. My family was beside me and they were looking at me with great pride. They were very happy.

How did you family react when you declared that you want to enter film industry?
My mom said only one thing to me clearly. She said that I should never spoil the good reputation earned by Chiranjeevi- my uncle. Now she is very satisfied with my work!

What were you going through on the day before the release?
 I am finally very happy and could sleep properly after long time.

Did Allu Arvind give any tips for you on the film? He produced this film.
He congratulated me and told me to be cool and relaxed. He supported me well throughout the film’s progress.

When did you firmly decide to become a full time actor?
I wanted to become an actor during my budding years because I couldn’t imagine myself in a desk job from 9-6. When I expressed the same to my uncles they told I can definitely do something relating to acting once time comes. However, I was almost 130 Kgs then and began weight reduction programme to improve my appearance. To be frank, I never visualized myself to be an actor because of my weight. I was rigorously trying for opportunities by going around film offices but was in vain.

But why did you have to look for opportunities? You hail from Mega Family which is one of the most influential film based families out there..
Irrespective of my family background, I can sustain in the industry only if I can work hard and prove my worth. Acting isn’t a free gift which can be given only with family background is what I believe.

How did Rey shape up?
One day I was playing cricket near Manchu Manoj’s film office. Those days Salim shooting was going on there and YVS Chowdary who is the director of it came to speak to me. He straightforwardly asked me whether I would want to become a hero. He didn’t know I was nephew of Chiranjeevi then. When I said the same he came to our house and spoke to my uncles. He assured them that my launch pad is his responsibility.

But Rey did not release as per schedule and your second film Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham released. Your comment?
I of course felt very bad. But I have the confidence in Rey’s content and whenever it releases it would fare very well.

Even before your first film was released, you began working for two more films. How does it feel?
I didn’t expect his at all! But I am very happy for this outcome.

Do you keep track of your film’s commercial results and Box Office returns?
I never ask about such things because it is not my job. I cannot keep all those tensions in mind and confuse myself- thereby affecting my work. Acting is my focus and I prefer to be in it.

Did you speak to Mega fans before the PNLJ’s release ?
Some fans spoke to me on my birthday. They didn’t have any specific expectations from my work and I really appreciate it.

You are working for another film which has Ravi Kumar Chowdary in directorial department. He doesn’t have a sizeable hit till date. How did you become confident in taking him up?
I don’t think flop would decide the talent of a person. There are many great directors who faced flops.Success and failure as part of life. I know Ravi’s talent very well and have full confidence in his approach.

Did your Babai Pawan Kalyan give you any valuable advices during filming?
He just wished me luck. Pawan Babai didn’t give any advices as such.

People are saying you have the acting shades of Chiru, Pawan Kalyan and Bunny as well. Your comment?
It’s there in my family. I cannot help it and it naturally came out during my performance.

 Who all saw the film in your family?
Everybody except Pawan Babai watched the film and appreciated my work.

How was it working with senior artists like Jagapati Babu and Prakah Raj in PNLJ?
I must admit I learnt a lot from them. I earlier acted with Srihari for the same film and he treated me like his own son. He used to dotingly tell me not to starve in the name of diet and insist I had my lunch in time. In fact, the lunch used to come from his house! I was devastated to know the news of Srihari’s demise. When Jagapati Babu replaced Srihari for the role, he became extremely close to me. Jagapati Babu is quite jovial on the sets. Prakash Raj is a genius who can write and read in four languages. I always get astonished with his supreme talent.

Please tell us about your upcoming film Subramanyam for sale?
It is a family entertainer. 27th Shooting starts. Harish Shankar is directing it. I am playing the lead of Subrahmanyam, and when Harish Shankar told me about the project, I readily agreed even without listening to my character’s aspects!

Looking like you have quite good offers in your hand right now?
Yeah..I do have many offers in hand. However,  I didn’t take any decision as of now.

Okay..Thanks a wish you the best for upcoming projects!
Thank you very much!  

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