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An Interview With Ravi Teja
Positive Thinking Is My 'Rama Raksha'
'Image' Is Momentary
cinegoer.net catches up with Ravi Teja, who is fresh from the success of Bhadra, for a special interview. He talks about his future films and current assignments.
Though you appeared at the beginning of your career as a 'character' actor, you are now an established hero. What accounts for this steady rise? Was it due to your talent or your directors?
Honestly speaking, all the credit goes to my directors. First of all I owe my gratitude to Krishna Vamsi, Puri Jagannath and Vamsi. They recognized my acting talent; they even showed me different ways of interpreting and acting different roles. And certainly the audiences too have had an important part in my success. Their contribution has been their support and admiration... but for them I could not have reached this position.
You enjoy the hero image now, and have the burden of keeping it up. Do you think you are able to keep up the image and if so how?
Image? I do not believe in it. In my opinion such things as image only hamper an actor's career. In my opinion image does not last long. If one or two hits gives you an image and, unfortunately, if the next movie fails or is just mediocre, the image is damaged, so I believe that image is just short-lived. At least that's so in my opinion.
Looking back as an established actor, what do you feel about your past?
Wonderful of course! Whenever I think about the effort and toil I've put in for reaching this stage, it gives me a pleasant surprise. I can't explain it, as it can only be experienced to be understood. However, there's one thing that disappoints me; many untalented persons get wonderful opportunities in the beginning itself to make it great in the industry, while I had to struggle a lot to get just one opportunity. As they say, nothing succeeds like success, talent or no talent. Obviously people give importance to 'success' and not to talent.
How do you react if any producer, who after passing you over for another actor, comes forth to ask you to work for their film?
First of all I hear the story. I discuss the role I am given in that. I will make sure the director will take proper care about my role. After all this exercise, finally, I talk to the producer. In spite of all these I will keep faith in the director when I accept a role. It is the director's image that prompts my accepting a role or rejecting it.
So you accept a role only after all that exercise. How do you assess a movie as good or bad?
I generally go to the theatre and see the film as one among the audiences. I observe too, the response of the audience to every sense. So I always try to imagine how the audiences receive the story. I observe the audience applause for every frame. If I feel my assessment matches with the audience's response I feel my decision in accepting the role is correct. My assessment has never gone wrong till now. But I wouldn't say this will happen every time. Because audience's judgment is final and we have to accept it.
How do you describe your lack of chances in projects of senior producers and directors so far?
No specific reasons. I am very particular about story, my role, and how the story runs and all that. If I am satisfied with all that, I never mind working for any producer or director. Of course you are right... except for Ramgopal Varma none of the senior producers have approached me. And I am not quite sure what they think of my talent.
Being a successful hero... how do you find about the burden of keeping that image? Do you think you have too many responsibilities?
A hundred percent yes. I am very lucky in having the kind cooperation of the directors, who have taken me close to the audience of this generation. My producers and directors think a lot more about the film than I think. I have to work hard for them, since they feel that they are part and parcel of my success.
What lessons have you learnt from your experience in the industry so far and what, in your opinion, makes you so successful?
First of all, I am very lucky in that I have very positive thinking. I think I owe my present position to that. To be frank, I never ever can be discouraged in my career because I take everything very positively. I look always at the brighter side of things. I am very optimistic. I believe in time turning up sooner or later, sometimes a little later than sooner. Time throws up opportunities for anyone to show his or her mettle. I often think about and wait patiently for the right time, turn and chance. And thinking negatively about others, I feel, is foolish. There is no point in cursing others for our troubles and misfortunes. In the early part of my career, I believed strongly I should keep trying and trying till an opportunity knocked at my door. And that positive attitude still continues. It has turned out to be the 'Sreerama Raksha' for my life and career as well.
What about the films on hand and your future plans?
Presently I am working in Ramgopal Varma and ML Kumar Chowdary's films. I am still working out the schedules for another two films. You know Bhadra is doing well and Bhageeratha is ready for release.