My first break - Uday Kiran
How it happened
I don't come from a film family — my father was a Central Government employee and my mother, a housewife. I've been passionate about films since childhood and used to take part in school and college plays. When I was pursuing undergraduation, a friend of mine asked me to approach director Teja. When I went there, nearly 500 people were waiting to be auditioned. Surprise, I was selected to play the lead in his film, Chitram. Being a frequent visitor to Chennai, I once met ace director K. Balachander who asked me whether I was interested in playing the lead in his Poi. Could anyone turn down such a golden opportunity?
How it felt
I used to tell my friends that though I was born on June 26, I would like to celebrate my birthday on June 16, as my first film was released on that day — it was like a rebirth for me. I watched my first Tamil film in Udayam; I was thrilled when people approached me for my autograph and asked me to pose with them for photographs.
How life changed
Hailing from a middle class family and becoming a star means a drastic change in your lifestyle. So far, I have acted in nearly 14 Telugu films and three Tamil films ( Poi, Vambucchandai and Penn Singam). On the one hand you're glad that you're popular, but on the other hand, you're sad that you've lost your privacy. I was happy to speak the lines written by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi in Penn Singam. I have a couple of films in the pipeline and am looking for a good director who can bring out the best in me.
S. R. ASHOK KUMAR
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