Waiting for his dream to come true
S. R. ASHOK KUMAR.
Srikanth, hero of ``Oru Naal Oru Kanavu," is looking forward to the effect of Fazil magic.
I tried action to shed the chocolate boy image
EXPLORING: Variety is what Srikanth wants in his roles
Srikanth and his family were on cloud nine. Sweets are on offer to visitors. A film award? A runaway hit? A birthday in the family? Not quite. The dog they adore just had a litter of cute puppies. "This is really special you know," says an excited Srikanth. "We have been looking forward to it for a long time."
Spend a little time with the young actor and it is clear that he is excited about much more than the new arrivals. With nearly 10 Tamil films and one in Telugu behind him, Srikanth has already arrived. But he believes he has a lot riding on "Oru Naal Oru Kanavu", which is directed by Fazil.
The film marks Srikanth's return to a romantic role after having performed in a couple of action films that did not exactly set the cash registers ringing.
The actor believes that romance is his forte and that "Oru... " provides the platform to test the full range of his emotive skills. "I believe the film is an important landmark in my career, says Srikanth. "An important reason for this is director Fazil. I have learnt the nuances of acting from this genius."
He was particularly impressed by the the director's humility. ``He invited me to see the double positive and give my opinion. What is more he asked the drivers, production persons and also some of his friends who were not connected to the industry to give suggestions and in fact approved a few of them," marvels the hero.
"Basically I am a happy-go-lucky person. I cannot be alone. I am also sensitive and have moods some times. I easily get attached to people and hence get hurt when they ditch me," he says.
Srikanth, who started on the romance mode, switched to action and is playing lover boy again. What exactly would he like to do? ``A variety of roles," pat comes the answer. ``Yes, I began as a romantic hero with `Roja Koottam.'
What else could you expect from a 21-year old? After a few films I wanted to try the action line and accepted `Bose.' I did the fights very well, but I think I lacked maturity. When action didn't take off I decided to go back to romance. After all I had to survive. Thus when Fazil offered this interesting subject I took it with both hands," says this practical man.
Does he not want to try different get-ups like his contemporaries are doing? ``Well, Vikram did it after 15 years and Surya is also nearly fifteen films old. They have established themselves as actors first and then are doing all this. I need this cushion as well. Also such subjects must come to me. I wanted to shed the chocolate boy image and that is how `Bose' happened. I have tried a different get-up in `Chadurangam,' but it is yet to be released. Well, I'm waiting for the right time and the right person."
Very early in his career he was in the centre of gossip. How did he handle it? ``It did affect me at first. But I took it in my stride. Having studied in a co-ed college working with the opposite sex is nothing new to me. But cinema is different, I learnt. The gossip quickly subsided."
Would a stint in the Film Institute have helped? ``Perhaps. The background might have helped me perform better and got me more appropriate roles." And future projects? Srikanth is banking on "Oru Naal Oru Kanavu." " Actors who have worked with Fazil like Karthik, Sathyaraj and Vijay have all reached great heights after his movie. I hope the magic works in my case too. In `Bambarakannale,' I'm doing an unusual character. Then there is `Chadurangam,' which I hope will click with the masses."
The success of the Telugu film, "Okkariki Okkaru," did get some good offers from the Telugu producers. But his commitment to Tamil made him say no. He would like to go back after completing his assignments here. And there is another angle as he reveals. "I want to act in Telugu mainly for my Tamil producers. They will get some money by selling the film in Andhra Pradesh also. So let me do a couple of films in Telugu next year. It is also my ambition to figure in at least one award film once in a while."
Srikanth is upbeat that the songs of his Telugu film, tuned by M. M. Kareem (called Keeravani and Maragathamani in Tamil) has used two of his hit songs in a Shah Rukh Khan's movie and one for Lucky Ali and another for Mahesh Bhatt.
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