Set for an electrifying performance
Raviteja is excited about his role in Ram Gopal Varma's `Shock'.
Basically, I cannot overreact to a situation. I can only react. So, on the screen, it looks like casual acting.
TOP GUN Among the many admirers of Raviteja's `casual approach' to acting is ace director Ram Gopal Varma.
No clichéd acting. No melodramatic body language. No hackneyed dialogues. A rebel cast in the conventional mould, be it acting or dialogue delivery, Raviteja's rise in Telugu film industry is anything but typical. With a scruffy beard, a rough and ready body language and an earthy style, he is not one of those chocolate boy heroes. That he still commands a huge fan following, even among women, may be attributed to his machismo and casual emoting. A 35-plus housewife (who would like to remain anonymous) from Vijayawada, says that she is a fan of the actor because of his pushy and jovial style.
Raviteja sees himself as a spontaneous actor. "I believe in that kind of acting. Basically, I cannot overreact to a situation. I can only react. So, on the screen, it looks like casual acting. Of course, it all depends on the directors too. I am fortunate to get an opportunity to work with some good filmmakers - Krishnavamsi, Puri Jagannath, Vamsy and now Harish Shankar to name a few," says the actor in his usual casual manner. The last mentioned debut filmmaker has directed him in Ram Gopal Varma's Shock, awaiting release.
With Shock, Raviteja's career graph has come full circle. As a struggler, he did the rounds of Ramu's office just for that `okka chance' (remember Raviteja's famous dialogue from the film, Khadgam in the role of an aspiring actor?).
"While he was making, Kshanam Kshanam I went to his office several times without success," recalls Ravi. Initially, Varma did not take serious note of the actor but after watching his performances in Sindooram and Idiot he was convinced of the actor's capabilities and particularly `admired his very casual approach to acting.' When he wrote Shock, the actor's face flashed in his mind. For the character needed an actor with the image of a vibrant and energetic persona, with a jovial fun-loving boy-next-door image.
Raviteja fitted the bill. "In a story where the man and woman so passionately love and live for each other, an unexpected unforeseen incident changes everything overnight, in a shocking manner.
"When each and every incident thereafter creates more twists and turns triggering shock after shock and a lot of transitions lead to a high-intensity drama."
Raviteja has lot of praise for Harish Shankar. "He has given a fantastic form to Ramu's story. His clarity of thought, narrative skill and his fresh approach can be seen in the film. He will go places in
the industry. Apart from commercial block busters, in my career I can proudly say that my repertoire includes - Itlu Sravani Subrahmanyam, Avunu Valliddaru Ishtapaddaru, Ee Abbayi Chala Manchodu, Naa Autograph - Sweet Memories. Now Shock has given me great job satisfaction."
But the success didn't come easily. After Ramu's rebuff, Raviteja did some inconsequential roles and a stint as an assistant director, Raviteja got his first break as a hero with Nee Kosam. It was Srinu Vytla's debut film too. "The film won a Nandi award," recalls Ravi.
Sindooram and Nee Kosam helped me get the initial recognition."
Against all odds, Puri Jagannath took him for Itlu Sravani and Ravi on his part with a stunning portrayal in a jilted man's role turned the movie into a hit. Again Puri Jagannath was responsible for giving Raviteja's career a new impetus with two successive hits - Idiot and Amma Nanna O Tamizha Ammayi catapulting him into stardom and taking him into the eight-digit salary slot.
"Don't believe these figures. Many people say many things here," he laughs. One thing that Raviteja believes in is team work. "While accepting a film offer, I look at the subject, the director who can handle it with clarity, and the producer who can promote it well. When Ramu said that Suresh Kondeti is joining the project (Shock) as a producer I felt happy. Suresh is dedicated and hard working. We all know how well he had promoted his debut venture and made it a huge success."
Also lined up is S. S. Rajamouli's next venture. "Since it is still in the making it is too early to talk about the film. Let's talk about Shock," says the actor born on Republic Day.
The promos of the film say - `He never wanted to be a hero.' Does the protagonist turn into a hero (filmy style) after those shocking incidents in his life?
"Watch the film," smiles Ravi. "I would like to stress the point again that it is not a horror film. It is a purely commercial film with good songs (music: Ajay-Athul of Gayab fame), comedy, revenge, action and wonderful performance from Jyothika. Be ready for a sweet Shock."
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