Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tabu in love with Raja?

"I am an actor for the cosmo crowd, a multiplex hero. I have never done films for the masses," says Raja. But isn't that tough, considering the popularity of Telugu movies are made or marred by the masses? "I don't have the herd mentality. If the character is good and the story makes a little sense, I do it. Otherwise, I politely say 'thank you.' I am an actor for small budget filmmakers and they know my worth," he says.

For an actor who has no godfather or father in the industry, it's been an uphill climb, and he says, "Thank god, I am still afloat." People still recognise him as the hero of Anand and that tag still sticks to him. "A few films always make me proud. And I think any artiste who wants to be known as an actor should have three to four such films," he says.

Last year, he also turned distributor with Mr Medhavi in the overseas market. "It did pretty well. I liked the film and decided to promote it. I am branching out but I will remain an actor first," he says. Although last year wasn't a great year for his acting career with Mr Medhavi the only one to do decent business, he's looking forward to this year's line-up. "I have films like Jagan Mohini, Samarthudu and Sontha Ooru. I play the role of a physically challenged person in Sontha Ooru. It's a love story but of a different kind. Irrespective of whether the film does well, I had a lot of satisfaction essaying the role. The filmmakers had a physically challenged boy on the sets so I could observe him," he says.

The young actor has a charitable side which he doesn't let the world know about. "It's something I don't like to talk about," he says. But when we prod him, he reluctantly says, "I help whenever I can through my charitable organisation. We provided cycles for the handicapped, tricycles and donated money to the needy." Is this what motivated him to join politics? "Yeah, it's a bigger platform and I would get bigger support. Also, I like Rajasekhar Reddy's policies."

He's one of those few actors down South who have the look to make it in Bollywood, but he doesn't want to move. "I want to stay in Tollywood. Not that Bollywood is bad. In fact stars there don't mind experimenting, something we don't have here. But I don't have the patience to struggle all over again. I am too lazy and I am comfortable here," he says.

And what about being linked with Tabu? "We worked together in Idi Sangathi.We happened to share some ideas. All we had was a verbal communication and people started linking us. Tabu was upset and we even stopped talking. It's been about eight or nine months. She has an image and I don't want to complicate that," he says


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