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HE IS ON A WINNING SPREE

Praise Sreenivas Bellamkonda for his impressive performance in his debut film Alludu Seenu and he diverts it, stating that he is nothing but putty in the hands of the maker. “That director V.V.Vinayak found in me a suitable performer was gratifying. I felt that I must also set aside all my inhibitions and surrender to his vision,” he says. Well, that is what we call a grounded actor. Sreenivas is nearly four years into the showbiz but still faces the day with a newbie’s enthusiasm. He has been part of masala potboilers, but has respect for middle-of-the-road cinema. He still wants to push the envelope, expand his repertoire and live on his terms without giving a damn. In a freewheeling chat with the handsome hunk…

LATEST BUZZ
Your take on the rave reviews of Saakshyam's teaser… I was on cloud 9. It is one of my best scripts till date. I genuinely enjoyed working for it and gave my 100% too.

Did you prepare for the role?
Since I play an adventurous video game director who is brought up in the US, I had to learn flyboarding, sandboarding, jet skiing, ATVs & desert biking. Roping in action director Peter Hein was in itself a feat, since he comes on board only if he likes the script. Moreover, we had shot in exotic locations of USA, Dubai, Varanasi, Bellary and Pollachi. The best part was that we were allowed to shoot at Sheikh Zayed Road, where shooting is banned.

Any injuries…
Since I did my own stints, I had bruises all over and was applying ice every day. I fell ‘n’ number of times, that too from 20ft height, while learning how to balance on the flyboard. And man! It hurts.

On working with Pooja…
Great! Since both of us are budding actors, we bonded well on the sets. We used to restaurant-hop in New York, exploring varied cuisines.

On working with Sriwass…
I am just three-film old, yet he believed that I could carry his film on my shoulder. It was a fruitful give and take. He gave me the best script while I reciprocated with my performance.



Upcoming projects
I have three films in the pipeline- Saakshyam, one untitled film with Kaajal Agarwal and another untitled film with director Teja and Kaajal again.

REWIND
Formative years… I was born in Guntur and brought up in Hyderabad. Though I was thoroughly pampered, I did well in both academics and sports. Since dancing was my forte, I was good at choreography.

Why acting?
I was born in 1993 and my father Mr.Suresh turned producer in 1996. So I grew up on films. I also know films can either make or break lives. Our lifestyle changed completely with the release of the blockbuster Aadi.

What was your parents' response?
My father always wanted me to be in films. My mother Mrs.Padmavathi endorsed his opinion.

Did you attend any acting school?
I studied at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute at Los Angeles and Barry John Acting Studio at Mumbai. I underwent training at Aruna Bikshu’s acting school here.

How did you bag your first film?
Director V.V.Vinayak, whom I call ‘Uncle’, out of the blue, said that I had the right looks and should opt for films. I was overwhelmed, but had the good sense to ask back, “Uncle, will you launch me?” It was an instant ‘yes’ from him and thus began the journey.

First day of shoot
The set was flooded with renowned directors, who were my father’s good friends, who came to wish me. It was a do-or-die situation as I wanted to endorse my father’s judgment and prove my mettle too. However, the shot itself was not unnerving as it was only a dance bit with gorgeous Samantha.

The director who influences you?
Undoubtedly, V.V.Vinayak. It was kind of a quid pro quo between my father and him because my father gave him his first film and he gave me mine. I must acknowledge Boyapati Srinu who urged me to march ahead when my second film bombed. Yet he gave me Jaya Janaki Nayaka.



FORTE
Describe your acting style.
I enjoy the moment. It has to come from within.

How do you select a script?
The one that gives me scope to perform. I try not to repeat the genres.

Does your dad have a say?
Yes certainly! He is my friend, philosopher and guide. I am more close to him than I am to my mother.

Strength
My family and friends.
Weakness
I am gullible.
Why only one film a year?
Since I am a toddler in the industry, I don’t want to go on a signing spree. My funda is simple and clear- take up meaningful films and try new genres. Whatever be the fate of the film, I want people to recognise my efforts.
The most difficult role?
For Jaya..., I put on 16kg. It was no mean task. Imagine, eating 35 eggs daily. I had to hold my breath and deliver the dialogues since I played an intense character. I recall having headaches every evening. Thankfully, my efforts bore fruit.
UP AND CLOSE
Labeled ‘Lucky hero’, ‘costly star’, your take There is nothing like that. That has to be credited to my working with top directors and actors. The budget of my films is almost equal to or more than that of a star hero. Director selects the best cast for his film, doesn’t he? Even I too face a lot of pressure. I take these comments in my stride and move on.
How do you keep yourself fit?
I just eat healthy food and don’t diet, neither do I believe in starving. I workout five days a week.
The real Sreenivas is…
Cool, happy, energetic, high on life and enthusiastic.
Craziest fan story?
A fan from Kurnool had painted his autorickshaw with my pics. It was heart-warming.
Ten years from now?
Doing more films, becoming a better actor and making people around me happy.

 
 
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