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Updated: November 5, 2009 18:12 IST

My first break: Bharath Reddy

S. R. Ashok Kumar
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How it happened

I've been keen on doing films since my childhood. That was why I learnt karate at a young age. However, my mother wanted me to become a doctor. So I dropped the idea of becoming an actor and went to Armenia to study medicine. There I saw people following dual careers, so I decided to pursue acting too. I approached several production houses for nearly three years before I got a break in a Telugu film directed by Teja. After acting in a number of Telugu films, I got a role in Siddam (soon to be released in Tamil as Ranam) where I play a police officer. Director Chakri Toleti who watched my performance was pleased. He asked me to grow a moustache and after a photo shoot I was there in his Unnai Pol Oruvan - my first Tamil film.

How it felt

I watched Unnai Pol at Satyam with my friends. The response was overwhelming. The role of inspector Sethuraman fetched me instant recognition. It was a life-time experience to have worked with Kamal Haasan and Mohan Lal. The tips they gave me made a world of difference to my performance. Once when I was dining at a restaurant with my brother, a couple sitting across had a bet - one said I was Sethuraman. Initially hesitant, they asked my brother at the end of the meal. When he confirmed who I was, the winner got Rs.1,000.

How life changed

Change has come in the form of recognition. I hope to live up to people's expectations. I am now working on two films in Telugu and discussions are going on for three films in Tamil and one each in Malayalam and Kannada.

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