Sushanth is back on screen after four years, says the sabbatical was unintentional

One doesn’t expect a budding actor to be away from the screen for four years. In showbiz, memories are short-lived. Actor Sushanth’s last release, Current, came in 2009. Four years later, as he looks forward to the release of his new film Adda, he tells us it was not an intended break. “I heard a number of scripts, liked a few but somehow things did not work out. People even asked me if I had quit acting. I wanted to do a film that’s away from the routine,” says the actor, speaking to us at Annapurna Studios, on a balmy afternoon.

Sushanth grew up on a diet of commercial films, particularly that of his illustrious grandfather Akkineni Nageswara Rao and uncle Nagarjuna. “Nag uncle keeps telling me and Chaitanya not to get typecast in similar roles. He urges us to be all-roundersShivaGeetanjaliAnnamayya,” says Sushanth.

The actor clams up when the topic shifts to the story of Adda and doesn’t want to reveal much about the film and his characterisation: “It’s a commercial film with a new characterisation. I know it’s clichéd to say so but it’s true,” he maintains. Adda, at heart, is a love story with a good measure of action, romance and comedy, he states. “Most Telugu films follow the multi-genre format and have something for everyone. It’s a stylish film,” adds Sushanth.

Directed by Sai Karthik, an associate of Puri Jagannadh, Adda stars Sushanth, Shanvi, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Tanikella Bharani, Devgill and Jayaprakash Reddy among others and the film has been shot in Hyderabad, Vikarabad and Switzerland. The dialogues are sharp and will make a statement, says Sushanth.

Sushanth wants to do commercial films across genres that will withstand the test of time. “I like films that entertain. I am a huge fan of Hrithik Roshan but personally I wouldn’t want him to do another Guzaarish, though he was brilliant in it. I like happy films, like Barfi for instance, which was different yet full of positivity,” explains the actor who studied engineering and then moved into cinema.

Despite growing up in a film family, Sushanth says he didn’t nurture an interest in acting while growing up. He got into University of Illinois, studied electronic engineering and after a year, discovered his passion for cinema. “I would drive two to three hours to see Telugu films, even bad ones. I realised I loved cinema too much to do anything else. I told my parents who insisted I complete my studies. The next few semesters were tough. I had to do well in subjects I was no longer interested in. I would listen to digital signal processing in class while my heart was in cinema,” he recollects. After returning to India, he and Naga Chaitanya took up an acting course in Mumbai.

You know Adda means a lot to Sushanth when he says, “A lot of people adviced me to do three or four films at a time so that something would click. I didn’t want to do that. And Rajamouli sir adviced me not to take up projects rejected by other heroes because if it was written for someone else, it wouldn’t suit me. Adda was one film I said yes to after listening to the narration.”

"Rajamouli adviced me not to take up projects rejected by other heroes because if it was written for someone else, it wouldn’t suit me."