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Tarun uncensored

Poster boy Tarun bares his heart and talks of how he vibes with his `sakhiyas'

Tarun with Richa, Sneha, Shreya, Trisha, Nauheed and Sridevi

IN ROMANCE-oriented commercial cinema, star images have frequently been built upon the goody-goody image of the lover boy around whom dreams could be woven, not to mention an ideal concept of masculinity for the male audience. Heartthrob Tarun has blended both these images to create an identity as a hero of mass appeal.

If the huge success of Nuvve Kaavali, Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu, Nee Manasu Naaku Telusu, Nuvve Nuvve and Ninne Ishtapaddanu didn't touch him, the spate of flops that followed didn't affect him either. Unbelievable as it may sound, Tarun remains the quintessential poster-boy.

Romantic films are his home turf and it looks like he will never tire of playing clean-cut hero roles. "Playing romantic roles," says Tarun, "is perfectly consistent with my image. So why should I move out of the track?"

Trying to avoid the rough and tumble in a film? "It's not as if I don't do action films. It's just that I know for sure the kind of films that suit me. I know that faction films, the kind that NTR does, won't work out for me. I will do something different once the audience gets bored of love stories."

Off screen, he comes across as a normal guy. But the star quality shines through, blessed as he is with talented genes. He is one of those rare actors though who hasn't taken advantage of his status.

Tarun talks about his on-screen chemistry and real-life relationships with his heroines.

Richa Pallod: This is our first film together though we had teamed up for a cola ad earlier. The first shoot revolved around a college scene. So the ice was easily broken and we didn't feel awkward when the romantic scenes were shot 30 days later. The last day of the shoot at Public Gardens is still fresh in my memory.

We were all hugging each other when Richa just broke down and we all became emotional. I call Richa "Shortie" and "Pygmie".

Sneha, Preity: Sneha is no different from what she portrays in the movies. Very homely, she doesn't party. Though she enjoys talking and cracking jokes, she knows where to draw the line.

Preity had come with her sister Sri and her mom to Mauritius where we were shooting. Incidentally, my mom and sister too were with me.

In fact, during the course of the shooting we celebrated my birthday on January 8.

Preity got married but we still keep in touch.

Rima, Gazala: I had Rima and Gazala as heroines in Adrushtam. Rima has always been a tomboy and she's forever chattering. You say a word and she speaks nineteen to the dozen, always rocking and all charged up. You take a dig at her and she gives it back to you. But when it comes to work, she is serious. She has a lot of style. She is one of those sweet girls who are very focussed. If you say seven `o' clock, she turns up by 6.45.

Arthi: She is one of my best friends. I call her "Fatty" because she is chubby and plump. We clicked well and the chemistry definitely showed on screen. It was fun working with her. In one of our films, there was another girl called Kiran Rathore. On Kiran's first shoot, there was this scene where she hogs all the attention and Arthi gets sidelined. After the shoot, we all carried on with the act and Arthi went hopping mad.

Shriya: I had Shriya and Trivikram for company in Nuvve Nuvve. I think of her as my best friend. We call up each other at least once a day and talk about everything under the sun. This was one film which I really loved working on. We finished shooting for the film in Switzerland and flew back to India via Dubai, where Trivikram bought a Mont Blanc. When Shriya heard of it, she grabbed the pen, fiddled with it and finally took it apart.

Trivikram saw the mess but gave me a mischievous wink and I knew he was playing a trick. I went up to Shriya and told her how he had longed to buy the pen for quite some time and that he was very angry. Shriya got very upset and started apologising. She was in tears when Trivikram suddenly asked her for an autograph. This was when she realised he had another pen in his hand which was the original.

Anitha, Sridevi: Anita is a quiet girl. I met Sri in Mauritius. She and my sister get along well. Sri is quite opposite to Rima in temperament. All the eight heroines were there for the audio release of Sakhiya and I expected a tough time with them around.

They all got together and started pulling my leg. After Shriya, I consider Trisha as a real close friend. Nauheed Cyrusi is new to films but she has done a good job. We call her "Grumpy" because she would just give her shot and sit in a corner.


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