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Srihari's on his own

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WINNING MARK Srihari's comedy in `Dhee' is earning him kudos
WINNING MARK Srihari's comedy in `Dhee' is earning him kudos

Srihari is the surprise package in `Dhee'

Actor Srihari is adept at reinventing his image with every film and his latest release Dhee is making audiences sit up and notice his deadpan comedy that is driving film lovers for a repeat viewing. He exudes intensity — something that has now become his hallmark.And now his home production Sri Mahalaxmi Cola Case in which he acts as the protagonist marks the return of the action hero. A peek into the life of the multifaceted actor: "I always wanted to be an actor but when you grow up in an ordinary middle class family with no support or backing, such ambition hardly seems real. We lived in a joint family in Balanagar and had a small garage and I had absolutely no idea how to pursue my goal. I would watch Bruce Lee's films at Shobana theatre, which was opposite my house and was enthralled by his physique. He became my role model."Srihari adds, "I identified all that is needed to become an action hero and zeroed in on gymnastics. I became a professional gymnast and participated in eight national championships and only after that entered films. It was Vangaveeti Mohan Ranga who introduced me to Dasari Narayan Rao and there was no looking back since then."Srihari says he was always high on confidence and though he did see some flops in his career he feels he never failed as an actor. He says he had started off as a villain first, worked with all top stars and turned to be a character artiste before becoming an action hero. "I became known as a reliable and serious actor capable of providing a consistent body of work. That is what this business is all about, from a real working actor's perspective. I was never anxious and worried in the process, and I did it. I believe that to have my professional life moving forward, I have to keep my personal life moving forward as well. That's when I got married to Shanti my colleague."Ask Srihari about his wife Disco Shanti who was in her time a very happening item girl, he says, "We have worked in a very few films together and I knew she was a nice dancer and that's about it. I liked her but it wasn't as if I was Dheeply in love with her. I once visited her place and was floored by the way she ran her family. Not just the way she took care of her big family, the compassion, her strength, affection, her inner beauty was something that drew me to her. I always wanted to marry a woman like her and I knew she was the right person for me. I waited many years for her till she finished her commitments towards her family and then we got married. The industry was rife with rumours that I was siphoning off her money and some were jealous but both of us were quite broad minded, we knew what we are doing and we are happy."Srihari says he owes his current position to his fitness and discipline, "I go with my sons to the stadium to workout and my childhood friends are amazed that I have conducted my lifestyle so well. I have struggled to buy a pair of shoes to play in the Nationals and today when I visit my home at Balanagar in my Merc there's a feeling of contentment. But yet I know it's not all about money, fame and what matters is what you do for the people around you and my entry in politics is just another route to help society. Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY

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