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Ram Pothineni on his film ‘zindagi’

The actor, content about ‘Vunnadi Okate Zindagi’, says box-office success would only be a bonus

Actor Ram Pothineni began his career with YVS Chowdhary’s Devadasu when he was 16 and has since been the go-to-actor for roles that exude spirit, energy and on-screen camaraderie with his co-actors. Ahead of the release of Vunnadi Okate Zindagi, we ask if he missed or sacrificed anything off-screen because he had started young. “Life has been so beautiful that I wouldn’t want to call it a sacrifice. I have seen the life that I’ve always wanted to see,” he starts off.

The actor values the high he gets after a script narration more than a film’s outcome. He admits to making mistakes with his film choices, but has no regrets. “I have a terrible success rate and I think it’s a learning process,” he says candidly. Reuniting with a successful combo that produced Nenu Sailaja, he doesn’t feel burdened by expectations. “Maybe the producer and the director Kishore felt it a little.” In it, he plays Abhiram, a lead musician in a band who values his relationships.

“Abhiram is a very consistent character, no matter what life throws at him. It’s a character that can’t be essayed with cinematic liberties.I didn’t want anything to be fake about it. Every time I felt I wasn’t genuine in a frame, I went for a retake.” The film is set against a Vizag backdrop, which he’s very fond of. “The beach, the picturesque locations perfectly complement the backdrop for a musical love story like ours.” There were parts in the film where they had dug 40 feet into the sea to create a set and build a lighthouse.

Ram Pothineni on his film ‘zindagi’

Vunnadi Okate Zindagi is touted to be an ode to friendship, the song ‘Trend maarina, friend maarade’ has been a ‘Mustafa Mustafa’ equivalent to many music lovers. In response, he says, “I have very few friends in real life though. Number taggutonna koddi, value perugutondi antaru. Being an actor is different, you’re not in touch with pals on a daily basis, you get to meet them in months or a year at best. The conversations continue after a long gap. My friends are scattered across the world, so whenever I get free time, I fly to Boston or Australia and spend time in their homes.”

Sree Vishnu plays his best friend in the film. “Athaniki mohamaatam ekkuva,” he says. Ram and Vishnu’s off-screen bond rubbed off on sets too. “Once he opened up to me, I found him to be a guy with a great sense of humour.”

Ram thinks that if one desires to be a good actor, they need to work with one, citing how the performance of his co-stars Anupama Parameswaran and Lavanya Tripathi helped his act too.

Though Ram is expected to be a bundle of energy off-screen too, he insists his excitement levels are akin to any normal person. “There are days when I’m bored too. Though I’m called an ‘energetic star’, I don’t try too hard to live up to that name. Also Abhiram isn’t as energetic as Kandireega’s Ram,” he laughs.

Ram had picked Nenu Sailaja when Kishore Tirumala was a relative newcomer. Calling him a ‘writer at heart’, Ram says “What I like is the way he blends entertainment with sentiment.” He first met Kishore during Jagadam edits, and found him to very humorous. They were supposed to work for Maska too, but things didn’t work out.

What’s his expectation on Vunnadi Okate..? “There are times when I felt so confident that a film would do well. Then when I wasn’t confident, I hoped I would be proved wrong. Now, this is a strange situation where I feel content with what I’ve done. I remember telling Kishore after the shoot that I’ve got what I wanted from this film and that success would just be a bonus.”

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 7:21:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/actor-ram-confident-about-vunnadi-okate-zindagi/article19895516.ece

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