More than just a funny guy

Meet Priyadarshi Pulikonda who’s keeping viewers in splits in ‘Pelli Choopulu’

August 01, 2016 02:26 pm | Updated 09:34 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Rao Ramesh took A...Aa to a new level with one dialogue during the closure of the film. Last weekend, one more gem ‘ Na Savu Nenu Sastha… Neekenduku ’ from a relative newcomer Priyadarshi Pulikonda has brought the house down. Hours after Pelli Choopulu released, the witty conversation between him and Anish Kuruvilla became a part of a meme and went viral on the social media. Rana Daggubati and Rajamouli, while praising the film through their tweets, complimented Priyadarshi. ‘He gave a great line for every guy who is faced with the difficult question of what do you do?’ (sic) said Rajamouli, referring to Priyadarshi’s line.

As Pelli Choopulu enjoys a dream run at the box office, we ask the unassuming actor from Chandanagar if he is being flooded with offers. He says, “ Antha ledhu (nothing much), not a single guy approached me so far. But yes, people are complimenting me. Frankly, it hasn’t sunk in yet. It is a new feeling. Till the other day we were immersed in post-production and anxious about how the film would turn out. Producer Sai Korrapati and director Rajamouli had nice things to say about us.”

So what does he think worked for the film? The actor observes the timing has been good. “I hope we all executed what director Tharun Bhascker had in mind. What worked in the film’s favour was simplicity and nativity. It is not a new story; you will find references here and there. You can also predict how the journey of the lead pair will end; it’s a rom-com. Earlier, comedians would be chamchas to the hero; hero kodithe padathadu, beer themmante thestaadu... (he gets slapped by the hero or fetches beer for him), it followed a set pattern. When I asked the production house what would be my role, they would say I would be a padding artiste, the meaning of which I still don’t understand. In this film, the writing paid off.”

The film has clean humour and Priyadarshi also pulled off the Telangana dialect with ease, after all his father hails from Telangana and mother from Andhra. He has been living in Hyderabad for the past 26 years. He lived in the Old City till he was 10 and later moved to Gachibowli and now lives in Chandanagar. “Telangana dialect comes naturally to us. It’s so nice listening to it, such a lovely dialect. The other day I was travelling with Oggu kalakarulu and those celebrating Bonalu; it was so good to be with them.”

Doesn’t he run the risk of being typecast like Telangana Sakuntala? “But what can I do? I can’t go out of the system and work for myself. I have to create a niche for myself. I will do Telangana dialect provided the character is that of a hard core Telangana guy. I hate monotony. I tell people that I’m not just the funny guy Kaushik from Pelli Choopulu but also the terrorist in Satish Kasetty’s Terror . It depends on the work and choice I make in the coming films. They might cast me as the hero’s friend again but I can’t do much about it, can I?”

He adds, ” I have eight other films waiting for release including Ghazi . I want to do Tamil films too,” he says.

Armed with a postgraduate in Mass Communication from the University of Hyderabad, Priyadarshi went for classes conducted by Aruna Bikshu.

He shares “I was seven when I saw Sagara Sangamam and decided to be an actor. It was a paradigm shift for me. I am a big fan of Kamal Haasan and Chiranjeevi. I saw many films by K. Balachander, K. Vishwanath and Singeetam Srinivasa Rao . Aruna Bikshu taught me how to learn and unlearn, and then I gained experience from short films. As of now I hope to take better decisions. I will try and work with good production houses. Hope I get something better now,” he signs off.

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