In a different league

Rajeev and Munish, grandchildren of music maestro S. Rajeshwara Rao, are charting their own course through acting and working their way up in the industry

While most of the sons and grandchildren of the legendary music director Salur Rajeswara Rao followed in his footsteps to become music directors or musicians, two of his grandsons, Munish and Rajeev, sons of popular music directors – Saluri Vasu Rao and Koti respectively, preferred to be actors. Few would know that besides being a composer, the maestro had started his career as an actor too, in films like Krishnaprema and Balanagamma .

While Munish is trying to find a foothold in Tamil cinema, Rajeev is playing the lead in a couple of Telugu films. The two cousins from the Salur family talk about their blossoming careers and trivia.


It was by sheer providence that I became an actor. Director Chandu saw me at a mall in Hyderabad and signed me for Notebook . After the movie, I took a break from films as dad insisted that I complete my studies first. I followed his advice, obtained my engineering degree, but by then the acting bug had caught me. Akasame Haddhu with Navdeep and Chinni Chinni Aasa directed by the veteran Singeetham Srinivasa Rao might not have set the box office on fire, but earned critical appreciation.

My next release is – Ori Devudoy a socio-mythology directed by the U.S based software professional Sriram. It is a hilarious film with an underlying message. I play the role of a CEO in an ad agency. I always do a thorough homework for each role I play. To perfect the role of a CEO in this movie, all I did was to observe my director who himself is a top executive with Microsoft in Seattle and also a few relevant videos in the internet. My character in Ori Devudoy where even Gods approach him for promotion, has different shades – a publicist, a lover boy (Madhirakshi and Monica are in the female lead) and a do-gooder. For the first time, dad composed music for my starrer.

I have also entered into film production in partnership with Manotej (of Babloo fame). We are acting and producing a runaway comedy – Parugo Parugu directed by Sandeep who is from the ad field. Preethi Rana plays the female lead with Posani Krishnamurali and Ali in important roles. It is nearing completion and is slated for this summer.

I am happy that my elder brother Munish is gaining popularity in Tamil films. We do exchange notes on our films and discuss new releases every Friday.


In academics, Rajeev is a merit student. He is basically studious and hard working and aims for perfection in whatever he does. His strong point is his determination.


Having been born and brought up and living in Chennai, it is only natural that I tried my luck in Tamil cinema, starting my career with Nanga which was made with an all newcomers team. In contrast, in my second movie, Veeram directed by Shiva, I had the opportunity to work with a lot of senior actors and learn from them. It was a rewarding experience working with a supportive and affable superstar like Ajith. Moreover, it was made by the famous Vijaya Productions with which my grandfather was associated.

In fact, Ajith sir recommended me for the role. Me and my friend Suresh founded D One, a P R agency to promote films and film personalities. When director Shiva was in search of an actor for one of the younger brother’s character, Ajit sir suggested my name. I was called for an audition and selected. Shiva treats every actor, be it a senior or a newcomer, equally and teaches patiently, enacting each and every scene. This helped me perform well and get good reviews.

As for film production, I do have the experience of working as an executive producer for a forthcoming Tamil film, Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah . I took up the job as the movie is directed by Anish, from the street play , Koothu Pattarai . I took training in acting at a workshop that he had conducted. But I found the job tough and decided to pursue my acting career for the present hoping to make my presence in Telugu films too this year.

I keep in touch with Rajeev and we discuss about films in general. We share views on new releases.


Munish is aiming to become an actor, not a star. He believes that once you prove yourself a good actor, stardom automatically comes to you. His strong point is his will to achieve.

While Munish is trying to find a foothold in Tamil cinema, Rajeev is playing the lead in a couple of Telugu films.

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