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Ready for risks

VERSATILE Naresh wants roles with shades of grey

VERSATILE Naresh wants roles with shades of grey  

Naresh aims to shatter stereotypes

Through the history of Telugu cinema though there have been instances of mainstream performers stepping into experimental domains, heroes for the most part have been content to being mass-produced from the same cookie-cutter. Naresh is amongst the new generation of actors who is willing to shatter the archaic stereotypes of Telugu films, ready to take risks and tread new grounds. He says, "no more goody roles... I'm asking filmmakers to cast me in shades of grey."

Allari was encouraged by urban audiences and Naresh says there couldn't have been a better start. "I always wanted to do something other than singing songs on the Alps with a heroine. At home I was the dark horse. Expectations were always high on Rajesh and it was decided that he would be the hero because of his looks. Dad always felt that I was meant for a different kind of a cinema. He tells me even now to go for something, which is not glamorous. Acting was on my mind but it was always direction I was hooked into. It all happened when director Ravi Babu came home to find out if I was interested in acting, and I was on the sets facing the camera on the third day."

Naresh is a serious actor and has a sombre, tough image but underneath the layers of his character, he is a simple guy who wants to make an impact in films with his performances. "I've done enough comedy and people didn't like me in that serious and oily look in Nenu. I don't want to be branded like Rajendra Prasad for comedy. It's time I moved over. I admit comedy is difficult. You've got to let your emotions loose. The entire body language must change. I wish I could do something like Raghuvaran and Kamal Hassan, offbeat always. The people should be used to the fact that this guy never dishes out the same fare."

About sibling rivalry on the sets, "there is none", he says emphatically. "In fact he is always trying to cover up my mistakes and always takes the blame on himself. You should see Rajesh now. After Leela Mahal Centre and Evadi Gola Vadidhe, his confidence is on an all time high. So success can have positive effects too. And career wise there is no one-upmanship. He wants to set up a production house and act as well and I want to get into something else. I want to pool all my money and translate my dreams into reality. I know it will take time but I will eventually do it."

Naresh's career is yet to take off but if predictions of film pundits are to be believed, he is sure to go far. While he has done nine films so far, Rajesh is riding the crest of the popularity wave right now. Rajesh and Naresh have proved that brothers can be equally hot and happening - though each is as different from the other as chalk and cheese!

Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY

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