Adivi Sesh Gets Candid With Telugu Filmnagar:
Adivi Sesh is one of the most versatile and multi-talented actors of the Telugu film industry. His upcoming movies, one, a war movie and another, a sequel to his sensational movie Goodachari, are making quite the sensation ever since he announced them.
With an open smile and engaging conversation, Adivi Sesh has a pleasing personality because of which he is quickly becoming everyone’s favourite. With a packed schedule at hand and working late nights, Adivi Sesh made time for all the questions buzzing in my head and were bursting at seams to come out.
In a conversation with Adivi Sesh, these are some of the questions that we, The Telugu Filmnagar, were curious to know. Adivi Sesh answered all the questions unflinchingly.
- You started your career with the movie Karma and then worked on many fantastic movies such as Panjaa, Baahubali and many others. How was your journey?
I thought I had a lot of struggle coming from a different country and trying my hand at acting, but when I saw what others were going through to establish themselves as actors, I considered myself lucky as I was able to use the resources at hand. I never made a portfolio or went for a photoshoot. That way, I am fortunate and I got lucky. If nothing else, Karma worked as a demo reel for me, which led the way for me to be cast in a movie like Panjaa. After that, there was no turning back.
- Karma had a really good script and it had all the elements of a really good movie. What do you think went wrong with it?
Karma had its share of people who liked it and those who did not. For a movie which featured for only 2 weeks at the box office eight years ago, I still receive tweets about it. I think it has its own share of creative content which no one has tried till now. However, there are parts of the movie which I wish I could have done better.
- You did work in movies like Sontham though. How did you land that project?
“Sontham was a movie which I took up when I was 15 or 16. It was a time when I was using a soot like black powder to show I had stubble and beard,” he laughs off.
- Since you mentioned that you started working in the movie biz at the age of 15 or 16, you must have noticed the drastic change in the mindset of the audience. What do you think triggered the change?
The responsibility always rested with the business. I think the audience were always accepting and gracious. They would have accepted Kshanam even if it came out in the year 2002. The responsibility lies with the movie makers to make bigger and better movies and not with the audience. People in the movie industry have to create a culture of cinema. Fifteen years ago, we were not making movies which were as progressive and advanced as Bollywood. Honestly, the audience always responded well to different and unique movies such as Godavari, Chitram and Anand, to name a few.
- Simple and small budget movies are making it big in the Telugu film industry. Why do you think that is?
I think that was always there in Telugu cinema. Uday Kiran’s movie Chitram was a huge hit. The Telugu audience were always ready to take us into their fold. It is just that we must be able to deliver to their expectations.
I know people who still enjoy Dil Chahta Hai and Lagaan even today. It’s just that we should be able to make movies of that standard. For example, movies like Anand are very new age as they portray the modern and independent woman in a very unique way, showing that she is strong and can take her own decisions. Anand is the perfect movie to state the audience are more inclined toward different and unique scripts than the regular commercial cinema.
- You stated Goodachari was an idea which you lived with for 14 years. How did it all come together in the first place?
I had this idea when I was very young and it stuck with me for quite some time. Though I made many other movies, I consider myself fortunate to be able to bring that story back and make it according to this generation’s audience’s taste. To most people who write, they all have plenty of ideas they want to work on or want to materialize. This was one such project.
- You are a multitalented person handling both acting and directing with equal grace. Do you think you will take up writing as a profession and write for other actors as well?
No, I will not.
- You stated you are all set to work on a Bollywood movie. Can you give us a brief idea about what the movie is?
There’s something on the horizon. However, these things take time and there are lot of factors that come into play before we roll. Anyways, fingers crossed, it will be a good one. Lets see what happens, Im excited!
- When you do accept a Bollywood project, what are the elements for which you will keep your eyes peeled?
A good story which will entertain the audience is my prior concern. Any movie I take up, I want it to appeal to the pan Indian audience and not just the Telugu audience. Movie makers have started making global movies. They are beginning to broaden their perspective and make all kinds of movies.
The exposure levels of the audience are going up and language has become the least of their worries.
- If one takes a closer look, you seem to have a special affinity toward action oriented movies. Is there an influential factor for this choice?
There is nothing of that sort. Actually, I have always tried to do things differently. At the start of my career, every second movie I worked on was a love story. However, I have changed and so has my taste in scripts. The Telugu cinema is making all kinds of movies and there is a lot to do and experiment with now. I am ready to work on any kind of genre, except horror. I am too scared to work on or watch a horror movie.
- You said Goodachari 2 is going to be bigger and better. In terms of what is it going to be better? Script wise? Budget wise? Or is Agent 116 going to take on another impossible mission?
The movies I usually work on, the budget is often the secondary issue. The primary focus is always on the script. However, there is always the question of scale. While Goodachari portrayed the character of Gopi becoming a spy, Goodachari 2 is on a much larger scale and is going to portray the journey of a professional spy. However, there are parts of the movie about which even I have no idea. Though we have an anchor on the central idea of Goodachari 2, there are parts we are still trying to figure out as we just started scripting the movie.
- You portray confusion, rage and surprise at the snap of a finger, they come naturally to you. Are you the same when the camera is off as well?
There is a lot of homework I did for Goodachari. I was trained in Krav Maga, a defense technique and I worked for long hours on the character of Gopi and that sort of thing. However, I usually put my 100 % efforts in every movie I take up. I do not know how to work otherwise.
- Do you have a guiding factor about how to work on a character? I mean, while playing Gopi or Rishi, did you have a reference point for how to portray these characters?
Rishi in Kshanam is influenced by my own personal life. Not that I had a heartbreak or anything, but I was always the guy from abroad. The board room meeting in the beginning is the actual me. The character of Gopi is influenced by Chris Pine in Star Trek, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and various other sources. There is always an influence of other characters, places, people and many other things.
- Your upbringing has been very diverse as you have been brought up in different countries. The thinking and mindset differ when one has such a diverse background. How do you think that has influenced the choice of your characters and scripts?
Of course it does. Karma is a perfect example of that. I am a square brick in a round hole. I don’t fit anywhere. I am too American to be Indian and too Indian to be American.
- 2018 has been very kind to you, along with being eventful. What are your plans for 2019? What are the movies which are going to come up in 2019?
Next up, I have PVP garu’s movie, since it was him who gave me my big break with Kshanam. The scripting of Goodachari 2 and a war movie are still in progress. The war movie is the one I am looking forward to since it is very close to my heart.
While the conversation was sure engaging and entertaining, it was a pleasure to talk to such a brilliant personality, who is absolutely without any pretence. Adivi Sesh was upfront and straightforward about all the questions posed and I couldn’t help but wonder, how committed the actor is toward his profession. Kudos to Adivi Sesh for his commitment toward his work and art!