Srikanth goes back to his roots
The actor opens up to CE about his journey so far and his upcoming projects
One is struck by the confidence actor Srikanth exudes as he speaks about his transition from lead roles to negative roles, after nearly two decades in the industry. He says that it was a smart decision to branch out and believes that it will give him good results.
“I have been doing lead and character roles for years now. I sensed that I can’t be a hero for long and decided to move on. I believe an actor has to play to his strengths and accept the roles that come his way. I’m enjoying what I’m doing now and it’s exciting to get back to my roots.”
However, the ever-charming actor says he is choosy. “I always ask myself, 'will I be able to pull off this role?' I take a project based on that faith and don’t focus much on whether I play the father or uncle role in the movie.”
Srikanth is making his Malayalam debut with Mohanlal-starrer Villain. “It’s a special role with negative traits and has Tamil roots as well. It feels great to share screen space with Mohanlal,” he says. “I will be speaking Malayalam provided I get the accent right.”
After Ugadi (2007), Srikanth returns to Kannada with Shivarajkumar and Sudeep’s upcoming multi-starrer The Villain. “I play the main antagonist and it’s a powerful role which gives me immense scope to unleash my acting potential. I share a good amount of screen time with Sudeep in the film. I was born and brought up in Karnataka. So, it wasn’t really challenging for me to comprehend the language and own the role.”
As for Tollywood, Srikanth plays a troublemaker to Naga Chaitanya in Yuddham Sharanam. He says that the audience will be surprised to see him in such a character. “When people do not expect you to do something unusual and you surprise them by coming out with something different like that, it will definitely thrill them to bits. My role in Yuddham… is going to be a revelation,” he says.
“The makers were impressed with my performance Operation Duryodhana and cast me in this role. I will be seen in a salt-and-pepper look and sport a different hairdo. What’s more interesting is the film doesn’t have a full-blown fight between Naga Chaitanya and me.”
While there were rumours about director KS Ravi Kumar casting him as the antagonist for his next film starring Balakrishna, Srikanth clarifies that he is not part of the project. “Producer C Kalyan initiated the talks with me for Balakrishna’s next but nothing worked out. Since that project is being made simultaneously in Telugu and Tamil, they are now on the lookout for another actor from Kollywood to play the baddie.”
Elaborating on his future projects, Srikanth explains, “I’m awaiting the release of horror-thriller Ra Raa and Natu Kodi, a commercial entertainer. I will start shooting for a cop drama in September. Right from my looks to characterisation, the film is going to be quirky and unique in its own right.”
Recently, he also acquired the remake rights of Malayalam comedy-mystery Seniors. “I will play one of the four principal characters in the Telugu remake of Seniors. The story is about four friends who return to their alma mater as students. But only one among them knows exactly why they are back in their college.”
When quizzed about his son Roshan’s debut as a hero, the 49-year-old actor reveals, “Roshan completed his 12th standard and recently enrolled in Lee Strasberg Acting School, Los Angeles to get the nuances of acting right. I’m sure it will take at least three to four years for his launch.”
If it makes for a good sequel, this doting father wants his son to act in the sequel of his blockbuster hit Pelli Sandadi. “If a sequel is ever made, I want to see Roshan recreate the Pelli Sandadi magic. A film like that will help him to attain perfection in showcasing emotions and other aspects of acting,” he signs off.