Ravi Teja: I don’t mind playing villain
The actor, who plays the titular role in Amar Akbar Anthony, says there is no guarantee for success and he doesn’t judge others by the choices they make
How did Amar Akbar Anthony come about?
Sreenu Vaitla came to me with a storyline just before I started shooting for Nela Ticket. I was convinced that the story had a lot of potential and asked him to work on it with an open mind. He then incorporated the changes I suggested and the film went on the floors with Ileana and me as the lead pair.
A lot of people expressed their apprehension about this collaboration.
There is no guarantee what will work and what won’t. I don't judge others by the choices they make. I always respect my directors regardless of the outcome of their last film. I have had my share of failures too. I’m someone who thrives on hope, and I'm confident that Sreenu Vaitla will not let anyone down as he has meticulously fixed the mistakes based on his past experiences.
Going by the promos, it appears like the protagonist suffers from split personality disorder in the film...
No comments. We are just a few hours away from the release; you have to watch the film to figure out what is he up to. (laughs)
Of the three characters, which one is special to you?
Undoubtedly, Amar is my favourite. He’s a character who is very intense whilst also displaying a range of emotions. I enjoyed playing three different characters and found it really challenging. What was even more exciting was the film’s story.
How was it working with Ileana D’Cruz?
We have shared the screen after many years. She was the ideal choice to play this character. She is a fantastic actor and has brushed up her Telugu-speaking skills to dub for herself.
You seem to have stuck to particular kind of films.
Not at all. Commercial films have always been my forte. I did Ee Abbai Chala Manchodu, Naa Autograph, Shambo Shiva Shambo and Neninthe to prove my versatility, but the box-office results were disheartening. When audiences watch those films even today, they connect with the characters really well. As an actor, I need to be as comfortable doing non-commercial/offbeat films as I'm with mass/action entertainers. Taken (2008) is my most favourite film of all-time because of the way the story and subject were handled. I'm waiting for similar scripts in Telugu. I don't want to confine myself to one particular genre, and if offered, I'm game for historic films too.
Do you want to break away from your commercial image?
Let me put it this way: I don’t want to be typecast. I want to be as versatile as possible and essay characters that are starkly different from each other. As long as the character has importance, I don’t mind playing a villain too. But I feel I have a lot of fuel still left in my tank before I take up such roles.
How do you handle failures?
I am immune to success and failure. I don’t let success go to my head, nor do I let failure affect me much. I think that has helped me stay in good spirits. I’m glad I have work that I’m passionate about, but I don’t let negativity bring me down.
So, what next after AAA?
I will start working on director VI Anand’s film soon. I also have a project with director Santosh Srinivas in the pipeline. Contrary to reports, it is not a remake of Tamil film Theri!