Samuthirakani: For the first time, I got scared seeing myself on screen
Basking in the success of Krack, Samuthirakani says he considers acting and direction his two eyes
Samuthirakani has the ability to evoke laughter even while maintaining a serious face. In Ravi Teja-starrer Krack, which has set the cash registers ringing this Sankranthi, Samuthirakani plays Katari Srinu, a brutal villain who is known for committing spine-chilling murders. The director-turned-actor is thrilled over the success of Krack and says, "I have got two back-to-back Sankranthi releases. Last year, it was Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and now, Krack. I watched Krack in a theatre in Chennai. For the first time, I got scared seeing myself on screen. I followed director Gopichand Malineni's vision and was amazed to see the kind of response our film has been receiving all over. I am longing to watch the film with the Telugu audience in the Telugu States."
He credits Ravi Teja for the support he received throughout the film. "I've known Ravi Teja anna for a long time and also directed him in Shambo Shiva Shambo. He has been an inspiration and great support for me. He would prod me to improve myself consistently and I've always enjoyed working with him," adds Samuthirakani.
Samuthirakani has a slew of Telugu films in the pipeline and has also been listening to scripts. "I am playing the lead role in Aakasavani, which marks the directorial debut of Ashwin Gangaraju. I am essaying a pivotal role in the Kangana Ranaut-starrer Thalaivi and am also part of the Telugu remake of Ayyappanum Koshiyum, starring Pawan Kalyan and Rana Daggubati. All these are contrasting characters," he gushes.
Samuthirakani will also be seen playing babai to Ram Charan in SS Rajamouli's upcoming period drama RRR. However, the versatile actor refuses to divulge any more details about the film or his characterisation. "I am almost done shooting for RRR. If I reveal anything about the film or my character, it takes the magic away. In fact, Rajamouli garu has instructed me to not speak about it at the moment."
The 47-year-old actor says working with Rajamouli has been a dream come true for him. "Interestingly, RRR is the first film I had signed on in Telugu, but Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and Krack released ahead of it. I met Rajamouli garu in Goa while I was working as a writer for Janda Pai Kapi Raju. Over these years, I have been an admirer of his work and when he offered me a character in RRR, I was on cloud nine. Working on the film has been incredible; a passionate team is making it with a lot of enthusiasm."
The actor, who can effortlessly hold a conversation in Telugu, hasn't dubbed in the language for years. "I feel quite incomplete as an actor if I don't dub for myself. From Aakasavani, I want to go the extra mile and dub in Telugu," he reveals.
Samuthirakani says he considers acting and direction his two eyes. "I am an accidental director. Acting has always been my first love. Before Ananthapuram 1980, I worked as an assistant to late director K Balachander in several films and television serials. However, that was only because circumstances demanded it and I had to step behind the camera. Even though I have been busy as an actor, I will continue directing films. I am always fond of films that highlight social issues. I have readied three scripts, of which one is based on the modern education system. I am also planning to direct a Telugu-Tamil bilingual later this year," confides this sought-after actor.