Suhas: I always prefer to work with new directors

In an exclusive conversation with CE, Suhas talks about his acting process, how he chooses the scripts, his plans for the next few years, and more
Suhas: I always prefer to work with new directors

In October 2020, when film industries across the nation were grappling with the aftermath of a pandemic, a rooted love story titled Colour Photo released on OTT and grabbed everyone’s attention. The film particularly changed things for its leading actor, Suhas, who is currently one of the busiest actors in the industry.

The actor talks about the phase when he had been hesitant to make the plunge to lead roles until then. He recalls, “Even when I was working at Chai Bisket, the directors I worked with would ask me to try for lead roles.” Suhas candidly confesses to his vulnerabilities in that phase, adding, “I was also scared of losing the credibility that I had built as a character artist with Majili (2019) and Dear Comrade (2019). It was only with Colour Photo that I could take that leap, and thankfully it paid off.”

Suhas’ upcoming release Prasanna Vadanam, a thriller scheduled to hit theatres on May 3, centres around a young good samaritan suffering from face blindness, a rare medical condition. When I tell him that this concept sounds rather unique for Indian cinema, Suhas reassures me that that alone wasn’t the reason for his choosing to do this film. “It’s the way the director wrote the screenplay, weaving the problems that arise out of such a situation. That’s why I liked the script—it  has many thrilling episodes.”

Prasanna Vadanam is directed by debutant filmmaker Arjun YK. When I ask him about the joys and challenges of working with new filmmakers, Suhas states that there is nothing safer than working with debutant directors. He elaborates, “I always prefer to work with new directors. When a new director makes a film, he gives his life to the film. New filmmakers come with fresh stories, so it becomes much easier.”

Suhas continues to talk about how working with new directors has been an important part of filmography since his breakthrough role in Colour Photo (2020), where he shared screen with Chandini Chowdary. Suhas explains, “After Colour Photo, I received many offers to play the hero, even from big filmmakers. However, I decided to work with filmmakers I had previously collaborated with, on short films and digital content.” 

Prasanna Vadanam is Suhas’ third film release of the year, after Ambajipeta Marriage Band, a social drama and Sriranga Neethulu, a slice-of-life anthology featureRecalling his experience of working in Ambajipeta Marriage Band, Suhas says he ended up getting too immersed in his role of Malli (Suhas), an underprivileged villager who, along with his sister Padma (Sharanya Pradeep), decides to rebel against the local upper-class moneylender. Suhas recalls, “I had to get into a certain mindset for that part. Usually, I do a workshop for about 10 days before I start a film. For Ambajipeta Marriage Band, I went the extra mile.”

Explaining his working process, Suhas prefers to get into workshop mode before every film. He elaborates, “I usually get together with the female lead and key supporting actors from the film. We collaborate till we get some clarity on how to approach the character, and become sure about how this character will speak or behave in general. That’s when we put the process to rest.”

With his performances in films like Colour PhotoHIT: The Second Case, and Ambajipeta Marriage Band, Suhas has carved a niche identity of his own, away from the conventionally hero-driven masala entertainers that rule the roost in Telugu cinema. When asked whether he harbours any plans of doing such films eventually, Suhas shares that there is one such project in the works. He explains, “It requires a certain budget to be pulled off. So after I finish all my present commitments, I plan to start working on that film. It will cost almost twice as much as my current crop of projects, so there’s time.”

After Prasanna Vadanam, Suhas has one more release coming up this year — a project by Dil Raju Productions, slated to release in July. Suhas states that working on back-to-back projects does not give him a breather to strategise his trajectory as an actor and a star. He adds, “It will take another 2-3 years to complete the films I have in the pipeline.  I will hopefully get some time to plan my career properly after that.”

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