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I love to play characters with negative shades – Srinivas Avasarala


You probably know actor Avasarala Srinivas as ‘Ashta Chemma’ fame. That’s because he rose to fame through the character Anand in his debut film ‘Ashta Chemma’. Funny and down-to-earth, he kindly gave us the chance to interview him about his wonderful film experience. You don’t want to miss it right! Here are some excerpts:

Yes. It started with acting when I was really young. I used to watch a lot of Kishore Kumar films right from my childhood. Then I got fascinated by the process of film making after completing my engineering graduate and went to the US.

Tell us about your background.
When I went to the USA, I started pursuing my film dream. I completed a diploma in screenwriting from UCLA and then took acting classes for a year in Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre institute in NYC. I did some theatre in NYC and then I worked as an AD for a movie called ‘Blind Ambition’. I worked at the Universal Studios as a script screener. In the process I read a lot of screenplays from writers from all over the world. It used to take me a week to read a screenplay and write a review on it. The pay was $30 per screenplay.

There are many persons with the same sir name as yours in different literary genres. Do you have any writers in your family?
Avasarala Surya Rao garu was my grand uncle. To my knowledge, I’m not related to other Avasarala’s.

How did you bag the role in ‘Mugguru’?
It was a surprise. I was not aware that this film was being planned. One morning I got this call from Aditya garu and it was all finalized in a week.

What is your role in ‘Mugguru’ and can you mention the characters being played by Navdeep and Rahul too?
All I can say at this point of time is that this a comedy with three good for nothing guys, on the lines of some of the Bollywood flicks that have come out in past few years.

Have you decided to stick to comedy based roles?
No. It is one thing I can do and wanted to do. But as an actor I know I can deliver more. Playing characters with a slight negative shade gives me a great kick. Also, I like roles that need me to do homework.

What was it like acting with Navdeep and Rahul?
I take a lot of time to befriend and get comfortable with people. Rahul is relatively new to the movies than Navdeep, so there was this camaraderie between us. It took me a week or so to get to know Navdeep. And we have been working together almost every day for the last two months. Their company along with V N Aditya is so de-stressing.

What about heroines in this film?
Shraddha Das, Sanjana and Soumya play the three girls paired with the three of us and Soumya is my pair, while Reema Sen is the other lead actress.

You were an assistant director for ‘Blind Ambition’. Now you are an actor. So what made this transformation?   
I auditioned for ‘Blind Ambition’ even after they told me that there were no roles that would fit me. Bala liked my audition and wanted me to keep in touch for the next film. I asked him if I could work as AD for that film and he was more than happy to have me on board. And I later auditioned for ‘Ashta Chemma’.

Can you give us any clue (Story in brief) about ‘Mugguru – Maha Mayagaallu’?
All I can say at this moment is that it is a fun filled entertainer.

Do you have any role models?
Yes and No. I meet many people as a part of my daily routine and have no one role model. I know my strengths and weaknesses and whenever I have an opportunity to improve I try to use it.

Tell us about your current director V N Aditya’s work.
Aditya is very clear about how he wants the movie to be. It is a great assurance for the actor if the director doesn’t leave him at the lurch. He comes well prepared and things happen fast on his sets. Also he is well read and it is a pleasure interacting with him.

Now let’s talk about the technical aspects of this film – music and camera.
Jawahar Reddy has handled the camera and has done a great job. Apart from the beauty in framing and lighting, he respects the actors' time and everything is set before the actor comes in front of the camera. It can be very tiring if you have to spend 20 minutes in front of the camera before a shot can be canned.

Koti garu has scored music for this film and the songs have come out good. There is a lot variety in the album like a teen-maar song, a melody and a couple of fun songs. Chandra Bose has penned the lyrics with his usual flourish.

Tell us briefly your opinion on Suresh Productions.
It is great working for Ramanaidu sir. He is very passionate about films and oozes positivity. There is not a thing in his production that I can complain about. His presence is comforting everybody. He makes sure that all our energies are concentrated on delivering a good product and that it is his job to take it to the people.

Let’s go back to how you made your acting debut through a comedy role in ‘Ashta Chemma’. On the opposite end of the spectrum from that character is your role in ‘Pilla Zamindaar’.   Yes! We heard that you are playing the antagonist for the first time in ‘Pilla Zamindaar’. How did you approach your character in ‘Pilla Zamindaar’?
I’m not the antagonist in ‘Pilla Zamindar’. I love to play characters with a negative shade but ‘Pilla Zamindar’ is far from that. I play the son of poor fisherman who is brilliant in school.

You have worked with director Vamsi in ‘Saradaga Kasepu’. Tell us about your working experience with Vamsi.
He is one of the finest film makers in Telugu Cinema. I grew up watching his films and my most favourite film among all his films is ‘April Okati Vidudala’. After watching ‘Ashta Chemma’, he took my phone number from Mohan Krishna and approached me with a film. But that did not materialize. Later he again called me and asked me to do the role in ‘Saradaga Kasepu’ along with Allari Naresh. One can learn a lot about direction while working with Vamsi garu. It’s like his technique is more than the actor’s contribution. I should say he is one of the most cinematic directors to have come in Telugu films. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him.

How is it doing ‘Vara Prasad Potti Prasad’?
It is a fun film. It is releasing in two weeks. There is a good buzz about the film in circles that have seen it. I am excited.

What’s next on your slate?
I take one step at a time. I have another good project with a debut director and very soon the news will be out.

What is your life long dream?
Good cinema! I enjoy the process of acting very much and I want to be in movies where I can do some homework and apply myself. As a writer, I have a couple of scripts that people are interested in. I want to direct too. To surmise, I want to make good films happen in the capacity of an actor, writer and a director.

- Exclusive Ragalahari Interview done at Ramanaidu Studios, Vizag

Updated on April 25, 2020