Telugu superstar Ramcharan Teja admits he is more anxious about his new release, director Sukumar’s Rangashthalam than any of his films so far.
Not that he has not been challenged as an actor before.
Says the softspoken Telugu superstar, “Even in my last film Dhruva where I played a a cop I had to beef up for the part. I built the body that the film required.Unfortunately Dhruva came at the time when the country was hit by demonetization. My audience was just not in the mood to spend on movie tickets. So Dhruva suffered, yes. But never mind. I am as proud of that film as I am of everything I’ve done so far.”
Ramcharan admits Rangasthalam is a new beginning for him. “After ten years of acting I needed a complete change. I have to constantly challenge myself as an actor.And what bigger challenge than this film where I play a real-life character who is also deaf.It’s a completely different zone of performance for me.Hopefully my audience is going to be as excited by me makeover as I am.”
The superstar of Andhra who made his acting debut in 2007 , says Rangasthalam was a first for him on many levels. “I’ve never played a rural character before. In fact I had never stayed in a village before, though I’ve visited my native village with my father(Telugu cinema’s legend Chiranjeevi) a few times. But this was my first exposure to rural life. We actually went and stayed in the remotest town on the map of Andhra Pradesh where there was no network for mobile services, no luxury hotels. Nothing to remind me of my metropolitan existence. We had to rough it out. The entire process of acclimatization changed my attitude to the process of acting.”
Ramcharan also spent considerable time understanding his character’s physical disability. “I spent five months understanding the character’s body language and his hearing disability . Since I had never played a rustic character before I wanted to ensure I got it right. I didn’t want my portrayal to look superficial.”
He is full of praise for the team of Rangasthalam. “I have to admit that the script itself was so coherent and comprehensive it made my job easier.I also had a fabulous co-star in Samantha Akkineni. Without her ,my performance would not have been possible.She is truly one of the best co-stars I’ve worked with.”
The young actor hopes his fan base would be as charmed by his makeover as he is . “We are giving the film as big and wide a release as my other films. I hope the audience gives it the same love and appreciation that they’ve always given to my films. Am I anxious for the change of image? Not anxious. Because change is imperative for an actor.With Rangashthalam I’ve entered a more realistic phase of acting. I hope to do more such roles in future.”
For now the best endorsement for his new avatar comes from Ramchararan’s father the great Chiranjeevi. “He saw some rushes ofRangasthalam and he felt I had nailed it. To me that was the most satisfying moment since I took up this challenge. Now I look forward to the audiences’ response.Hopefully my journey into a new phase would be as smooth as it has been for the first ten years.”