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Sushanth returns with Current

June 18, 2009 14:19 IST

'I wouldn't say acting is in my blood'



Sushanth, another scion of the Akkineni family -- the maternal grandson of the thespian Akkineni Nageswara Rao -- made his acting debut last year with Kalidasu. Now, the young lad hopes to impress the audience with Current, his latest Telugu film which hits theatres on June 19.

Expectations will be high as he comes from one of the foremost and illustrious film families of the state. Sushanth was actually bitten by the acting bug in his second year of engineering but he finished his course before stepping under the arc lights.

Sushanth waxes eloquent about Current, his illustrious family and his first movie Kalidasu to Radhika Rajamani.

How would you describe Current? What made you take it up?

It's a very energetic youthful entertainer, an out-and-out-love story. Though it's a regular commercial cinema in terms of the songs, the concept of the story is fresh. I was hearing many scripts but when I heard the line of Current I knew I wanted to know more.

Can you talk about your role?

I play a person who doesn't worry about the past or the future. He is concerned only about the present. He does whatever he wants to live life his way and be happy. Kalidasu had a heavy subject matter, which was emotionally draining. Current has a city backdrop. I had to work hard to be energetic. It's a love story, so it's like a first film and a challenge.

Is Current more of a romantic entertainer?

Yes, it's a romantic entertainer but not a romantic comedy. When there's emotion, it's serious. My character is light, but the emotions between the boy and girl are strong. The girl is strong and independent. The film looks at what happens when two independent characters meet.

Image: A scene from Current


'I used to be an introvert but now I have opened up'

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How was Sneha Ullal as a co-star?

It was lot of fun on the sets. She's easygoing. Since the film is a love story I was a little doubtful on how the chemistry was going to work. We became good friends and there was a comfort level between us that got translated on screen.

It is said that a large portion of the film was shot at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad...

An opening song was shot at the airport. It was nice dancing there. We shot the song in five days.

You worked with a debutant director Surya Pratap in this film...

I was listening to many scripts. The line attracted me a lot. We are strong enough to produce. One of the producers -- Mr C Srinivasa Rao -- is an ex journalist and he is a source of support. The director was good at execution. He was very easy to work with. We are more like friends. It was like a young team working together.

Current is your second movie. How do you feel being in the industry?

I feel more prepared now. I know how to deal with situations. I have been involved with editing and filmmaking and not just acting, so I know the craft now. I used to be an introvert but now I have opened up.

Image: A scene from Current

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'I am not in a position to do offbeat roles'

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You are from the Akkineni family, ANR garu's and Nagarjuna's nephew. Do you feel the pressure?

Definitely. Expectations are there. I want to satisfy my grandfather as I don't want to ruin the reputation he has earned. I'm here because of my family so I can't let them down, which means I will have to work harder. As I'm from this family, I do get certain chances. Everything has to come together. However, there's no guarantee that the audience will accept me.

Current is produced by your mother and ex journalist Chinthalapudi Srinivasa Rao. Would you like to work outside your home banner?

Definitely. Even in Current the production is half and half. I have to answer to Srinivas garu. I do share a comfort level with him but it's a responsibility too. Even though it was partly a home production I never took the liberty of coming late. I have to thank him for showing confidence in me. If we prove ourselves it's easier for outside producers.

What would a script require in order for you to sign it?

I should be able to imagine myself in it. Sometimes I see myself, at times I think neutrally. I would listen and imagine the film while it's being narrated. Entertainment is important. I like entertainers. I am not in a position to do offbeat roles.

What are the kinds of films you want to do?

It can be comedy or a mass film. Majority of the people have to watch it.

Image: A scene from Current

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'My grandfather said my debut was the best one in the family'

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What has been the reaction of your family particularly your grandfather and uncle?

The family's reactions are few and important. My grandfather said my debut was the best one in the family. He said that in public and really meant it. He also said there was not much of the love element in Kalidasu. Love is a universal emotion. Current will answer that. It plays on emotions. I am waiting for his reaction.

My uncle Nag was also worried. He felt I should open up. He also said I should do high energy roles, walk faster and talk louder. I am doing that kind of role in Current.

They will like that.The movie will touch my grandfather and uncle.

The acting bug bit you while you were doing engineering but you still chose to complete it. Why?

I didn't want to but was asked to do so by my family. I had got into University of Illinois, one of the best universities. I was advised by my parents to finish the degree and not throw it away. I was also told that I had to work hard to prove myself. In fact after completing engineering, I worked in an oil company for four months. I could not continue after that. So I quit.

I always loved films and whenever I saw them I would give details about various aspects of it. My uncle knew about my inclination towards films. My grandfather was shocked as he thought I was studious. My parents supported my entry into films. When I expressed the desire to act, my cousin Chaitanya (Uncle' Nag's son) and I went to Mumbai to an acting school. We lived on our own and it was great fun. Acting has been a great experience so far.

Image: A scene from Kalidasu

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'My uncle is my role model when it comes to films'

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Your debut film Kalidasu released in April 2008 and your second film Current is releasing in June 2009. There is more than a year's gap between both the films. Are you being choosy about your roles?

In the beginning of the career I can't afford to slip. I couldn't take a chance after the first film. I may take a few more risks. I think the gap between films will decrease.

How are you influenced by your grandfather and uncle?

They are my role models. In life it's my grandfather. He struggled in life. He started from scratch. When it comes to films it's my uncle. I wouldn't say acting is in the blood. I belong to the film family and growing up in this atmosphere pushed me to it. Then it's your drive and your luck and how far you can take it.

Have you decided on your future projects?

I am listening to scripts but nothing is finalised yet. I want people to see the bubbly side of me in Current.

Image: A scene from Current

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