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Interview with Srinivas Avasarala
Date: September 11, 2008, Hyderabad
srinivas avasarala

Srinivas Avasarala – an NRI - has stunned everybody with his spontaneous and witty histrionics as ‘Anand’ in recently released film ‘Ashta Chemma’. He is getting tremendous appreciation for his performance. Here is’s exclusive interview with Srinivas Avasarala -

Tell us about your background?
I am a mechanical engineer by qualification working for Princeton University. I have also done a screenwriting diploma and other film related courses. As far as my parents are concerned, as a part of his job, my father used to travel a lot and I have had the opportunity to travel with him. I have spent most of my life in Hyderabad and a few years in Vijayawada, Vizag, Kakinada, New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.

Were you interested in an acting career before?
Yes. I was looking at a career in film as a writer, director and actor.

How did Ashta Chamma Happen? What were your excitement levels?
As you know, I got picked through a casting call in Idlebrain. I am generally not very excitable. When I got picked for ASHTA CHAMMA I knew that it was nothing to be excited about and the real challenge laid ahead—in doing the job right. Although I was confident that I could do ‘Anand’ character well, I knew that confidence is a feeling that people have before they know what the job entails.

How did it feel to work for Award winning director like Mohana Krishna Indraganti?
Mohan is great to work with. He comes to the sets with so much energy and confidence that you cannot but absorb some of it. He has a refined taste and has a deep understanding of world cinema and literature and yet leaves his mark when he makes his movies. It is hard to imagine that somebody who made a movie like Grahanam has such sense of humor. We had a lot of fun during the breaks and he always kept the sets alive.

Tell us about your working experience with your co-stars and the chemistry between you and Bhargavi which was a joy to watch for audience?
I was a little uncomfortable doing the romance but Bhargavi is a very professional actress and that relieved me of some fears. Swathi and Nani were very supportive from the beginning and helped me warm up to the atmosphere. Both of them are good in front of the camera as they had worked for films before and their support meant a lot.

Did you model yourself on the Gireesam character of Kanyasulkam for the song ‘Hello Antoo Pilichi‘?
I did not do any specific home work on Gireesam for the song but putting on the attire helped. I am also a great fan of Bollywood legend Kishore Kumar and I have read and seen earlier works on Kanyasulkam. So what you saw on the screen is an amalgam of Kishore and my imagination of Gireesam.

Do you feel after watching yourself on screen to be able to do the Gireesam character which was immortalized by the great NTR in Kanyasulkam?
Yes. I read Kanyasulkam and always enjoyed imagining myself doing a Gireesam. I probably cannot do as great a job as the legend but Gireesam is something I would like to do.

What was your parents reaction when you were selected for the movie and How do they feel about your success?
We don’t talk much about films at home. As I live 10,000 miles away from home I don’t really know what they feel exactly but I know they have watched the movie more than once and liked the movie as a whole.

What was the reaction of the crowds at NJ & Dallas Premier Shows?
The business for the first show, I should admit, was a little slow. The film has no big stars to attract people but the word of mouth spread and the first weekend ran with houseful collections. I was there at a couple of the shows and the turn out was great and the response was very gratifying.

From whom did you receive the first compliment after the release of the movie and who gave you the best compliment?
A good friend of mine named Sagar, who is also associated with this film, was the first one to call me after he watched the preview .And, I should say the best compliment came from Idlebrain’s Jeevi. Since it is a genuine compliment from a respected film critic, I attach a lot of value to it.

What do you think are your strengths to succeed in Telugu Film industry?
I will leave that question for the audience to decide.

And what are your weaknesses that you think you need to overcome?
Everything that I can overcome I will try to overcome and those I cannot, I will be open and honest about. I know the audience will embrace your flaws if they like you.

Who is your favorite actor, actress & director?
I don’t want to talk about contemporaries here. Among the veterans, I like K Viswanath garu. And in Hollywood I like Sidney Lumet’s and Martin Scorcese’s movies. I also like to see Fred Astaire, Al Pacino and Daniel Day Lewis on screen.

I heard you are very much into Writing.. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
I like the writings of Mullapudi Ramana garu in Telugu and Woody Allen and Groucho Marx in English. I took to writing because of them. I’ve not done much writing lately though. I developed these strange problems of stammer while reading and grammar while writing. Besides, I have been having this notion that writing is crazy—it is keeping a document of you talking to yourself. Jokes apart, I have done some screenwriting before and am working on this movie that I want to finish before Dec and direct if I find a producer.

What are your future projects?
I have not committed to any and I will let you know once I sign something. You know how dynamic things are—you can never know if you will be in the movie till it is released. And this time I am looking to do something very different from ASHTA CHAMMA.

Now that ASHTA CHAMMA is such a huge hit and you are getting rave reviews for your portrayal of the character Anand ( or Mahi) , Are you planning to pack up your bags and go back to India and pursue a career in Acting now ?
I do have plans to take up a career in Cinema (not just acting) but I do not want to take decisions in haste. I will continue to do to films along with my current job as long as it works that way.

Finally, any message for visitors?
Thanks for accepting me as an actor and I need your support for my future ventures, too. Keep checking for updates.

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