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Chitchat with Brahmanandam
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Brahmanandam is the comedy king of Telugu cinema. He is the household comedian of Andhra Pradesh. met with Brahmanandam at a shoot for a candid chitchat. Here are the excerpts -

4th January 2006

You are undoubtedly the best and the most popular comedy artist today. How did you achieve it?
There are certain things in this world that we do not understand. We should leave them to the God. Without God’s will we can’t achieve anything. There might be more talented comedy actors than me. I contribute my popularity to the luck. In film industry the luck comes first and the talent is secondary. Telugu film lovers regard me like a household comedian. I am very grateful to them.

Who do you think extract the best comedy from you?
Jandhyala was the best comedy director I have ever worked with. In the next generation EVV and SV Krishna Reddy are the best.

You work everyday. Do you take any precautions to maintain good health?

I do not take any precautions. Give rest to your body. Otherwise, it takes. (giggles) I am working almost everyday for the past 22 years. Every year I am acting in minimum of 35 films. I am lucky to have good health condition. I attribute my good health to God.

Do you have any other ambitions in your life other than continuing in acting profession?
I don’t think you would achieve anything if you have ambition. I am not the kind of guy who has an ambition and plans to achieve it. I did not plan anything. I took life as it came. We can never plan wonders. They just happen. But I think that we should love the journey as much we you love our goal. That will keep you happy all the time.

Don’t you get bored doing the same thing everyday?
I never feel bored, because I earn lots of money through it. If somebody asks me to sit here for one day for a payment of one lakh, I don’t mind sitting idle. Some actors might say that they are serving Kalama Talli by acting in films. I don’t believe in it. I am acting in films only for the money. Money rules. Let me tell you a slokam -

Bharya mulamidam Gruham
Krushi mulamidam Vyavasayam
Vedam mulamidam Gnanam
Dhana mulamidam Jagattu

If you have money, you will be respected. It is extremely important to have money in country like India. I might have worked towards becoming good artist till certain time. After that it was money that motivated me to act in films.

Don’t you get hurt when certain directors ask you perform in blatant scenes?
I am an actor and I should give what director wants. I should not let my personal preferences and choices come in my way. Hence there is no point in me getting hurt.

When you are in public, the crowds look at you curiously and try to talk to you. Don’t you feel uncomfortable?
Never! That way I am the luckiest person. Whenever I see people watching me in public, I observe certain kind of happiness in them. They forget all their worries and tensions for a moment and smile at me. I think mine is a blessed life. I feel happy being recognized. Some people tend to touch me and make me uncomfortable physically. They think that Brahmanandam is a public property. When you go to zoo, you see various animals like lion, elephant and monkey. People have different perceptions towards different animals. But they do treat monkeys like their own. They interact more with the monkey. People get similar kind of feeling when they find me in public places.

You have done a very touching role in little soldiers film. Why don’t you do those kinds of roles too?
I am doing the roles the directors asking me to do. I am not getting ’Little Soldier’ kinds of roles. If I have to do these kinds of roles, I should be producing films on my own.

What is the happiest moment for you as an actor and when did you get your best compliment?
There are several occasions that made me feel happy. Let me narrate the best of those moments. Lord Nataraj is the guru of all actors. Lord Nataraj is none but Lord Shiva. I played the role of con purohit called Kasi Pandit in Indra film. We did a scene on the banks of Ganga river which is adjacent to Visweswara temple. After I completed a shot in that film, everybody clapped in awe. Chiranjeevi, B Gopal, Paruchuri Brothers, Aswini Dutt, K Raghavendra Rao, Allu Arvind, KS Rama Rao, Sonali Bindre and VSR Swamy were there at that moment watching and clapping for my performance. I felt it as honor and appreciation from Lord Nataraj.

I heard that you are writing a book. Tell us about it?
I am writing a book on my experiences in film industry. I can’t call it as auto-biography. Lots of people write biographies in their 60’s after retirement. People would love to read experiences of celebrities when they are in form. Who would be interested to read about Chittoori Nagayya today.

Who is the best comedian in your opinion?
I don’t think any of our film actors are comedians. We act as per the script. The real comedian is the one who makes you laugh uncontrollably by telling a joke. Whoever creates a joke that can be remembered for decades is the real comedian. Among the film actors, nobody is less and nobody is great. Everybody has got strengths and weaknesses.

When can we expect the next film of your son Gowtam?
We introduced him at a tender age of 18. He was not ready by then. But Pallakilo Pelli Koothuru was a project by stalwarts like K Raghavendra Rao, MM Keeravani and Chandrabose. Hence he made his debut as hero. Gowtam will act again when the right time comes.

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