Rao Ramesh: Method acting doesn't work in Tollywood
In this no holds barred interview, Rao Ramesh talks about why method acting is suicidal in Tollywood, why he doesn't do Tamil movies, why he is seen as a member of their family by the audience, etc.
You have excellent in a range of positive and negative roles. Which of these two kinds do you like more?
I don't have any preference. When I am playing negative roles, I would also wish to do positive roles in different movies. For example, the father's role in 'Nanna Nenu Naa Boyfriends' came to me at a time when I was getting applause for the negative role. Many fathers have called me up and told me that my acting and my character's dialogues in this movie have left them touched.
You get the father's sentiment damn good. What are you like with your daughter?
The relationship I share with my daughter Deekshita, who is six-year-old, is indescribable. I tend to agree with what she is saying even before she completes saying the line. My wife would complain about my attitude of this. I call my kid 'Amma.. Amma'.
Do you do homework before going to the sets?
In Telugu cinema, doing homework or method acting doesn't work. We are finished if we do that. An actor has to be a white paper here. It's because the director has a certain imagination in mind and he has fixed views about how a scene has to be enacted. They don't make movies for an actor's sake. Every minute is so valuable while making a film. So, one can't afford to take chances.
When I mug up lines, I tend to become dramatic. Dramatization will result in over-confidence, and once there is over-confidence, one is out of the industry. Srikanth Addala doesn't even give me the lines until I stand in front of the camera. Certain directors know how to extract the actor in you. While shooting the last scene in 'A Aa', Trivikram told me that the 'pisukkovademe' dialogue will become iconic.
What are the exciting roles you are doing?
The kind of kick I have received while shooting for 'Katamarayudu' is great. I hardly have six scenes in the movie, but the impact will be huge. I am speaking in the Seema dialect in this movie. Even in 'DJ-Duvvada Jagannadham', I have got a very interesting role. I am going to be seen in the Trivikram-Pawan Kalyan movie, but let me not talk about it at this point of time. I am doing an interesting role in 'Adallu Meeku Joharlu'.
What do you think makes you a unique villain?
My villainy is take-home villainy. That's why my dialogues are often quoted by audience on social media. If a line is pleasant to the ears and a face is impressive to the eyes, that actor will enter into the veins of the audience. I am not a cruel villain. I am seen as a 'sontha manishi' by the audience.
Like your father. Isn't it?
The audience couldn't see him getting beaten up by the hero. He brought a certain dignity to villainy.
Why are you not doing other languages?
There was a time when I wanted to act in other languages. I did get two offers, but I couldn't do. Except for the likes of Kota garu, not many of our actors have succeeded in other languages. I know Tamil, but the thing is, in Kollywood, they are very particular about the nativity of their actors. When a film is set in Dindigal, they choose faces who authentically look like localites of that area. Thus, they don't go for other language actors.
When you are doing a Kollywood movie, you have to take the questioning looks. They behave as if someone is taking away all their profits. Telugu 'talli' is the only one in India who welcomes the artistes of other States.