In an industry full of established stars it is difficult for a newcomer to make an impact. But Srikanth, the model turned actor had three releases in a span of 14 months. His films Rojakootam, April Madathil and the recent Manasellam were moderate hits. The producers could even make a small profit with his films. At a time when fathers with the right industry connections are spending crores to promote their sons, Srikanth, son of a former bank officer has proved with the decent opening of Manasellam that it is talent that matters most.
The soft spoken, tall and handsome Srikanth spoke exclusively to Sify.com after the release of Manasellam. Excerpts:
Q: Now with Manasellam having a decent initial, do you feel vindicated?
A: I hate blowing my own trumpet. All that I can say right now is that I am very grateful to everybody who helped me and I am happy that my dedication has paid off.
Q: Can we call you a hat-trick hero after Rojakootam, April Madathil and now Manasellam?
A: (smiles) Please don’t label me like that just because the three films did well at the box-office. The audience accepted me as the character in all the three films was down-to-earth and the youth could relate to them. The subjects were good in all the movies.
Q: Your climb to the top has been paved with thorns. Is it true that you were dropped from Kathal Virus, the first film that you signed?
A: I was humiliated a lot many times in the beginning. I was dumped from the first film that I signed after a week`s shooting. But later Rojakootam happened and there was no looking back.
Q: Who are your greatest supporters?
A; My parents have been my biggest source of inspiration. My mother is a telecom employee and she had so much faith in me that she spent her one-month’s salary to make a portfolio of mine. My dad was also of great help and now he has taken voluntary retirement to look after my film career.
Q: It was Rojakootam produced by Oscar films that made you a big star?
A: Director Sasi who came to know that I was dropped from my first film decided to back me and offered me the author backed role in Rojakootam. Oscar Ravichandran is my godfather as he gave me the biggest ever break a newcomer could get.
Q: But in Rojakootam and April Madathil you had roles which hardly gave you scope for heroism. Please comment.
A: You are absolutely right and I believe that is what made me click with the audience. I believe that you have to be accepted by the audience before doing heroic roles for them to believe it. You cannot force something on the audience with a single film.
Q: Your future films?
A: My next release will be Parthipan Kanavu with Sneha where I will be playing a married man for the first time. The role is a very mature one. Then I have signed for Azhagar Perumal’s next film, which is with Meera Jasmine. I am completing a Telugu film Okkariko Okkario for Gemini TV where Aarthi Chabbaria is the heroine. The film is directed by Rasool who was Ram Gopal Varma’s cameraman.
Q: Are you planning to do more Telugu films?
A: The Telugu version of Rojakootam did well at the box office and I am getting a lot of offers there. I did my schooling in Hyderabad while my father was posted there and hence I can speak Telugu well.
Q: People say that you are a lady killer. Please comment.
A: (Laughs) Me...A Lady killer! You must be joking!
Q: But your affair with Sneha...
A: Ha..Ha..Gossip is to be relished because it stimulates reading. I love to read about my so-called affairs but I take it in my stride. They are all part and parcel of this profession.
Q: But now they say you are madly in love with Trisha Krishnan?
A: Poor little girl. In fact I did my first ramp modelling with her. I have worked with Trisha and Gayathri Jayaram during my modelling days and we are all good friends.
I am 24 now and have a long way to go before settling down. Will think about it after few years.