For ‘ Pushpakavimanam’ Anand Deverakonda plays the role of a married man, a young teacher who falls into strange situation
Cinema has been a passion that he shares with his brother since childhood, and together they would watch a whole lot of films. He nurtured his love for films as he grew up. It wasn’t the plan, but elder brother Vijay Devarakonda became an actor and a huge hit in Telugu films, and he was going to be the actor in the family. like many of his ilk completed Engineering, and Masters in Business and Administration in the US, and worked for a couple of years. It was when he once enrolled in an acting workshop that he realised how much he enjoys being on stage, and it was decided that he is going to be an actor.
From the film ‘Dorasani’ that received critical acclaim but moderate success to the hugely successful ‘Middle Class Melodies’ Anand saw criticism and praise, and everything in between. In his latest film ‘Pushpaka Vimanam’ he plays the role of a government school teacher, He is also acting in a hard hitting love story – both are made by debut directors. The movies are grounded in reality, will have honest characters and you will feel like you are watching your neighbour’s story, he says.
How do you choose your films?
There are many stories that come my way. However, there is this bunch of young directors I am in touch with. They are ready to work on different ideas and are creating a space for themselves. I either choose a film because I like it or if the bond with the director. For ‘Pushpaka Vimanam’ we met this director, for whom we were planning to produce irrespective of whether I will act or not. When he said he want me for the role, I was not sure because it is the role of a married man, a young teacher who falls into strange situation. I really like his ways of working and the fact that he prepared; even the song tracks were ready, and he has a sense of humour; and I agreed.
Pushpaka Vimanam is creating quite a buzz. What is it about acting that you enjoy and what do you attribute your success to?
I love being on stage and presenting a character in front of huge set of audience. Even today more than auditions or workshops I love performing for the camera when the whole set is around me and the character is with me. I am lucky that my parents have always been supportive of whatever we did despite limited means. That helped my brother make it big, and it is their support that gives me the strength to pursue my love for acting.
Does it help to have the successful star Vijay at home?
It does help me. It gives me a view into the industry, how it functions, how to handle producers, how to be on sets, politics of space. I look at him and learn. I have a living example to watch and learn. He wants me to have my own journey. The only advice in words that he has given me is – ‘Go have fun, don’t look at it as a job. Have a ball of time.’
How was it handling criticism during the initial days?
There has been criticism, of nepotism and being privileged. I give them a benefit of doubt as they didn’t have a full view of what I went through to reach here. I had to go through my own journey of struggles. I learnt that there are always some people will work against you trying to stop you, but I prefer to have tried and given it a chance than have regrets in life. I am just two-years-old in the industry there is so much to do. And audience will see me for who I am with my forthcoming films.
Pushpaka Vimanam named after a great hit film with Kamal Hassan in the lead is directed by Damodara and along with Anand Deverakonda, has Saanve Meghna, Sunil and Naresh as lead characters. Kireeti Damaraju is also acting in the film.