Vaishnav Tej is the flavour of the season. His Uppena became one of the biggest hits of a debutant. And what is more, its resounding success gave the film industry a much-needed impetus after the drubbing it took because of the pandemic.
But surprisingly, the rising star says acting was his last career option! Vaishnav Tej may be megastar Chiranjeevi’s nephew, but it was his own handsome demeanour that got him a picture-perfect launch.
We ask the young actor, who has been going on tours to thank audiences for giving him such a wonderful launch, what the success meant to him. “I can’t describe my feelings. The love that has been pouring in is truly overwhelming,” Vaishnav says, adding, “I have learnt that success comes with great responsibility.”
But he goes on to say, “I never wanted to be an actor, it just happened.” He reveals that he actually wanted to become a filmmaker. “But then I realised it was not an easy task, so I dropped the plan. Later I thought of making a career in animation, but I gave up that idea too. At one point, I wanted to become a scientist and also serve in the Army,” he tells us.
Vaishnavj’s close friends were surprised when he started acting. “That’s because I always denied that I would get into acting,” he says. So how did he finally settle on being an actor? Apparently, it revolved around a few photos that he uploaded on his Insta account.
“People started approaching me for film offers after seeing my photos. It was surreal because I never expected it,” he tells us, adding that since his family is into cinema, he decided to give it a shot. He did get a few offers before Uppena, but he didn’t take those up.
“Then my family told me to respect the offers that were being made,” he shares. He gave his nod to the Butchi Babu directorial…and the rest, as they say, is history.
“My family wasn’t surprised at my decision because they know that whatever I take up, I do with a sense of commitment. My mother and brother have been my biggest points of strength,” explains Vaishnav.
In fact, when his brother Sai Dharam Tej saw the film, he hugged him with moist eyes, says the young actor. Sai Tej is also an actor, so naturally the conversations in the house are cantered on films.
Vaishnav comes from a family that has around ten actors, including superstars. So how does he want to position himself in the industry, we ask.
“Honestly, I have not thought about all that. Everyone in the family supported me and I gave my best. Hopefully I have a long stint,” he says.
Despite his background, Vaishnav didn’t believe in taking shortcuts to showbiz. He went through a proper acting course and followed his uncle Chiranjeevi’s dictum — work hard.
“Thanking the director for the way he handled things, Vaishnav revealed that Butchi Babu initially shot montage scenes to help him get rid of any jitters. “I learnt a lot while shooting. I am fortunate to have got a great team that taught me a lot on the sets,” said the actor, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication.
But the best advice he got was from his cousin, Ram Charan. “Before the film, Charan anna told me to use my eyebrows a lot and it helped me to be more expressive,” he says....