When news of Amitabh Bachchan giving the thumbs-up to star in his make-up man, Deepak Sawant’s debut Bollywood production came to the fore recently, it only reflected what the latter meant to Big B. Deepak has been working with Amitabh since 1972 — 45 years now — starting with the film Raaste Kaa Patthar.
And when we talk about loyalty, closer home too, stars like Chiranjeevi, Mahesh Babu, Ravi Teja, Nagarjuna, etc., have been associated with the same make-up artists for decades, and as a result, have formed deep bonds.
Meet Mr Dependable
Ravi Teja’s make-up man of over 20 years, Srinu, is all praises for the actor. “I’ve been working with Ravi Teja garu since 1998, but never felt like I was a make-up artist. He is like my godfather. He treats me on par with himself — I stay in the same hotel, eat the same food, etc. When we go abroad for shootings, he shops for me and my wife and also buys gifts for my kids.”
Srinu adds, “He voluntarily helped me financially to buy a house too. He generally doesn’t like to attend private functions, but he graced my house-warming function along with his family. He even takes my kids to the sets and treats them like his own.”
Interestingly, Srinu is mostly seen playing a cameo in Ravi’s films. “I first acted in Itlu Sravani Subramanyam, which went on to become a super hit. So since then, it has become a superstition. Several people who were jealous of our bond, have tried to create differences between us, but it all backfired. He believes in me and knows what I am!” he says.
Not surprisingly then, Ravi describes Srinu as ‘Mr Dependable’. “Whatever I have to say — good or bad — I share with him. He’s like my brother and is there with me at all times. He’s someone I can always trust and rely on,” reveals the 50-year-old actor.
A bond beyond words
Another name that is synonymous with loyalty, is that of Shiva. The make-up artist has been working with superstar Chiranjeevi since his debut film Pranam Khareedu, which released almost 40 years ago!
Shiva shares, “I worked as the make-up chief for Chiranjeevi garu’s first film. Since then, our bond has only grown stronger. He has also helped me financially several times, and whenever we go for outdoor shoots, he gifts me shoes, caps, watches and the list is endless. If he wants to gift anything to the production staff, he does it through me. He even attended my house-warming function and my daughter’s wedding.”
At the same time, Chiranjeevi also expresses his fondness for the make-up artist. “Shiva is like an extension of my family and our association is beyond words. He’s one of those guys who has seen me from very close quarters and knows me in and out. I always enjoy his company; he’s honest and sincere.”
A loyal lineage
Also joining the list of loyal make-up artists in Tollywood is Bommadevara Ram Chandra Rao, better known as Chandrayya. He has worked with Nagarjuna for close to 30 years, since the actor made his debut with the hit film Vikram. In fact, Nagarjuna even made him wear the producer’s hat for Panchakshari, starring Anushka Shetty.
“Initially my brother-in-law was Akkineni Nageswara Rao garu’s make-up artist for 40 years. Later, I joined him and have been working for Nagarjuna. So our association with the Akkineni family spans more than 75 years,” reveals Chandrayya, who even worked with ANR for films such as Chanakya Chandragupta, Raja Ramesh, etc.
Having worked as Nagarjuna’s make-up man until 2012, he says, “Nagarjuna garu treats me like family. He attended my marriage, and also came for my son’s panche function recently.”
Another make-up man, Pattabhi is also known to be friendly and loyal. After a long and successful stint with superstar Krishna, he currently works with Mahesh Babu.
They say loyalty is rare to find, and that if you find it, you must keep it. Our Tollywood celebs have definitely paid heed!...