It’s been nearly five years since Sai Dharam Tej made his debut with Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham. And although it seemed that his fourth film Supreme would establish him as a star, the actor has had to contend with six continuous flops at the box-office.
Taking a break
Sai Tej admits that he took some time off in the US to reflect and recover from his injuries. “I took a break to revive myself physically and also think about my career. After sustaining injuries while filming Winner and Jawan in 2017, I needed physiotherapy too,” says Tej, as he adds, “In these five years, I have had to take breaks in between, but it’s all part of the process.”
Sharing that his mother, brother and a few college friends are his biggest sources of support, the actor says, “They always encouraged me even when my films failed. That apart, I am a self-motivated person who knows how to handle failure. But I have to be more careful in the future.”
Learning from mistakes
Tej agrees that he has committed a few mistakes. “I did a few films because I had given them my word, but I don’t want to blame anyone. I knew the story and signed those films, so I have to take the blame myself. But mistakes are the best teacher and one can learn a lot from them,” he says, even as he admits that his immaturity was also to blame.
“Sometimes, the story is good on paper, but it doesn’t translate well on screen,” explains the actor, adding, “Some things are not in our hands and once you commit to a film, you have to complete it regardless.”
No plan B
Sai Tej admits that he has no backup plans. “I only know acting and will continue in it. There are frustrations, but I need to move forward. I don’t have any Plan B or Plan C if my films fail,” says the actor, as he confidently adds, “One Friday can change everything.”
I compete with myself
Acknowledging that every actor feels pressure before their film releases, Tej says, “Pressure is always there, but I compete only with myself. I watch all the films and feel happy when new talent comes in to the industry. But I only want to better myself from one film to the next.”
He adds that the Mega Star’s name helps for only one film. “For any actor in our family, Chiranjeevi garu’s image helps for the debut film and the openings. After that, it’s each to his own,”says the Tej I Love You actor.
Enjoying single status
After parting ways with his college sweetheart four years ago, the actor reveals, “Now I am single and very happy with my single status.” As for rumours of him dating Regina Cassandra, Sai Dharam Tej simply says, “Saiyami Kher and Regina will always be special to me as both of them acted in my first two films.”
Passionate about bikes!
The actor admits that he prefers to ride a bike whenever he goes out in the city. “Yes, I have a passion for bikes and already own a Royal Enfield and an RX100. In fact, I want to collect vintage bikes,”says Tej, who is currently shooting for Chitralahari directed by Kishore Tirumala.
Describing Chitralahari as an emotional entertainer, the actor says, “The story revolves around a father and son. Many of the unemployed youth will definitely connect to this film, which is sure to answer all my critics.” Interestingly, he will be seen with a beard for the first time.
Tej’s best friend is Naveen, senior actor Naresh's son. “We are both childhood friends from Chennai and even today, we meet regularly to share so many things. Naveen is not just my best friend, he is like family,” says the actor as he signs off.