After winning acclaim with films like Choosi Choodangaane and Gamanam, Shiva Kandukuri has been choosing roles with care. He says he needs to be different to draw audience attention, and his upcoming films Manu Charitra and Meet Cute are a step in that direction.
"Manu Charitra is a character-driven story and director Bharath Pedagani shot it realistically. It’s an intense love story about a guy named Manu (played by me) and his journey - how a good boy turns bad," explains Shiva, who is confident that the audience will fall in love with his character.
The fictional story with a goondaism backdrop is set in Warangal. "My character spans eight years, and to show the aging from an 18-year-old to a 25-year-old, I needed to transform physically and gain weight," he explains. "And last year’s lockdown helped me do that," he quips.
The actor has also begun shooting for an untitled film directed by Purushottam Raj. "It’s a thriller set at Chincholi, near the Karnataka border. I play a youngster with a ‘don’t care’ attitude," he reveals.
While Shiva is glad that he had an advantage because of his National Award-winning filmmaker father Raj Kandukuri, he says, "ultimately, it’s the talent that drives you."
"My belief in doing innovative scripts strengthened after I received brownie points for Gamanam. I felt it helped me grow as an actor," he adds.
"Constantly reinventing is always a challenge for actors who love the craft. But it’s the passion that’ll get us through," Shiva says, signing off.