For most youngsters wanting to enter the Telugu film industry, it’s no cakewalk. Whether you are from a big film family or a rank newcomer, ultimately it seems to be a combination of talent and luck that will take you far. Like Nagarjuna said, “Stars ke dikkuledu, inka star sons gurunchi emi matladatharu (There is no guarantee for us stars and you are talking about star kids)”, when asked if star sons have an advantage over newcommers in the film industry.
Akhil, the Manchu brothers, Niharika Konidela, Sai Dharam Tej and many others, are struggling to get a foothold in the film industry. They have everything rich, well- established fathers, good fortune to inherit but not “success”.
The industry is replete with cases of actors from big film families who have failed at the box office despite some heavy backing. Take the example of Kalyan Dhev, the son-in-law of Chiranjeevi, who made his debut with Vijetha. The title of one of Chiranjeevi’s old films, the Megastar attended as chief guest and promoted the film heavily; while brother-in-law Ram Charan also supported him and roped in big producer Sai Korrapati and top cinematographer K.K. Senthil Kumar. However, the film flopped.
Akhil Akkineni, Nagarjuna’s son made his debut with a flop Akhil while his next film Hello was also a commercial failure. When someone pointed out to Nagarjuna that Akhil danced very well in the film, he retorted, “Only dances can’t make the film a success.” He then personally looked into his son’s second film and even invited Chiranjeevi for the pre-release event and special screening. But the film ended up a failure, leaving Akhil and Nagarjuna a worried duo. Chiranjeevi says that though they extend support to actors from his family, it all finally depends on their individual performance. “You have to enthral the audience with your own talent. We can push them to a certain point, but success depends on their own hard work and talent,” says the Megastar. Brothers Manchu Vishnu and Manoj are still struggling, although their father Mohan Babu, a versatile actor and the dialogue king acted in more than 560 films, many of which were successful.
Even the Dutt sisters, Swapna and Priyanka initially struggled a lot as producers, but finally got their break with Mahanati. “Success is all about hard work and a little bit of luck. Not only in cinema, but in every field, success is important to keep the faith in yourself,” says Swapna Dutt.
The producer of Mahanati says that they are under a lot of pressure. “Coming from a film family helps to ease things a bit compared to the newcomers, but we have to work on our own.
Expectations are high and there are some who are waiting for our failure too! It’s not that easy but if you focus on your work, give it your best, then success will be yours,” says Swapna.
Jeevitha Rajasekhar’s daughter Sivani is all set to make her debut soon. “We have fully prepared our daughter and counselled her. We went through hardships before tasting success. But the present generation sees only the highs without knowing much about the problems. Cinema gives a lot of exposure and the entire world comes to know of your success or failure.”
She further adds, “If she is talented, no one can stop her. We’ve told her to remain grounded and give her best. My daughter is strong and ready to face even failure.”
There are also a few actors who tasted success initially, only to find themselves at sea now. Like Gopichand, son of popular director T. Krishna, who is a promising actor. Although his debut was a failure, he took to doing negative roles before changing to lead roles. But now, he is struggling. Similarly, actor Sumanth Ashwin, son of popular producer M.S. Raju, is looking for a break from the last few years. Sushanth, who hails from the Akkineni family, is also looking for that elusive break.
Many people are appreciative of the way in which producer Bellamkonda Suresh supports his son Sai Srinivas, which includes backing him up with a lot of money. The actor had a dream debut with Alludugaru directed by top director Vinayak, and top actress Samantha as the female lead. Tamannah was roped in for an item song. The film got great openings and the actor presently has three films in hand.
Defending his son, Bellamkonda says, “It’s my son’s passion towards cinema and his hard work that makes him a better actor and gives success. He is learning on his own from every film that he does, I only gave the initial support.”
He adds that one good break can give confidence to any actor....