It’s 2007, and critics from most media houses are profusely praising 22-year-old Ram Charan’s debut performance in Chirutha, especially commending him for his effortless dancing and stunts. Cut to 2018 — Charan is the recipient of a host of awards, one of the most successful Tollywood actors.
Reflecting on the journey, the actor says, “It’s a satisfying journey. I guess 10 years is good enough to see ups and downs. My learning curve has been about becoming better at understanding scripts and the directors’ vision. My thought process and selection of subjects have been constantly growing too.”
Charan adds that life in showbiz hasn’t changed him much as an individual. “I was born in a filmy family, albeit in a protective cocoon. I never had the freedom which my dad had during his childhood. So today I am still able to hang out with my friends, and stay connected. I ensure that my friends are people around whom I can be myself.”
The Magadheera actor also credits his personal evolution to his father, superstar Chiranjeevi, who is “extremely receptive”. Charan adds, “Initially, when my dad and I had contrasting perceptions, I used to be silent. But today, I understand that he is open-minded; if I am vocal about an issue, he understands me. So I immediately adapted this trait into my relationship with my wife Upasna.”
Talking about his upcoming film Rangasthalam, Charan commends director Sukumar for narrating a simple village story beautifully. “Instead of shooting on a set, we went to villages in the Godavari region to better understand true village life.”
Interestingly, this is the first time Charan sported lungis for a role. Adding that the transformation was challenging, he says, “I had never been to a village before this, but I didn’t want Sukumar to feel that he had given me a role I couldn’t handle. So I had to totally prepare myself for the part.”
Stating that the film has brought about a sea change in his life, he says, “The film made me experience something new. I got an insight into the pain and life of economically backward groups. I have immense respect for them.”
Blame it on his character Chittu Babu, the actor has relinquished being conscious about his looks.
“I realised that I was spending more time on my wardrobe than my work. Now you’ll find only four kurtas in my wardrobe. I have started wearing lungis at home and my wife is shocked too! (smiles).”
Perhaps Charan’s is the only filmy family that has eight heroes. Admitting that it is stressful, the Racha star explains, “If there is a clash of releases, my dad sorts it out. Because of him, we are able to just focus on work. Each of us cousins are unique in our own way and we are learning from each other. My dad and Aravind garu always keep the family together. We bond together on birthdays, festivals, etc, and when we meet, we discuss everything except cinema!”...