Friend endhi raa…BEST FRIEND!! This one line from Yevade Subramanyam? will tell you what a flamboyant character Rishi was.
Vijay Deverkonda, the off-screen Rishi made many people pop their heads out and take a notice of him. He has proudly chosen himself to be an actor and very well knows the path he has to travel through. Calling himself a confused middle class guy end of day, he spoke his heart out saying that you’ve got to prove yourself when you have the right opportunity. After having a year of high, Vijay considers the up-hill task has just begun for him. He only looks hungry for more work and wants to challenge himself. Come along, let’s chat up for a while with him.
So, Hi Vijay..Been close to a year you gave the industry a character called Rishi. How have you been? How different has this first year of fame and fandom been?
I have been elated, I have been dejected, I have been overwhelmed and underwhelmed, I have been excited and annoyed, I have been happy and I have been stressed- but through all this I know what I am here for, so I have been focussed on it.
The first year of fame and fandom has been extremely fun, but you can get used to it too very quickly and are in search for the next high.
Awesome!! You look very positive and confident. So, what was Vijay prior to Rishi and why Rishi?
In my 10th grade my lecturer asked each of us to describe how we will remember each student of our class. About 8-10 people wrote Bindass against my name.
That was me, the happiest go lucky kid that nothing could worry, I’d see my way through every trouble, mischief and hurdle with a big grin. But then somewhere I changed massively and got obsessed with creating a name for myself in an industry that’s almost impossible to break into. I became a very serious boring boy with a one track mind. But playing Rishi brought back some of that spark for life into me.
The factor to go for the character was purely my desire to work with Nag Ashwin, the director. I knew his genius far before the world saw it I guess, and it was backed by Vyjayanthi films, who I now consider my mentors and family. And basically it’s not like I had any options, I needed that one good chance to give myself to. Rishi was it!
That was an honest one. And I must say you were spot on!
Rishi was an all exploring character discovering himself. A famous question every actor questions himself – ‘Who are you?’ How far have you discovered yourself?
Ah… That is a mystery. I am absolutely clueless in this regard. I am not even sure if there is a myself or a me. Am I just an outcome of my decisions and circumstances, a product of my environment, a life brought in here for a purpose or is just living to the fullest the purpose? I absolutely have no clue. Hopefully I’ll figure it out in my course.
You said a lot there. I am interested to know if your story had any moment where you said to yourself ‘Acting is what I want to do?’
It was never one moment. It started off as a story – I used to show off for the sake of it. At one point, I would tell my friends that I’ll be an actor just to make them jealous that I don’t need to study. The next time it would be with women. Somewhere I was like – ‘Shit, I’ve told too many people, I better start doing something about it’. Then I dropped weight and for the first time I saw that I could look like an actor. After that I started exploring the mental and physical dimensions. I’ve gotten somewhere but it’s still far from where I want to be as a performer. I hope to keep progressing each day.
That must have been a ride. Well, the industry has been a tough ground for any new comer. And you struck Gold. How much weightage you give hardwork vs luck/fate?
I was the brand ambassador for anti-hardwork. I always supported smart work! But I realised that you have to give in your everything because hard work is the only thing in our hands. We need to work so hard that even luck and fate shouldn’t matter.
True! That is an inspiring statement!! You have seen Industry from outside. Now you are inside it. How different is it?
I am inside – in the sense that I am doing back to back films. But in every other sense, I am still an outsider. I don’t have industry friends nor a manager. I work very independently. All I have is my mentors who launched me and I live like a nomad moving from one character to another, from one production family to another. End of the day, I am still the confused middle class boy.
Wandering sorts! 😀 So, your characters would also be travelling with you. How you choose them in first case? Any homework?
I look at characters like a real person. So, I need to see some truth and reality in him. Only then will I know how he would behave a certain way or react a particular way. I would like to do way more homework and preparations for a character than I currently do. As a performer Inka bacha gadine anuko. Got lots to explore!
Tell me what drives you?
Creative restlessness, a thirst for doing something that everyone will talk about. A stimulating life! I’ve this one life I want to go all in and see how the cards play out and maybe find some purpose on the way. 😛
Amazing! So, now coming to your future endeavours, you are soon coming as the lead in Tharun Bhascker’s debut, #Pellichoopulu with Ritu Verma. Give a sneak peek into how we are going to see you?
Have you ever yawned and laughed simultaneously? This will be the most hilarious yaaaawn of a film you’ll see. After Rishi I was getting all these offers for high energy roles, who wanted me to be like Rishi. I decided to go exactly opposite into the other extreme. This film is for everyone one of us who have been insulted at sometime in our life either by our parents, relatives, bosses, ex-girlfriends, colleagues, your watchman or even your maid for that matter for being good-for-nothing.
Sounds interesting and we are equally excited to see the output. This brings me to my next question – Telugu cinema has started to evolve better in terms of every field than what it was a few years back. Your comments?
It can only keep going upwards from here. Happy to be a part of it! Hope to continue being a part of it.
We wish the same! Will we also get to see you in full time commercial/action roles or will you be restricting yourself to some particular genres?
No restrictions – I am already doing my first commercial film titled Dwaraka which is being produced by Super Good Films and Legend Cinemas. MSR is the director with good technical support from Shyam K Naidu and Sai Kartheek. But, I am trying to keep it as real as possible.
Good luck on that! Since you did theatre in Hyderabad, let me ask you this – Vijay as a theatre actor or Vijay as a film actor, who is dearer to you?
While doing theatre I wouldn’t like to perform in small auditoriums. I love big stages. So it’s film for me because of its reach and for the greater scope for telling a story.
And how often will we get to see you on screen?
I’d say you’ll be seeing a lot of me here on. I have three lined up this year. Immediate project being #pellichoopulu by BigBen Cinemas and Raj Kandukuri. The next one is Dwaraka with Super Good Films & Legend Cinema. After this there is a super crazy cult film I am really looking forward to. It is Arjun Reddy by Bhadrakali Productions under Sandeep Vanga’s direction.
Woahh! That’s a packed schedule. We’ll have to look forward for these movies. Good luck! Just to get a bit lighter, apart from being an actor, what you enjoy the most?
Thank you! I love sports. I could play and play all day all night. Volleyball, cricket, football, badminton, I love the outdoors.
Your fitness shows that! Any words from you side.
Let’s not litter our streets. We wouldn’t throw stuff in our house. And we call India our motherland. I hate litter and bloody high beam drivers, they drive my BP through the roof. So low beams please. 😉
Hey you guys out there – keep a check on that! Vijay, before we wrap up, I would like to take you through our ‘Quick Bites’.
Here we go:
On a holiday, a good time with couple of friends or reading a book you love?
Good time with LOTS of friends.
Do you cry while watching movies?
Yes!!! I cry most when I see these reality singing/dancing shows where people audition and get selected.
Awww.. Let me help the girls out there with this set.
On a scale of 10, rate yourself on the following. (10 being highest)
As a romantic person – 1
As a socialite – 0
As a friend – 8
As an action hero – koooodthe 100 eh!
What is the best compliment you received so far?
Tears when I would bump into people after Yevade Subramanyam.
Describe Vijay Deverkonda in 6 or lesser words.
Vijay Deverkonda lives in the moment!
A Wirally Exclusive!!