Oct 29, 2007

HAPPY DAYS Raahul Interview

Those who have seen and enjoyed Sekhar Kammula's Happy Days would certainly notice and like one character very much - Tyson. Raahul who played the role, like the rest of the cast of the film, won praises from all quarters. But this young student turned actor doesn't want to stick to just 'underdog' kind of roles. Raahul has bigger plans. Know him and his future plans in this chitchat..

Tell us about your background?

I come from a middle class family. Born in Nizamabad, I was brought up in Hyderabad and all my education was done here. I finished BBA from ICFAI. Films have always been my passion and I wanted to be an actor since my childhood. I took acting class from Ramana Murthy (assistant of Satyanand) and then applied for auditions of Sekhar Kammula's Happy Days.

How has been the response for your character and what was the best compliment you have received?

First and foremost, I am glad that Happy Days has become a phenomenon. All of us in the film got recognition and youth in Andhra Pradesh have simply fallen in love over our characters. These are happiest moments in my life and I would cherish it for life.

More than its success and adulation, it is Shekar sir's (Sekhar Kammula) compliment put me on cloud nine. I am proud to say that he complimented that my acting in the film was like a seasoned actor.

Heard that you were first not offered this Tyson's character!

Yes, I was supposed to choose either Chandu or Rajesh's roles. For Tyson role, they were looking for a taller person but ultimately it was fallen on me. I was apprehensive of doing this role as it is a deglamorised one. During the shooting, I sensed that Tyson's character will get more brownie points and I did it confidently.

Your acting style and diction was similar to that of Hrithik's Koi Mil Gaya. Was it done intentionally?

There were many inspirations for this character but I did whatever Sekhar sir asked me to do. Sekhar sir has clear cut opinion on every aspect of each character - right from the diction, gait, and dresses to language. He wanted Tyson to be softer and speak in that way.

Sekhar gaaru asked us to live like the character we are playing. He was always with us - discussing, training, and inspiring us to better ourselves. He was more like a friend. Whatever that we did was completely his brain child.

What are your plans as an actor?

I don't want to limit to just playing one of the characters in the films. Lead actor is what I desire. Today audiences have matured and I am sure that they would accept me as hero. I am practicing dance and fights to better myself as an actor to do lead roles. My parents are helping me in this and supporting me.

Would you fall in love with your senior in your real life?

(laughs) Unlikely. I am very shy guy. I don't interact with girls nor do have interest in romance and love at this juncture. Career is utmost important to me now.

Do you still in touch with your co-actors in Happy Days?

Yes, we became good friends after closely working for four months. We bonded well during the rehearsals and started sharing the same room during the shooting. All of are still talking to each other over the phone. Chandu is now in US. The guy who played Ranadheer (Senior) and I meet every day and we became thick friends. Nikhil (who did Rajesh character) talks to me daily over the phone. Happy Days not only brought me recognition and it also gave me good friends.

How did you find Sekhar Kammula?

Sekhar sir is genius. He is also very down to earth man despite being such a big film maker. He treated me like his friend and is fond of me. He gave us freedom during the shooting. Sekhar sir is an inspiration for any youngster and role model to emulate.

What's next?

I am getting some offers but nothing has been finalized yet. I want to for complete makeover and start taking up then. I can do any kind of roles.