Passion for excellence

Passion for excellence

Actor, dancer and performer all rolled in one, he is certainly an epitome of perfection in all he does. For someone who believes that he can give his best only when he delves deep into understanding the concept, actor Sridhar is quite unlike anyone I have met.

Deeply humble and extremely warm, he essays the lead role in ETV’s hugely popular serial Sri Raghavendra Mahime.

Having started acting at the age of five, he has never differentiated between acting and dancing. “I believe that a good actor must also be a good dancer and dancing is an added qualification.” Egged on by his mother who nurtured his talent, and supported by his father, he started acting in plays with a band of young boys. After completing his schooling in Vishakapatnam, he moved to Bangalore. This was a time when amateur theatre was in its prime period in Kannada. “I had the urge to study at NSD, but my father explained that I must first complete my basic graduation, so I completed my civil engineering at BMS.

It was here that I had to make a choice between acting and dance and I chose the latter as I felt that I could contribute to passing on a legacy to the next generation.” In the ensuing period, he trained under Bharatanatyam danseuse Radha Sridhar and Kuchipudi maestro C Ramacharyulu, spending hours practicing and studying dance. Being attracted to the Kalakshethra style of dancing, he found his true calling and incidentally also met his future wife Anuradha. It was during his final year of engineering that he got a call from the legendary Puttanna Kanagal, who offered him the lead role in Amruthagalige. He accepted after his father explained that it was a golden opportunity.

“On the sets, no one felt as if I was acting in my first film and my director taught me some fine nuances of acting. In fact, I still vividly remember an intense scene we shot that went on from 2 pm in the afternoon to 1 am early next morning, where I did not move out from the small room and completed the scene. My director in fact had tears in his eyes when he complimented me on my concentration,” he recalls.

His first movie was a resounding hit and he followed it up with several more and has worked in over 50 films to date, with some of the finest filmmakers including the likes of Gita Priya, K Balachandar, Dorai Bhagwan and Nagabharna. “I believe that I must be true to, and react like the character I portray. This is why I research and read up on the role in advance to ensure I am able to do full justice to my part,” he says. Little wonder then that his roles in Santa Shishunala Sharifa and Bannada Vesha won him critical acclaim.
“My role in Bombat Hendthi, a remake of a Telugu hit, came at a time when people considered me as a serious hero and I was glad I could pull it off without being over the top,” says the artiste whose favourite actor is Naseeruddin Shah. He has acted in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam cinema as well and played the only anti-hero character of his career in the Hindi movie Bhairav.

“Initially I was never keen on doing television. I was part of some mythological serials in Telugu, where I played parts of Shiva and Arjuna. I have been very clear that I will do a role only if it is special and challenging. Which is why when K Raghavendra Rao approached me for Sri Raghavendra Mahime, I took it up since this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I wanted to bring out the emotional bond between the devotees and the saint,” he says, having read the book Kaliyugada Kalpataru to prepare for the role. Currently pursuing his doctorate in Literature from Hampi University, this passionate actor is also looking forward to his next release — Nagabharana’s Kamsale Kaisale. He certainly has his plate full and knows well how to balance it all.

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