We shot four years for my film ‘Ugramm’

Sandalwood actor Sriimurali says the hit made him more confident and taught him many things

SriiMurali

I entered the film industry as I wanted to impress the love of my life back then, who is my wife now. I wanted to show her that I was capable of things. I studied B Com and was not that good in studies. I knew I wouldn’t explore studies more. 

I was offered quite a few roles when I was in college and I used to act scenes in front of the mirror. I felt that I had to prepare myself before I entered the industry. Right after college, I attended an acting course in Mumbai. 

I was an amateur when my first film happened. I didn’t know how to fight or act during ‘Chandra Chakori’. I would get hit, and hit people in real during fight sequences, my timing was off and the director, S Narayan, used to guide me for every scene. I didn’t know anything. But the family entertainer-romance film clicked well with the audience and stayed in the theatres for almost two years.   

I acted in ‘Kanti’ after this. I got the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor for the film. While ‘Chandra Chakori’ was set in a village backdrop, ‘Kanti’ was set in the city. I did varied roles in the beginning itself which helped. Though audiences do not accept actors with such sudden changeovers, it worked for me. 

I was quite sure that I wanted to be in the movie industry and tried my best to not have negative thoughts. After my first two movies worked well, some didn’t in a series. I felt the pinch. I was afraid about where my life was taking me. From 2007 to 2013, most of the films I was a part of, didn’t work well. I feel that maybe it was also my irresponsibility which led to their failure, I believed the team entirely and thought they would take care of everything. 

In 2011 and 2012, I was completely disturbed. It was when I started working on ‘Ugramm’ that I felt a bit more confident. I was also in a dilemma and thoughts like ‘why should people lose money by making my movies?’ cropped up. There was a period when I didn’t make any movies. 

My wife kept boosting my spirit. I kept telling myself that I would fix whatever had gone wrong and pave my path in the industry. Prashanth Neel, my brother-in-law and the director of ‘Ugramm’ believed in me. I was tensed that if the film didn’t work, it would become a discussion in the family. But also if the film hadn’t worked, I would have tried once again; I do not give up easily.

We shot the film over 350 schedules, in a span of four years. Thankfully, the film was a big hit. Prashanth still says that he identified and trusted the actor in me, but I am sure he stuck with me because he was family. I was involved in the film from the beginning, our ideas synced well and he made the movie for me.

I was in a tough situation then but slowly things started clearing up. ‘Ugramm’ taught me a lot of things. I learned to be humble and that I can get better by the day. A film works well when the actor, director and all of the team come together to make it work. No one should slack off, I don’t even now, despite having had some good hits after ‘Ugramm’. I always look at every film as my first film and immerse myself entirely into a project now. 

Everything starts with one’s household. Every actor should have their family’s support to go a long way. They should be humble, be honest, persistent and confident about what they are working on. Patience is a big virtue and is vital for the industry too.”    

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We shot four years for my film ‘Ugramm’

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