We shot four years for my film ‘Ugramm’

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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