Sai Dharam Tej, who made a smashing debut with Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham in 2014, has been able to create a niche for himself among the audience. The actor believes nothing is important than the hard work you put into your work. He is also thankful to directors who believe in him and has been giving him great scripts to work on.
At present, the actor is prepping up for the release of his next, Jawaan. In the film, Sai plays the character of a patriot who is in the dilemma to choose between his duties for the family and the country.
In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, when asked if this film was a choice to get away from his lover boy image that has been made due to the roles he chose in the last three years, the actor said, “Not really, I was very impressed with the script. The writing is exceptional. So, that made me sign the script. I’ve never thought about changing the image. I have always concentrated on doing good films and entertaining the audience. The only thing I was taught about this field was to experiment and give people fun worth their money.”
There were reports that Jawaan was being reshot. When asked about it, Sai had a clarification to make, “Nothing of that sorts. It’s just that we had issues with artists, some had prior commitments which needed to be fulfilled. So, we were waiting for them, and also, the release date we planned already had a lot of films scheduled for the same date. So, we thought it would be practical to shift the date. We are waiting for the best date.”
The actor, who is the cousin of Telugu stars Ram Charan Tej, Allu Arjun and is the nephew of superstars like Pawan Kalyan and Chiranjeevi, does not believe that he is falling into the trend of films that has a patriotic character as the lead. “I don’t know about them (Allu Arjun, Ram and Varun Tej). I’ve not signed the film to be in the trend. I’m very simple in terms of the films I sign and my thought about them. I do what I feel right.”
But Sai Dharam Tej’s stardom hasn’t been shining bright since last two-three films. However, that hasn’t affected the director’s belief in the actor or the actor’s hard work to better himself. “I think whatever I’ve done so far, I feel blessed that I have been offered such roles. Yes, my last a few films did not work well at the box office but even that phase wasn’t difficult for me because I was thought in the beginning of this career that no matter what, success or failure, I have to keep working hard to make sure whosoever is involved in the film should be happy. My focus is only in that.”
Sai comes from a family where everyone is a born actor or a filmmaker. So, chances are competition within the four walls might exist but the actor clears that in his family, while every kid has grown up taking Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan as the inspiration in terms of the career they have chosen, there is no competition or discussion of films within the four walls.
“There’s no competition at all. Many flowers blossom on a tree but they are not in competition with each other. So, I don’t feel there’s a competition with them. We never discuss films at home. In fact, we discuss about holidays, what did I do last night, and stuff,” said the 30-year-old actor.
He further spoke about how his uncles Pawan Kalyan, Nagu Babu and Chiranjeevi have been a role model for every child in the house. “All my uncles have played an important role in my life. They are the reason why I am here. I ended up being an actor because this profession gives you the leisure to experience every other profession and do whatever I want to or aspire to do. Chiranjeevi garu has been a very big influence personally and professionally. I can’t think of my life without him. He has been an inspiration to be a successful and hardworking person,” said the actor.
Apart from Jawaan, Sai will also be seen in VV Vinayak’s next. He has already started shooting for the film. Some websites reported that the actor would be playing a double role, however, Sai cleared the air and said, “I am not doing a double role, that’s false.” He also cleared the rumours that he will be recreating Pawan Kalyan’s superhit film, Tholi Prema. Sai said, “I am working with Tholi Prema director but it’s not the remake of the Pawan Kalyan’s blockbuster.”
At the end of the conversation with us, he summed up his experience and thanked God for always blessing him with the best. He said, “Every day is a new day. I’ve learned from directors. They have given me good films and producers have believed in me. The kind of experience I had I think no one would have. My debut film got delayed and then the second film’s villain Hari Garu passed away so we had to reshoot the entire thing. So, it’s been a ride. Over the years, I’ve learned to be patient, deal with things better, and learning hasn’t stopped ever.”
Sai further shared details about becoming a goodwill ambassador for an NGO named ‘Think Peace’. This NGO supports programs in the areas of tribal and rural development. Talking about his association, Sai said, “I couldn’t be happier to announce this recent association with Think Peace. I’m glad I got the opportunity to do something for the under privileged kids, especially those who belong to tribal areas. The NGO is doing a fantastic job with their initiatives and I feel lucky to be able to contribute to the cause. I would also like to give a special heartfelt thank you to all my fans and well-wishers for their constant love and support.”