I want to be an all-rounder actor: Actor Naresh VK

Naresh VK, actor and president of Movie Artists Association (MAA), talks about recent controversies, his films and career

Published: 27th November 2019 10:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th November 2019 10:03 AM   |  A+A-

Actor Naresh VK

Actor Naresh VK

Express News Service

Actor Naresh VK grew up with all things filmi around him and his mother, Vijaya Nirmala, one of the most prolific personalities of Telugu cinema, who entered Guinness Book of Records in 2002 as the female director of the most films. He is always passionate about films and yearns for the roles that prove his mettle rightfully as an actor. Up next, he will be seen reprising Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu, the father of Telugu cinema in the eponymous biopic directed by Babji.

The 59-year-old-actor calls it his past life good deed to play the legend. “Over the years, Telugu cinema has evolved in many exciting ways and our filmmakers are making films that cut across regional lines and appeal to audiences across the country. But it was Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu and his unparalleled love for cinema that has popularised the medium across the region. He laid the foundation stone for the industry in the South by setting up a studio, building a theatre in Chennai and producing silent films in the 1920s. I take immense pride to play this iconic character, which I admire a lot in my life,” begins Naresh. 

Excerpts from a conversation:

What was the most exciting thing about Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu?

My mother (Late Vijaya Nirmala) received the Raghupathi Venkaiah award for her lifetime contribution to Telugu cinema. It was then I saw the statue of this towering personality and found inspiration in his achievements. His passion for cinema and the years of struggle that he had to go through before recognition was exceptional. His story has life, drama and emotions. Understanding my inclination to work in Raghupathi Venkaiah’s biopic, our director Babji and producer Mandava Satish came forward to support my zeal.

How did you prepare for this character?

We did not have any videos for our reference. We just had some pictures and through those, we tried to visualise how he would stand, walk and behave. My contribution is to understand what his objectives were and to explore how a common man became the father of Telugu cinema. Being an actor, I have internalised the character and have shed a few kilos to look true to the part. Like how Alluri Seetharama Raju, Mahanayakudu and Syeraa Narasimha Reddy have become milestone films in the careers of Krishna, Balakrishna and Chiranjeevi, I hope this biopic will be the best film in my career.

Will you be more choosy in your roles?

The last two years have been memorable for me. The ongoing year is equally good. Trivikram, Sukumar and Maruthi offered me good roles in their films. I always look up to SV Ranga Rao garu and  I want to portray roles that showcase me as an all-rounder actor like him. I am glad to have played every imaginable character on-screen and I want to continue my successful run as a good ‘character’ actor.

Rajasekhar and Jeevitha’s panel accused you of splitting the Movie Artists Association (MAA)...

It’s been 26 years since MAA was formed. All these years, I have been contributing my services to the association in various capacities. I have already declared that I will contest in the elections only for this term. Likewise, I fought in the election and was sworn in as the president. MAA is not a political outfit and Chiranjeevi garu founded it with an objective to bring all the artists of Telugu cinema under one roof. The association, which was formed to protect the self-esteem of the artistes, has been providing financial, medical and other relief to poor artistes and persons belonging to weaker sections.

There is no denying that some inconsistencies among the members opened a Pandora’s box and some events have caused an atmosphere of misunderstanding and bitterness. Such conflicts arise when we have two panels in the association and these things are common across industries. I promise that I will not bow down to such pressures and will do my best to carry forward the legacy of this association. The support of Chiranjeevi, Krishnam Raju, Mohan Babu and Murali Mohan has been the strength of the association. I am still coping up with the demise of my mother and I am not letting my personal loss affect my work. Above all, I want to serve and protect our mother (MAA).


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