In April, Thrigun had a theatrical release in the form of 'Katha Kanchiki Manam Intiki'. This June 24, the 'PSV Garuda Vega' actor awaits the release of Ram Gopal Varma's 'Konda', which is a biopic on Konda Murali and Konda Surekha from Warangal.
In this interview, Thrigun talks about 'Konda', his character in it, working experience with RGV, his philosophy as an actor, his future projects, and a lot more.
I am a journalism degree drop-out. At the maximum, I would have imagined myself doing a job that pays me Rs 50K per month. Whatever else has happened to me in my life is like a bonus. There was a time when I used to do odd jobs at a newspaper. Communication was my major skill. My boss asked me to push myself and realize my potential.
I completed Intermediate in Vizag and moved to Chennai to pursue Journalism studies. When I faced a negative situation while in Intermediate, I resolved that I should one day be invited as a chief guest for an event at the same college. My driver is a qualified Engineer, while I am a degree dropout! An actor who takes Rs 100 Cr might be unhappy. On the other hand, I am happy. I might not be earning greatly but I am happy. I am like a Genghis Khan who rises from the ashes no matter how many times you browbeat me.
To put it in RGV sir's lingo, doing films like 'Konda' is like sex. There is both pleasure and pressure. I had been trying to work with RGV sir since my first movie 'Katha' happened. I got in touch with him through some friends. RGV sir felt that I was looking like a romantic hero who doesn't suit his style of films. He would compliment me on my looks. In the film industry, everyone gives you routine compliments but they don't mean anything.
It was around this time last year that I got to get in touch with RGV sir once again. He asked me about my body of work. I briefed him about the kind of roles and films that I had done till then. RGV sir pitched a couple of ideas but he himself lost interest in them. He wanted to give me something better. He asked me what I would like to do. I told him 'Tungabhadra', one of my films, is quite underrated. It's my only action film to date.
A mass film is one that is watched by the maximum number of people. In that sense, films like 'Happy Days' and 'The Kashmir Files' are mass films. I have done so many movies and commercials because I have always wanted to earn money and maintain my comforts. I told RGV sir that I wanted to do a mass film. I also told him I would like to do a Telangana-based movie. He had learned about Konda Murali. After doing research, he decided to cast me for the role in the biopic.
RGV sir has made biopics before. 'Kondaveeti' and 'Raktha Charitra' were raw biopics. 'Konda' is a fictionalized biopic. The love story between Murali and Konda Surekha amid the Naxal movement is exciting. That's why fiction had to be added to the true events. How Murali overcame obstacles and became what he became is quite relatable. I was excited to play such an adventurous character.
After two to three photo shoots, I almost cracked the look of my character. I had to undergo weight losses and gains as required during the shoot. The film is set in the 1990s when there were no mobile phones. Murali and Surekha communicated with each other at bus stops, etc. I had to get into that mindset to get the character vibes right. Then there are questions about injustice and oppression that motivated the duo to raise hard questions. The context (read caste system, feudal system) of the times they rose in public life has also been touched upon.
The story in 'Konda' has been confined to the most intense episodes in the lives of Murali and Surekha. In one scene, 47 bullets pierce through Murali's body. Just doing the scene was so difficult. Imagine the mindset of the person who survived such a brutal assassination attempt. In terms of intensity, 'Konda' is my best film so far.
The reason the title of the film is 'Konda' is because it is about the Konda couple, not about one of them. Murali and Surekha live like Comrades more than a married couple. The female characters are strongly written and portrayed. Tulasi garu has played a mother. There is a dog in the film and it's a character. RGV sir doesn't like pets but he had to shoot with one (laughs).
Since Covid-19, there has been a vast change in my thinking. I am no longer a new actor. 'Cheekati Gadhilo Chittakkottudu' and '24 Kisses' were opposed by people around me. They asked me why I was doing such movies. But both films have both helped my career. Working with RGV sir is going to help me rebrand myself.
My father is an agnostic person. That's why he chose an irreligious name for me, which is Arun. But when I wanted to adopt a new screen name earlier this year, my mother asked me to choose Lord Shiva's name. That's why I am calling myself Thrigun.
When I run into movie audience at public places, they ask me why I don't do movies more often. I want to work for my audience. I have a small-scale market and I should cater to it. I may not be a big star, but I have done 16 movies in the last 3 years. All of them are scripts that I believed in and that interested me. A lot of small producers are struggling to find a suitable cast. I want to work for them.
'Prema Desam' with Megha Akash is my next release. 'Work From Home' is another of my upcoming releases. There is another promising film, which is directed by Deva Katta garu's former assistant. I am doing a Tamil film with director Mysskin. 'Line Man' is another of my movies and it is being made in Kannada. It will be dubbed in Telugu. I know both Kananda and Tamil as much as Telugu. 'Kirayi' is another of my movies in which the male lead is 42-year-old.
My previous film 'Katha Kanchiki Manam Intiki' has grabbed 2 crore viewing minutes on Amazon Prime. If you do the math, it's a big hit.