Surya Vasishta will soon be seen in 'Butta Bomma', which hits the cinemas on February 4. In this interview, he talks about his father, Late Satyam, who was a Co-Director of repute in the Telugu film industry. Surya says that he is living his father's dream as an actor.
'Butta Bomma', co-starring Anikha Surendran and Arjun Das, is a remake of 'Kappela' (Malayalam). Listen to Surya throw light on the parallels as well.
I have done Masters in Computer Science in the US. My father Sathyam garu was associated with the film industry as a co-director for 30 years with the likes of Rajamouli garu and Trivikram garu. It was his dream that I become an actor. Unfortunately, he passed away due to Covid-19 in 2021. I returned from the US and started searching for acting assignments in Hyderabad. It was then that my father asked me to watch 'Kappela' (Malayalam) as he felt that the auto driver's role suits me the best. It was his view that Tamil and Malayalam movies suit me more. He got to know that Sithara Entertainments bought the remake rights. He decided to ask for an opportunity for me. Siddhu Jonnalagadda, we came to know, was chosen (the 'DJ Tillu' actor walked out of the project later for some reasons). By that time, the second wave of Covid-19 consumed my father. He didn't live to see me getting cast in 'Butta Bomma'. It was his last wish that I do this movie.
Trivikram garu happened to spot me with my full beard and hair. He asked me to audition for 'Butta Bomma'. Director Ramesh garu felt that I was apt. I was roped in and the last wish of my father thus got fulfilled. I am indebted to Trivikram garu, producer Naga Vamsi garu, and my director!
Although my father was always associated with the film industry, he wanted me to gain exposure. He let me move to the US, where I worked as a software developer. After five years, he asked me to return to India. I feel glad that I was by his side in his last days. For my father, nothing was more important than me and my growth. He would always talk about me with his colleagues/friends on film sets.
As far as I am concerned, acting is an art form. When I watched 'Kappela', I knew it was a raw film with no commercial frills. I was excited about acting in its remake. The first half of 'Butta Bomma' is very different from 'Kappela', especially my character Murali.
Many people might have watched 'Kappela' on OTT, but it's still an important story that needs to be told afresh. It was really fun working with Anikha, who has been acting in movies for many years. She is a bubbly girl who would be in her own world on set. She would learn the lines by heart. Coming to Arjun Das, he is a notable name in Kollywood. He was warm and welcoming to me. He is experienced in action scenes. He was always alert.
My director Ramesh garu is very particular. Any scene, any shot has to come out the way he deems fit. We would give multiple shots until we got things right. Keeping things fresh and alive was challenging for me as an actor. The action scenes resulted in injuries for me and Arjun Das. I was rested for one month due to injuries.
The director wanted me to look fresh on screen. Both he and my producer are very satisfied with my performance. I got to know that Trivikram garu recently watched the movie. I will meet him soon to know what he thinks about my performance.
My first priority is movies for now. I want to explore movies from an artistic perspective. I like realistic and slice-of-life movies the most. A movie has to be engaging and meaningful socially. I want to work in the movies of Rajamouli garu and Trivikram garu for obvious reasons. I want to go through the experience of working with them.
After the promos of 'Butta Bomma' were released, at least six offers came my way from small filmmakers. Nothing yet has been finalized. I am open to doing both thrillers and romantic movies.