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'Slumdog Husband' is a thorough entertainer with no vulgarity: Sanjay Rao


'Slumdog Husband' is hitting the cinemas on July 29. The family comedy stars Sanjay Rao as the hero. In this interview, the budding actor talks about director Dr. AR Sreedhar's product, his father Brahmaji, the nature of the film, and more. He clarifies that double-meaning dialogues are almost non-existent in the film. "There is no vulgarity. The conversations mirror the reality," he says.

My father was approached for a lawyer's role in the movie. Mic Movies had not decided to cast me by then. At that time, the director asked him if I can be given a narration for the male lead's role. My father asked me to meet the director. While listening to the narration, I had a hearty laugh throughout. I agreed to do the film immediately. We had a one-month-long acting workshop before the film was taken to the floors. I liked the concept and the entertainment quotient.

After my debut movie 'O Pitta Katha', I did a web series named '3Cs: Choices, Chances, and Changes' (for ZEE5). It did very well in Tamil and Hindi but it didn't do well in Telugu. I had a relatively secondary character in that series. After my film feature debut, I assessed myself thoroughly. I did self-introspection to reassess my abilities. I have been an Assistant Director before. But I didn't have a thorough practical exposure to acting. 'O Pitta Katha' did very well in theatres until Covid-19 played a spoilsport. Not many know that it clocked 100 million views on Amazon Prime Video the fastest.

Coming back to 'Slum Dog Husband', I play an Old City dude who falls in love with a girl named Mounika. Since he was born in a slum, his birth details are not known. Due to horoscope-related issues, he is advised to marry a dog before he can marry his girlfriend. The plan is to marry the girl two days after marrying the dog. In a strange turn of events, cops turn up at the wedding hall and declare that my remarriage would be null and void unless I secure a divorce from the dog. The second half is a light-hearted courtroom comedy.

I am a dog lover and it was very easy for me to gel with the dog. Baby is the dog's name in the movie. It was a fun ride shooting with it.

Pranavi's role is full-fledged and it is quite an important part. She drives the story with her decisions. I am lucky to have worked with seniors like my father and artists like Saptagiri.

My first feature film was definitely stressful and challenging. I realized that I shouldn't stress myself too much. My mindset has changed since. These days, I don't see my acting assignments as a challenge.

We have a norm in our family. My father never lets me discuss work at home. There should be no cinema-related talks at the dining table. Otherwise, my father is happy to advise me on my acting choices. At the end of the day, he leaves the final decision to me.

Recently, Allu Arjun told my father he loved the trailer of 'Slum Dog Husband'. My father assured him he will surely love the movie if he watches it. My first acting inspiration is my father. My second inspiration is Bunny. I know how hard he works and how dedicated he is. Outsiders don't know how much he toils. Others believe that he has had it easy because he is the son of a producer.

I come from a Navy background. For some reason, I didn't want to continue there.

After quitting the Navy, I went to a Mumbai training school. There, I was witness to how southern Indians were looked down upon. These days, thanks to the increased popularity of our films, Telugu people are widely respected in Mumbai. The tables have turned.

I will also be doing a film with a newcomer named Sai Krishna. 'Dear Customer', a thriller, is its title.  

Updated on July 25, 2023