Sai Dharam Tej is kicked ahead of the theatrical release of 'Bro' on July 28. When he started shooting for the fantasy comedy, he was yet to recuperate from a road accident he met with in September 2021. "I was struggling to speak at a pitch. The experience made me understand the value of voice," the 'Republic' actor says.
In this interview, the 'Virupaksha' actor talks about working with Pawan Kalyan, director Samuthirakani and writer Trivikram. "I got to spend with Kalyan mamayya for a period of 21 days. It was a valuable experience," he says. The 'Prati Roju Pandage' actor confirms that he will be going on a sabbatical to focus on his health for the rest of the year.
It felt fortunate to share screen space with someone (Pawan Kalyan) who always supported my entry into the film industry. This film is like my tribute to him. I was not chosen for the role because I met with a road accident. This project was materialized even before the Covid vaccination process was completed. My character in 'Bro' meets with a fatal road accident and things take a surreal turn after that.
I was jittery on the first day of shoot. My uncle made me feel easy, so also my director. I am grateful that this project gave me the opportunity to mouth lines written by Trivikram Srinivas. He would not be there on set. He only wrote the screenplay and dialogue. An impactful conversation between me and Kalyan garu in the climax will be a stand-out scene. The dialogues may sound simple on surface, but they are actually profound.
Every day of the shoot was a memorable experience, considering it is a lifetime opportunity to spend day after day with my mamayya. I consider him my guruji. He would pull my legs and try to tickle my funny bone like how he used to do when I was a kid. His support and blessings have always been there with me, since my first movie. On set, he was always involved and behaved like his character. He cut himself off from outside world. It was a learning for me while I observed him on an everyday basis. It was a live lesson. He would transform into a different person on set. He has been like my fatherly figure throughout my life. My mom, when she had household chores to do, used to entrust him with the job of taking care of me when I was a kid.
I have got to do films with Naga Babu mamayya and Kalyan mamayya. What remains to be done is an acting assignemnt with Chiranjeevi garu. I also want to work with all my cousins.
I am a family man who likes to spend time with family members. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than spending time with them and my friends. In 'Bro', my character starts out as a contrast to my real-life personality. My family members are extremely happy that I got to work with Kalyan garu. Chiranjeevi garu wished me all the best right after the project was materialized.
Neetha Lulla has designed the costumes for both me and Kalyan garu. She gave a flamboyant and stylish look. Ketika Sharma and Priya Prakash Varrier, despite being non-Telugu actresses, gave their best shot on the dialogue-delivery front. The quotient of romance in 'Bro' is within boundaries. Thaman's background score is magical. The director's imagination is wow.
People Media Factory has something magical about them. They made 'Venky Mama', in which too a mama and alludu acted just like in 'Bro'. TG Vishwa Prasad and Vivek Kuchibotla are extremely forthcoming and supportive.
Thematically, the film is about the importance of living in the present. Destiny is inescapable. We ought to put in sincere efforts and leave the fruit to God. I am a spiritual person.
Kalyan garu asked me to study and understand people's problems if I want to enter politics. He doesn't want me to campaign (for his party) without understanding people's issues. He has a proper solution to people's problems because he tried to understand them in depth.
I don't have to prove myself everytime. 'Virupaksha' gave me the opportunity to prove myself. 'Bro' is primarily mamayya's film. I am just grateful that I got to work with him and gave me the opportunity to prove myself before him. 'Bro', I agree, is 100% Kalyan garu's film.
Ravi Teja garu and Prabhas anna are among my favourite actors outside of my family. I am also close to Tarak and admire Kalyan Ram anna. Tarak is a good friend. I would like to do multi-starrers with those actors.
I will be going on a six-month break to focus on my health. I want to get better. I want to look better and feel better. 'Ganja Shankar' will commence its shoot after that.
Soon, a 23-minute short film featuring me in the lead is going to come out. Its concept is beautiful. It tells the story of a soldier's wife and it is her perspective that shines forth. A song from it will be released on August 15. The entire shoot and post-production are finished.
I would love to do a balance between serious films like 'Republic' and nice entertainers like 'Supreme' in the coming years.