Venu Thottempudi has been a businessman, looking after his family business of road works, infrastructure and irrigation. After 'Dammu' in 2012 and 'Ramachari' in 2013, he was seen in Ravi Teja's 'Ramarao On Duty' last year.
This week's OTT release 'Athidhi' is his latest outing and his OTT debut. Streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar, the horror comedy comes with a supernatural element. "'Athidhi' is the first step. I don't want to hop onto the tenth level right away. I am doing a Chai Bisket film these days; its director is treating the subject so well," Venu says.
As a story, I loved 'Athidhi' a lot. This one came my way after 'Ramarao On Duty', which I did for reasons other than the script. On the other hand, 'Athidhi' is a project I have done with conviction. This is my first outing in the horror genre. Cent percent credit goes to director Bharath for convincing me about the subtlety of my character Ravi, who is a prolific novelist.
The director was very clear about how much I should emote in each scene. I am a fun-loving person in real life. In contrast, my character Ravi is serious. It was tough playing someone who knows everything but has to behave like he doesn't know anything.
'Athidhi' is more like a family show rather than a horror show. It is a multi-genre show, I would say. It is layered - there is suspense, there is horror, there is comedy...
Three-fourths of the series is set in a single location. The subject demanded such a setting. I was more focused, throughout, on the script rather than the location. Presenter Praveen Sattaru took care of everything at the script level.
I am not there on Instagram or any other platform. I believe in content. If the content you are doing is strong, it will somehow reach the audience.
I did 'Swayamvaram' as my debut. Trivikram was its dialogue writer. If I get to team up with him again, I will jump with joy. Sonu Sood's role in 'Athadu' came my way. But I turned down the offer. Trivikram felt that my clash with Mahesh Babu would look great on the big screen. I am not sure why I declined the offer. Maybe, the nature of the character played its part at a subconscious level. I never regret my career choices, both the ones I accepted and the ones I rejected. I declined 'Desa Muduru' as well.
I want to do performance-centric roles. When I watch some movies, I feel I should play unique roles.
As a family man with two kids, I have to play roles responsibly. I am not in a hurry even in my second innings as an actor. There is no rush. My strength has always been the family audience. I don't want to alienate them. Whether I offer sentiment or entertainment, I have to cater to them.