Down to earth, friendly and full of confidence, Mahesh Sriram is no stranger to the fashion world. This Hyderabadi Telugu guy, who’s a successful model in USA, lives, eats and breathes his profession all day long. He had recently given his entry in Tollywood as an anti-hero in ‘Chinna Cinema’. According to Mahesh, it's Sylvester Stallone and Rajnikanth who inspired him growing up in life while it's Kota Srinivas Rao and Prakash Raj in acting. Given a chance he would love to work with directors like SS Rajamouli and Ram Gopal Varma. With so many dreams accomplish, the model cum actor who’s simultaneously busy working for a 3D Animation Studio in Texas, took some time out to chat with us about his successful journey in modeling and his acting dreams.
Hello Mahesh, can you describe who you are to our readers and your ambition in modeling as well as acting?
Hi everyone! I’m a Telugu guy born and raised in Hyderabad, currently living in Texas. My career in modeling and acting began in Hyderabad where I worked in numerous fashion shows, press ads and commercials with multiple brands and agencies. My work in India helped me to get noticed once I moved to the USA and the opportunities continued, resulting in my recent role as the anti-hero B. Jay in the Telugu film ‘Chinna Cinema’. When I’m not acting in commercials and films, I work with an animation studio here in Texas.
Interesting!!! How and when were you scouted by an agent?
My modeling career started when I won the Cherry Blossom title for best looking cadet during my days in the National Cadet Corps (NCC). This led to offers for photographers’ portfolios, fashion shows, press ads and commercials with multiple brands and agencies.
Was modeling your initial career plan?
I have certainly always had an interest in fashion, but did not think of it as a career.
How many fashion shows have you done?
More than a dozen in India and in the USA.
What brands have you endorsed so far?
Numerous ad campaigns for brands such as: HP (Hewlett-Packard), Lipton Iced Tea, Himalya Fresh-USA,, Kawasaki Bajaj Auto Dealer, Ash Jeans, VAARTHA New Paper, Bommana Bros, R9000 FASHION'S, NCCT Computers, Heritage, Hindi Milap News Company
Wow! That’s really great!! How do you stay fit?
Regular gym workouts, Drink lots of water, Protein shakes, Long walks
How would you define your personal style?
How do you keep yourself updated professionally?
Keep up with the changing trends and staying fit.
Also tell us how to look effortlessly stylish?
Whatever you wear, wear it with confidence.
You have already achieved some fantastic things during your career. What did you enjoy most about shooting for the ads?
The adrenaline rush that you get when you’re in front of the camera or walking down the ramp.
If you were a superhero, what power would you have and why?
The power to eradicate poverty and hunger, because what is life without the basic necessities for survival?
As a child, what was your dream job?
Pilot … so I could travel around the world.
You entered the movie world as an anti-hero through ‘Chinna Cinema’. Are you going to continue as an anti-hero?
I am inspired by Kota Srinivas Rao and Prakash Raj for their versatile acting and the variety of strong roles they have portrayed over the years. I would embrace the opportunity to do similar roles … whether it be anti-hero or other powerful characters.
How did the audience react to your performance in ‘Chinna Cinema’?
So far the feedback I’ve received suggests that my role was well liked. What did you think?
Well, I did not get the opportunity to watch the film yet. BTW, what homework did you do to bring out the best in you?
Lots and lots of practice and focus to mould into the character of B. Jay.
Are you happy with what you have done?
I’m happy what I have done as a debutante but I look forward to honing my acting skills further.
How would you define a film success and also a film failure?
As an actor, success is, knowing that you gave it your best and being recognized for it. Anything less than your best would be failure.
What’s your current project? Give some details about it?
A lead role in Telugu thriller film “Hang Up” (Magnapex Productions) which is scheduled for release later this year.
Oh that’s wonderful. How are you going to balance modeling and acting? Which would be your first preference?
I enjoy doing both.
What else do you do during your free time?
I head a company for 3D animations in the US, so free time is hard to come by. But I do enjoy photography, travelling and painting.
If you were given an opportunity to choose only one among the following directors to work with, who would you choose and why? - SS Rajamouli, VV Vinayak, Sreenu Vaitla, Boyapati Sreenu, Sekhar Kammula and Sukumar.
Wow! Given a chance I would like to work with all of them, they all are great. If I have to choose only one, will go with SS Rajamouli as I particularly liked his movie ‘Eega’.
Apart from the above mentioned directors, do you have any other dream director?
Since the time I saw the movie ‘Shiva’, I have always wanted to work with Ram Gopal Verma.
Who are your role models who inspired you growing up?
Sylvester Stallone & Rajnikanth … they both make you realize that with hard work and perseverance you can overcome all obstacles and achieve your dreams.
BTW who’s your dream heroine and what makes you dream of her?
Ha ha haa!! not one in particular!
Is there any production house that you are looking forward to work with?
None in particular … A good script and a strong role suitable for me would be what I’m looking for.
How do you think a woman should be treated?
With respect. We seem to forget that we all owe our being on this earth to a woman.
What could be the reason for increase of atrocities on women? How do you want to go about changing this?
An alarming decrease in moral and social values which used to be the fabric of our Indian culture. As a society, we need to re-instill these moral values right from childhood, teach the importance of respect and instigate zero tolerance for violence against women.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next ten years?
Continue to grow professionally and work in more ads and films.
What’s the best advice you have ever received?
Do you have any advice for aspiring models and other people out there?
If you have passion for it, I say just do it. Take it as a profession and work for it….there is opportunity out there for everyone!
Now some quick answers :)
Your style icon?
Something that you are proud of?
My diaper changing abilities
What’s your height?
Are you talkative or quiet?
Your favourite place to travel?
Do you believe in God? Who do you pray to?
Food you like the most?
Your favourite genre of music?
Your all time favourite movie/movies?
The Gods must be Crazy and Rocky
Your favourite sport/game?
Your favourite hero/heroes?
Which is your favourite pet animal?
Your biggest luxury?
Waking up late on weekends!
If you weren’t a model or actor what else would you be?
Thanks for the wonderful interview Mahesh Sriram. All the best for your future endeavors.
Thank you very much Ragalahari team and thanks to all the readers and fans for your support and encouragement. Do feel free to reach out to me via FB or visit my page at www.maheshsriram.com.
___Radhika Andluri, Ragalahari.com