Dealing with failures: Once dubbed as the showman of Telugu film industry, Raju started off with a bang but a string of flops hindered his growth. “My ‘Shatruvu’ and ‘Police Lock-up’ were super hits, but ‘Street Fighter’ brought me on to the streets literally (smiles). I tasted super success again with ‘Manasantha Nuvve’, ‘Varsham’ ‘Okkadu’, ‘Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana’. But my subsequent endeavours bombed, relegating me to a new low.
During the failures, I realised the scripts and the treatments for such films were not up to the mark,” he admits, adding, “My passion for films kept me motivated irrespective of the box-office barometer. My films might have failed but I always commanded respect from people.”Making stars: He gave defining films for Mahesh Babu, Prabhas, Prabhudeva and Devi Sri Prasad—all of whom are a big box-office draws now. Ask him about his equation with them and he replies, “I’m glad that actors who have starred under my banner became superstars. They always respect me and I share a great camaraderie with them.”
A happy father: Raju shares that he’s pleased with the way his son’s career is shaping up. “Sumanth did around six films and is improving with each film. We are currently picking scripts that suit his age and body language. Down the line, I want him to do action-based films too,” he signs off. - SA