Betrayer-turned-saviour: Teja emerges as first hero in Tollywood from AP capital
While the Tollywood audience eagerly waits for the release of Bahubali for its hyper promotion and cast equations, the denizens of Thulluru are waiting for the film but for a different reason.
While the Tollywood audience eagerly waits for the release of Bahubali for its hyper promotion and cast equations, the denizens of Thulluru are waiting for the film but for a different reason. The man they looked for is one among them, a friend, a students’ leader and son of a farmer, Teja Kakumanu.
His role as Saketudu, the man who betrays the motherland and sells its secrets to Kalakeya, won accolades from the industry bigwigs and brought offers to cement his place in the industry. While ‘Tanu Vachenanta’, the first movie of Teja Kakumanu as a hero is about to release on Friday, he shares his experiences and future plans with The Hans India.
Talking about his childhood, Teja said, “I was born in Dondapadu at my maternal grandfather’s house but was brought up in Abbarajupalem, a hamlet adjacent to Thulluru. My schooling was completed at Mary Matha English Medium High School at Thulluru, Intermediate at PB Siddhartha Junior College and degree at Sarada Degree College, Vijayawada. I entered student politics at very young age and became popular for the activities as a student leader and state level executive in ABVP. Later, I have shifted to Hyderabad for higher studies and completed PG and M.Phil there.”
Speaking about the struggle to get the chance in cinema, he said, “Acting is my passion. But getting a chance is not that easy here. I teamed up with Pradeep Advaitham, Mahesh Kathi who are exploring their options as new directors at that time. When Pradeep turned director, I worked with him as an associate for Billa Ranga and Maine Pyar Kiya. I have also worked with Mahesh Kathi for Pesarattu and Sriram Adittya for Bhale Manchi Roju in the direction department. Though ventured into direction department, I acted in plays to satisfy the actor in me. When I acted as Barbareekudu in a play, The coverage from The Hans India, attracted Rajamouli, who later offered me the role of Saketudu in Bahubali.”
Teja was the lead in the remake of ‘Poster Boys’ which was planned by Rana and Akshay Kumar. But the project was suspended due to unforeseen conditions. He later got the chance in ‘Tanu Vachenanta’ as a hero. He said, “I know I came from a place with no bus facilities. To get to my dream of becoming a hero, I knew I needed to put in all my efforts and get the name with no alternative plan. Whatever be the role, I am 100 percent sincere, fully committed and punctual to my job.”
Though he became a hero in tinseltown, Teja says that he missed his farm in the village. He said, “I like agriculture and am interested in advance farming techniques. Since childhood, we cultivated cotton, redgram, peanuts, banana, lemon and others in our two acre land. But, when the government asked the farms under land pooling for construction of capital, we had to oblige though we don’t like the idea.”
Speaking about the film ‘Tanu Vachenanta’, scheduled to be released on October 14, he said that they are introducing a new genre into the Tollywood. “Zombie genre is new to the Telugu industry. We are adding comedy to the Zombie genre in ‘Tanu Vachenanta’ and calling it Zomedy. This film is an out and out entertainment movie, and suitable for a complete family audience. Rashmi and Dhanya Balakrishnan done performance oriented roles and the director Venkat and Producer Chandrasekhar Azad has given free hand to the artistes.”
By Naresh Nandam