Sordid tales of actors in glamour industry are quite common. Some labour in obscurity, while a fewer others see overnight stardom with luck favouring them on the very first day. Adithya Menon is one among those South Indian actors who made a gradual upward career swing in Telugu cinema. From nuanced characters to expanding archive of works — from Billa (2009), Simha (2010), Eega (2012) to the recent one in Guna 369, the actor has been successful in stimulating variety of unpredictable emotional impulses on screen through his craft and acting technique. In an exclusive interview with SundayScape, the actor shares his struggle, passion for cinema and his behind-the-screen story of ‘leaving lucrative event management career’ to look at himself on silver screen.
You have earned a name in Telugu cinema for grey characters. Would you like to drift from the regular pattern to try different roles?
Of course, yes! I am open to different roles other than villainy characters. Although I have done a handful of negative roles, some of them have varied shades of good, bad and neutral. Take the recent one – Rajdooth starring Srihari’s son Meghansh for instance, audience got to see me in different shades. Now, in the upcoming movie Natyam directed by Revanth, I will be portrayed as an out-and-out goodie. Although my heart bleeds for grey characters, I am looking forward to different roles. Another movie which is in the making is RDX Love where I am the main villain. This one has a lot of expectations from my side. Venky Mama is another one in which I am playing plain character.
What is it that kept you going from Prabhas starrer Billa to RDX Love — to sustain a good long period in Telugu film industry?
A sincere approach to work and giving full justice to whatever role I am being given. I do research and background check before appearing on-screen. Acting has always been my passion. There is a work which ‘we can do’ and there is work which ‘we like to do’, many people who I know were good singers and actors and they finally end up doing odd jobs for living. I don’t want to be among them.
How did this transformation happen from a management professional to actor?
My passion for acting drove me here. After leaving a lucrative career in event management, my initial journey in the cinema field was not cakewalk. There was no one to back me up, neither a godfather nor a proper path. I made several attempts in trial and error manner. I thought roles like a doctor and a professor would not create much impact among the audience. After hero and female lead, focus and attention will always be on villain. I wanted to try that. During my theatre days in Bengaluru, I played several comic roles initially. However, I thought such roles were not forthcoming as one has to pick local flavour to evoke humour.
After your commendable role in Eega, many fans expected that you will be part of Baahubali.
Cinema industry and fetching a role in a movie are like lottery tickets. No regrets for not being part of any major Telugu films. I am happy doing characters that are coming my way. Prabhas is a good human being and a good friend. I wish him success for his action flick Saaho.
Any chance we can see you in web series?
Talks are under way for a Hindi web series a gangster-based story and another one of terrorism-based subject. No confirmation yet, it takes time.