Flights of stardom – Ram Charan
When he debuted with his illustrious father, Telugu Mega Star `Chirutha’ eight years ago, comparisons were inevitable. His first film didn’t exactly set the cash registers ringing but it was obvious that the star son could hold his own. With the spectacular `Magadheera,’ his second film, Ram Charan announced his arrival on the celluloid with a bang. The thunderous applause that began after the blockbuster’s release still resonates in T- Town and the writing was clearly on the marquee that a star was born, indeed. And then as is the trend in the south Indian film industry, he was anointed with the annex ‘Mega Power Star’. That he was born to the camera and that he was a befitting successor to his illustrious father Chiranjeevi and Uncle Pawan Kalyan has been established over and over again with his power packed performances. His love for horses, his marriage to Upasna Kamineni Konidela and his recent foray into aviation with Turbo Megha Airways that launched Trujet airlines, offer glimpses into the various facets of his life.
“The best part of being an actor is that we get to express all the nine emotions that are imperative to human life. In a way, all our dormant feelings find an outlet on screen,” says Charan, the consummate actor and dancer, as we start speaking about stardom and everything that goes with the territory. And the worst? “I am not complaining but sometimes waking up at odd times, following a strict diet, the fitness regime, the rigor and discipline an actor has to put himself through can sometime get to him. But soon, it turns itself on its head and becomes a blessing in disguise,” he elaborates.
So how has the journey in the last 8 years been for him as an actor? Has anything changed? “Nothing has changed. I still feel the same. What has changed is that a lot more people love me today. I quite enjoy all the recognition. I have a long way to go, a lot more to accomplish. Sometimes I feel I’ve been put on a pedestal, way above my accomplishments. I am indebted to my fans for showering so much love on me,” describes Charan.
How does he deal with success and failure? “I learnt a lot by observing my dad. He loves what he does. He doesn’t let fame or success get to his head. Once he finished a movie, he would have dinner with the unit and move on to the next project. I have grown up in the shadow of his qualities, which I always strive to emulate. It makes me happy if my movie does well. But I never let that success get to my head and never let arrogance creep into my attitude. It will demean my success,” says the actor.
How emotional is he off screen? “I am quite an emotional person in life. Because I grew up in a huge family and have seen all kind of emotions in my life journey so far.”
How would he describe himself as a person? “I am pretty optimistic. I believe no two people can be the same. One of the best qualities about my optimistic personality is that I let everybody be who they are,” he explains.
How has marriage changed him? “You know, Upasna is an extrovert, extremely warm, loves meeting people and can entertain 100 people with the same level of energy. I cannot handle more than 10 people at a time. I like my space, but with her, anybody is more than welcome to enter her space. I am an extrovert with my close friends, but an introvert, otherwise. She is a happy-go-lucky girl and I found that she can tap the other side in me.”
Has he influenced her as well? “I know that nobody can handle her or anchor her except me. I calm her down and make her think. I like independent women and believe that a woman can be extremely competitive outside and still be sensitive at home. I have seen my dad being shouted at by my mom at home, but once she steps out she respects him. I find that very endearing in a woman,” he says giving us a peek into his private life.
So what prompted his foray into aviation? What can we expect in the future? “I quite liked the idea mooted by my partners, Vankayalapati Umesh, Managing Director and Prem Kumar, Director, of connecting tier 2 cities in south India. We joined hands and it became a reality in two years since the initial plan to launch the airliner. Though we are a low-cost carrier, we don’t compromise on the quality of service. In fact, we provide free food service on board and pick-up and drop from select destinations in the cities we serve. We have special fares for professionals including those in the media,” announces Charan. Great going Charan! May you scale newer heights!