Santosh Sobhan entered the Telugu film industry at a very young age with the Telugu film ‘Golconda High School’. And, when he completed his film studies and theatre training before coming back to try his luck in the big world of cinema a few years later, it wasn’t exactly a bed of roses for the young hero. He saw failure, and days with no work too until films like ‘Ek Mini Prema Katha’ and ‘Manchi Rojulochaie’ in which his performances as lead actor were noticed and appreciated.

Today the dashing young hero is all out to make his place and with Gandhi’s ‘Like Share Subscribe’ out in theatres and Nandini Reddy’s film all set to release, and two other films with UV Creations under his belt – he says he has finally found his zone. And, it is like coming of age for him. “I finally play roles that are closer to my age, and I feel action comedy is my genre. I am excited and positive,” he adds.

He explains how his experiences brought him to where he is today, and his latest film ‘Like Share Subscribe’.

What’s special about your film ‘Like Share Subscribe’?
“In ‘Like Share Subscribe’, for the first time, I play the character closer to my age. All my other characters were older, introverted and dealing with heavier things in life. This is an action comedy and I feel this is an epiphany that it is my zone. This is the kind of cinema I am good at.”

It is the story of two travel bloggers and when Gandhi related the story to me, I was totally hooked. Gandhi is an amazing director. His film ‘Express Raja’, though a heist film, is the closest to ‘Like Share Subscribe’. And Faria, who is with me in the film – she is fantastic. She is one film old and the first film catapulted her into stardom ad Chitti. But her performance in this film is a revelation. I feel good and positive about the film.

Before ‘Ek Mini Katha’ you had your share of struggles. How did you deal with them?
I had seen my share of failures, and there were days when there was no work at all. I used to watch every film of mine before release. You do have an idea about how the film will be received. But, none of my knowledge of how the audience may perceive the film helps. It still breaks your heart as there is always the hope that some magic will happen and the film will work. When ‘Paper Boy’ released, despite putting in a whole lot of hard work, it did not work. I was too young to realise that I can’t make people like my films. I can only put in my hard work.

What is your take away from your experiences of the past few years?
I believe strongly that talent and hard work are not different. Working hard is a talent. I worked hard to reach here, and I won’t take my journey lightly. There is a beautiful thing with hard work that it always works. Paper Boy found patronage two years later in Digital and OTT.

There is a song in ‘Paper Boy’ that the director of ‘Ek Mini Katha’ atched and offered me the role and it turned my life upside down in a great way.
When I found ‘Ek Mini Katha’ – it was liberating for me. It reinstated my faith and reminded me about why I came into film industry. I came back and found myself and my idealism. It has given me confidence.

When I said coming of age, it is also in terms of how I am with media. When you come new, there are people who say you have to be this way or that way. It took me all these years to understand we have to be ourselves.

There are so many new actors trying their luck in the industry. Does it give them an edge to have professional training?
Surely, learning has no downside. If we come with learning, we must own it. But there is only so much good to learning. I have also realised that even if you don’t come with all the learning and if you are driven to learn that is good enough.