The last few films that actor Sudheer Babu has chosen to act have been very different from each other. He says those who write stories without any particular hero in mind approach him, and when he reads a good story he agrees to do the film and then works with the team to make it work. Sudheer took the decision to enter the film industry after much deliberation. It wasn’t until he was married and with his first child that he decided to take the plunge. He trained for two years before acting in a film. And, this professional Badminton player and former business man chose to act in roles that he found interesting without worrying about being typecast, and that includes the role of an antagonist in the film ‘Baaghi’. However, he had on an earlier occasion, shared that he refused a role in ‘Brahmastra’ as it was similar.

Whether his film is a box office hit or not, or it ends up as an OTT rage – his choice has always stood out for the diversity. And, that includes some of his recent films, ‘Sammohanam’, ‘Sridevi Soda Centre’ ‘Aa Ammayi Gurninchi Meeku Cheppali’ and the recent psychological thriller ‘Hunt’ as well.

He shares –

For your latest film ‘Hunt’ you have worked with French stunt School. How did that happen?
‘Hunt’ is an engaging thriller – the kind Superstar Krishna garu known for taking risks would have approved. For the film, I play Arjun – a cop who is not typical macho kind of police you see. He has a memory loss after an accident when he turns into totally different character. While emotion and friendship are the core of the film, it also has action. We wanted to have natural action sequences. We did not want to overdo. We must always leave the audience wanting for more.

I follow the Instagram page for Campus Universe Cascade. The action videos on the page are posted by students and we were not sure whom to approach. Initially we tried contacting them online. It was difficult as they mostly spoke French or Spanish. We found someone who could communicate and told them we wanted not one but four action sequences and we wanted to shoot for 12 days. We paid the money and went to them. We trained for two days and finished the shoot in four days. We associated with Renaud Favero and Bryan Viger, who worked on several Marvel films and also on ‘John Wick 4. It was amazing. I do not think anyone here can even imagine finishing these stunts in such a short time.

While the fights that we do in the movie look risky, they are safer than when we use ropes. Here we have control over how we do it, and as a sports man that is inherently in me to be conscious of how I take a fall.

When you entered films, was it helpful that you come from a distinguished film family?
In a way it is good that you know about the industry and you know the kind of people you must associate with. The knowledge helps. However, when you come from a film family, it comes with much negativity. Unless you prove yourself, people will just look at you as someone who is forcefully thrust on them and will not acknowledge your identity as an actor.

I never thought I will be an actor. In fact, director Srinu Vytla wanted me to act in ‘Anandam’ when I was in college. But I did not show inclination to learn acting. And, when the movie became a hit, I regretted my decision. Perhaps that was the trigger. But, when I decided to shift my career and thought where I could out my 100 percent, I could only think about movies. And, once I decided I took a break, and trained for two years before acting in a film.
After I proved myself today directors approach me.

Who is your go-to person when you need to discuss your films or seek career advice?
When I need to discuss my films script-wise I basically go to my friends who I travelled with, who were with me even before they came into movies. Vijay from 70 MM Entertainment, my manager Varun and Prasad Nimmakayala, who is with Zee, I reach out to them when I need opinion or their inputs. I like how they analyse films.

When you watch films, what’s your favourite genre?
I basically like emotional films while people think I am into action. My friends tease me about this. I watch some classic films like ‘Subhalagnam’ and ‘Aa Naluguru’ for the emotional quotient. I also go back to ‘Godfather’ series. I love watching the film to see the references to the film that so many have used in their films. In recent times I loved watching ‘Kantara. I watched it in theatre and at home as well.

How is it working with Harshavardhan for your next film ‘Mama Maschindra’?
Harsha is very talented person. He is very clear with what he wants. If you ask all the producers to write, direct, make music, and do everything and even make music, perhaps Harsha will be the only one who is talented in it all. I wonder why he took so much time to direct a film. He has worked hard on the film, and the script is very engaging.

Who is Sudheer behind the screen?
I am very much an introvert. I do take care of myself health wise. I prefer to stay at home and even when I am hanging out with friends, I prefer to do it at home or office, and I would rather order my food than go out to eat. If I have time, I like to spend it with kids at home. I know I am in a career where I need to be better at keeping in touch with everyone. And, so, I am trying to improve.

Would you like to act in a direct OTT film?
We have grown up watching our matinee idols on big screen and my preference any day would be to act for a theatrical release. That said the budgets for OTT film in Telugu are considerably less. If the time comes when you make films with good production values on OTT as well, then I will surely consider working in a straight OTT film.