|Siddhanth awaiting his turn at the nets
A student of St. Mary's Yousufguda, Srinivas is currently pursuing his 1st year B. Com. It is typical of his unshakeable confidence that he says 'I want to become a good actor. I don't have any other thought from childhood but I am confident that I am going to fulfill my dream by acheiving many awards in few years...say two years.' Now that is the kind of confidence that this kid is made of. And when you see him you know that he is not one to say things without meaning them. He will make sure that it will come true.
Srinivas has acted as a child artiste in Nagarjuna's 'Kedi' and this is his second film. For someone who has not trained formally, he appears to be the best prepared of the lot. A case of oodles of talent and loads of preparation, which gives him that extra confidence. 'I got appreciation from Sumanth sir that I did well,' says he, conscious of the fact that all appreciation from people in a higher orbit is worth its weight in gold. 'And I am really boosted with the appreciation of Mohan Krishna garu,' he says, thrilled. 'After every take of my shoot Mohan sir says that's very good Siddhant,superb'. Siddhanth has some of the more complex scenes in the movie and having seen a few, I know how easily the boy carried them off. I mean they just lay back, improvise on the fly, add several new dimensions to it, stylise it and let it rip, all in one take. And with a smile.
Siddhanth is fully aware that his job is cut out. 'If I want to become an actor I should work on my body compulsorily,' he says all seriousness. 'I need to work on my fitness. Also my expressions should be new and catchy to the audience so mirror method acting should be done. Most importantly I need to hone my communication skills further as it is very important in every aspect of life especially in acting.' How is that for clarity? But I would not expect any less from this boy.
When we first started shooting this movie, Srinivas was to play the role of Vikas, the intense, troubled sidekick of Siddhanth. I noticed that he was enthusiastic right from Day one, always ready to learn, always open to new things and challenges. He has this quality of never saying No, or rather let me rephrase it, of saying YES to life and going and grabbing it if it is somewhere nearby. It is a quality that will take him far because he will get chances that most people will call luck or good breaks, but which I will attribute to his attitude of being open to life, of knowing where exactly the opportunity lies. It is the same attitude that made him land the plum role of Siddhanth when Vivek, the boy who was to play Siddhanth, opted out due to personal reasons, and Srinivas gleefully stepped into the role. So keen is his sense of anticipation of anything good. Don't even ask why someone like Vivek would opt out and a role like that would go to Srinivas of all the people so easily - its his consciousness and he will have several such breaks with his consciousness.
Srinivas is not a trained cricketer and he is aware of that. But he is confident that he can pull off whatever is given to him on shot. He worked hard on his technique in the early days when I told him that he plays a key role and must not look shoddy while batting. He took all the advise seriously, practiced hard and pulled off his cricketing bits comfortably. Not for him the comfort that - 'hey I know my acting can pull me off so I don't need to play so well' - kind of an attitude. Even in all the cricket shots he wants to be in the middle of the action. When we wanted him to pull off a reverse sweep he did that perfectly against a bowler of Imran's capability, and all the shots that he hit in his innings he did perfectly. He may not have the style that one wants from a batsman like Siddhanth but he has this confident swing of the bat that hits it authoritatively and that was good enough for me. We practice for long before the actual shot and sometimes we are dismayed that he is not getting it but he always smiles and says 'I will get it in the shot sir' and he does. That is amazing because ball sense, cricketing sense can't be taught overnight. It is just his great will and confidence and his mind getting the pattern that he wants, and voila, he pulls it off.
There was one instance when the boys were to take slip catches off a roller. Not everyone can take these catches easily. Now we wanted all the best fielders in the middle where most catches would go, so all the trained guys were fitted in. Suddenly I noticed that Siddhanth was right in the middle. Though it made sense that he stands there as the star batsman of the team and best slip fielder, he really is not trained for this specialized bit so I was worried. One fumble and I told him to move to the far corner. His response was a fierce 'No sir, I will take the catches sir'. He did not budge and I let him stay because I could see that he wanted to stay there and take every catch that came his way. And mind you, he did not drop a single catch - some of them hard and swift. Srinivas knows his place and he will do all that it takes for him to stay there. In retrospect I am so glad he has that spirit because it makes sense for Siddhanth to be exactly where he was - right in the middle of the slip cordon as the GHS star slip fielder.
He is a bit of a recluse otherwise. He hangs around with his close friends - Sudheer, who plays Sanjay, is one. They are generally seen wandering all over the place discussing perhaps movies, futures, dreams. Not for them boys games. Not for them extra sunshine. It is a standing joke on the set that when Siddhanth arrives 'the star' has arrived because he brings that attitude to the shot. In shade, saving his energy and his complexion, he reserves the best for the shots that matter. Srinivas is also completely professional. He never keeps anyone waiting.
One thing about him is that he does not expect you to treat him like a child. He knows his mind, knows what he wants and knows he is on the way to fulfilling his destiny. He does not play in the shades of childishness where he gets extra string like any of the kids can get away with. He talks seriously, politely, earnestly and comes across as a responsible youngster. 'My entry in films is a miracle that happened in my life,' he says. 'My big story.' Srinivas's favorite movies are Titanic and the Omen and his favourite actors are Kamal Hassan and Sridevi. 'I don't have any dream roles as such,' he says. He loves to watch horror movies and likes to 'read, watch news and contact old frends when he has more balance in his phone.'
Siddhanth and Sudheer were among the first guys who took a copy of 'The Men Within' to read. I never heard their opinions on it because they were always 'still reading it..' or something like that. But Siddhanth (I am assuming he finally finished reading it) says it is an amazing story which inspires, and that he is very glad to be 'part of this beautiful inspiring movie'.
Srinivas has everything going for him. His talent is there for all to see and even better, he knows it. He is aware of what he can do and he carries and nurtures his dreams well. And for someone like that, he is also completely grounded with no airs at all. With that confidence, looks and preparation, Siddhanth is someone to watch out for and I for one am waiting to see him explode on the screen.
On another angle Srinivas, to me, is Siddhanth all the way. Maybe even better, because he knows how to use his talent unlike the temperamental, fictional Siddhanth. Watch out for the champion everyone - with him its only a question of 'when' he will make it and not 'if' he makes it. Wishing you great success Srinivas in all that you do, and may you achieve all that you were meant to!