Blab With Sandy: Kartikeya Gummakonda

Blab With Sandy: Kartikeya Gummakonda

Hello People! We have actor Kartikeya Gummakonda (RX100 fame) with us in Blab with Sandy. Kartikeya debuted in Tollywood with Prematho Mee Karthik in 2017. His second film RX100 is all set to release this Thursday (12th July 2018). Let’s dive into the blab I had with him:

Sandy: Hey Kartikeya! 🙂

Kartikeya: Hello Sandy 🙂

Sandy: RX100 is getting ready to hit the screens in a couple of days. How is the feeling?

Kartikeya: Yes! A lot of hard work has gone into the making. Hoping for the best results.

Sandy: Tell us about your background.

Kartikeya: My father owns a school and I studied in the same school. I was always into cultural activities and had made up my mind to be an actor when I grow up. I used to very fat during my intermediate studies. I got through my AIEEE and joined NIT Warangal.

I was known for my extracurricular skills and one would always find me more at the student activity center in the campus. I was the cultural head and my dancing/ acting sessions continued at college too! I made and acted in few short films and made up my mind to pursue it as my career.

I went and met Subbarao garu, a retired dean of National School of Drama, New Delhi. I joined him and learnt to act for about 8 months. After which I auditioned and got picked for my first film Prematho Mee Karthik.

Sandy: How did RX100 crop up?

Kartikeya: While working for Prematho Mee Karthik, I listened to the script of RX100 and it intrigued me. I prayed to god that a wonderful subject should come my way and it really did come my way! Director Ajay Bhupathi liked my work and auditioned me. Many photoshoots were done in different expressions.

The test shoots came out quite good and that’s how RX100 cropped up. J I am one of the producers for the film and we managed to get others on board as well to make this product come into the market.

Sandy: What point of the RX100 glued you the most?

Kartikeya: Many heroes/actors are entering films and I wanted to do something very different from the rest. The script in its totality is very bold which stands out from the others I read. I was very happy to get such a story for my second film. My character is very intense and I loved the script 100 times more than the others which came my way. 🙂

Sandy: How would your character be in RX100?

Kartikeya: It is a bold role and it matches with my rugged look. I was selfish about what I was going to portray and I am happy that my selfishness made me get a character like the one in RX100. J I know my strengths as an actor and I must say that this script went beyond my imagination.

I am sure that after RX100 releases, many writers will focus on putting new thoughts in their scripts and come up with different ideas. It shall not always be the heroes in good books, heroines as glam dolls, villains always being the baddies. Everything shall change and a newness will overtake the routine.

Sandy: How was it working with director Ajay Bhupathi?

Kartikeya: I feel blessed to have worked with him. He worked under Ram Gopal Varma for quite a few films and RGV had also tweeted about our film. Ajay Bhupathi made me improve my acting methodology. He made me change my thought process and helped me get the right expressions without going overboard.

Genuine feedback was given for my performance. Sometimes we tend to under-perform in few scenes just because our face expressions may turn funny and we feel we aren’t looking good on-screen but Ajay made me realize to be real. I got to learn that a character needs to go beyond oneself and we must perform naturally, however be our final look onscreen. 🙂

Sandy: Payal Rajput is a Punjabi actress. Could you tell us about her work in the film?

Kartikeya: Initially we were trying to rope in a Telugu girl for the film but nothing worked out. The heroine’s part in RX100 is something different and the role goes beyond good looks. It’s a first of its kind of a character which has equal importance to the story as a male lead.  

Payal Rajput is a Punjabi actress and she had auditioned for the part. She initially enacted the audition scenes in Hindi and was brilliant. We wanted to have her onboard and I must say, within a day or two, we were pleased to know that we found the correct actress for the role.

Payal is an intelligent actress. She was smart enough to understand the nuances of her character and delivered it with the right amount of expressions. She also won a Filmfare: Best Debut Actress (Punjabi) for her role in Sairat’s official Punjabi remake called Channa Mereya.

Sandy: Where was RX100 primarily shot at?

Kartikeya: Major portions were shot at Athreyapuram, East Godavari and few portions at a nearby town called Ramachandra Puram. It is our director’s hometown and we enjoyed shooting at those places. RX100 has a village nativity and you would only find real locations in it.

Sandy: Why is the movie named RX100? I got to learn that it wasn’t easy for you all to get the rights from the bike manufacturers.

Kartikeya: (Smiles) Yes, it wasn’t easy to get the title. Yamaha RX100 was a dream bike for everyone in the 90s. It isn’t a very costly bike but was a rage. It’s sound is so different and in villages, people riding RX100 are known to be raw, arrogant and massy characters.

Every bike represents a character, for example, Pulsar is for the youngsters and youthful men, while Scooty Pep is for the ladies. Similarly, RX100 gives you a mass edgy look just like my character in the film. The bike travels with me right from the opening scene. It’s like a non-talking proof for all my sufferings, love and pain in the movie.

Initially we wanted to name the film Yamaha RX100. We wrote to the South India Yamaha Head in Chennai for the title and it lead to talks with the heads in Japan. They had rejected our plea and at time we were in the middle of our film’s shooting. For few days we were clueless what the title would be but we always wanted Yamaha RX100. Finally, RX100 title was okayed and we all turned happy! The title logo poster too came out well.

Sandy: Hahaha! I guess RX100 suits much better than Yamaha RX100 and you were lucky to not get the total title that you wanted. 🙂

Kartikeya: Lol! I too guess so! 🙂

Quick Shot Round:

  • Hyderabad: Home
  • Favorite Bike: RX100 (chuckles)
  • Favorite Song from RX100: Pilla Ra
  • Role Model: Mega Star Chiranjeevi
  • Hobbies: Acting 🙂
  • Favorite Hangout Places in Hyderabad: Love Charminar and having biryani there during night times
  • Where do you shop the most? Inorbit Mall
  • Directors you would want to work with: Chance ivvali ga, hahaha! Chala Mandhi (Many of them. They should give me a chance, and I will jump to work with them)
  • If not RX100, what would you name the film? Hahaha! Can’t think of any, it’s like a nightmare. Pilla Ra, may be! 🙂

 Sandy: What can the audience expect from RX100?

Kartikeya: Many people often complain that Telugu films do not show nativity and that only routine cinema is the way! I have heard some of them saying that Tamil and Malayalam movies are different and there isn’t something like that coming in Tollywood.

RX100 will put an end to all those thoughts. It is a hard-hitting emotional film. Many people felt that it’s a dubbed movie after seeing the trailer, so that shows it being a different cinema altogether. Genuinely saying, you won’t speak a word for 30 minutes after watching the film!

Sandy: What are your next set of films?

Kartikeya: Clueless about it and there is nothing next currently. 🙂 I will wait until 12th July for RX100 to speak for itself and then think about my next film.

Sandy: Anything you would like to tell the readers about RX100?

Kartikeya: Please watch the film. It is bold, it is different and it is a film which will drive you emotionally. Do watch it in theatres near you. 🙂

Sandy: A few words about Hyderabad Local.

Kartikeya: I am in love with the name: Hyderabad Local. During college days, we used to have friendly gangs within ourselves, like Hyderabad gang and other area gangs.

We used to feel proud saying Hyderabad and it’s a matter of pride being part of Hyderabad city. It is a powerful name and hope to see you reach heights! More power to you! 🙂

Editor’s note: Wishing Karthikeya and the team of RX100 a roaring success at the cinemas

Interview by Sandeep Rao Kanukolanu (Sandy)

 

 

 

 

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