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Charan Raj on Narakasura: I’d rejected 30-40 scripts before signing my comeback film

Sebastian directs the film, an action thriller headlined by Rakshit Atluri

Charan Raj on Narakasura: I’d rejected 30-40 scripts before signing my comeback film
Charan Raj on Narakasura

Last Updated: 07.21 PM, Oct 25, 2023


Narakasura, the multilingual redemption drama that releases on November 3, headlined by Rakshit Atluri, marks seasoned actor Charan Tej’s comeback to Telugu cinema after a decade-long sabbatical. In a chat with, the actor assures he’ll be signing projects more frequently in Telugu henceforth and reveals why he enjoyed working on Narakasura.

On the sabbatical from Telugu cinema

The gap wasn’t intentional. I have been consistently working on Tamil and Kannada films meanwhile. I had rejected close to 30-40 scripts over these ten years. From lead roles to supporting parts to villains, I’ve done it all for a span of four decades now and I was bored with what I was being offered. How long can I keep playing a cop or a stereotypical villain?


Bagging Narakasura

The director Sebastian Jr came to me with the offer and narrated the script over the phone. He had just given me a brief line of what the film was all about and I felt the story had substance. I asked him 10-minutes time to think and said yes. However, there was a different twist later. The director didn’t respond for a few weeks and my calls didn’t go through; even my manager said the same.

The worry about being replaced

Sebastian had gone to a remote location to write the dialogue version and it took him two months to reply again. I was worried if he had replaced me with someone else in the film. He assured the project was happening with me, as planned. Narakasura faced a few delays later, the director was injured and he braved many challenges to complete the film.

Associating with a young team

I really enjoyed working with a young team, they were focused and had no egos. Sebastian used to come to the set at 5.30 am in the morning and worked till 11-12 pm in the night without complaints. Work was more important to him and he was even ready to bring me water if the need arose. Trust me, all actors want to collaborate with new directors and stay relevant to the times.

On his character in Narakasura

I can neither call my character a hero or a villain in Narakasura. He knows how to communicate based on the person he’s talking to. Even my son Tej is playing a crucial role that can’t be boxed as good or bad. Narakasura is the beginning of the good times ahead. I have signed multiple projects, including one with Srihari’s son Meghansh. Srihari was like my brother and I didn’t even hear the story.

Villain roles and changing times

Every actor is after villain roles these days - from Sanjay Dutt to Jagapathi Babu and even Arjun. Excepting a few, most leading stars are chasing such characters today. Sanjay Dutt has such a flamboyant persona and it’s surprising him to see him as a baddie. It’s a reflection of changing times and of course, it has created more competition. I’m ready to work on a good character even without charging any fee.

Back in those times, I, Srihari and Prakash Raj were the first choices to play villain roles. If I didn’t have dates, they approached Srihari and Prakash Raj. I didn’t even know Telugu when I entered into the industry. People like Jayasudha, Vijayashanti, Radhika introduced me to all the cuss words in the language and pranked me on sets many times. They called me ‘andamaina durmargudu’ - (handsome criminal).

Telugu cinema adapting to trends quickly

Telugu industry has always been the first to embrace change, they’ve never compromised on quality. Be it a costume or equipment or technological changes, they don’t settle for less, even if it costs them more and adapt to it quickly. The Hindi industry looks up to us for the technicalities in filmmaking even today.

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