For someone who isn’t exactly a travel enthusiast, Sita Ramam introduced Sumanth to many parts of India
Last Updated: 03.53 AM, Aug 02, 2022
Sumanth is on a travelling spree, hopping from one city to the other to promote his next release, Sita Ramam, that hits theatres on August 5 across three languages - Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. He is cast in the role of Brigadier Vishnu Sharma in the Hanu Raghavapudi directorial. The actor shared his experiences on working on the film in a recent media interaction.
The Godavari actor calls it an honour to don the Indian Armed Forces uniform and learn about life in the army. Though he’s played many characters in the past, including his second film, Yuvakudu two decades ago, the Sita Ramam experience felt very special to him. “Brigadier Vishnu Sharma is a mature, relatable character. It is a meaty, complex supporting role than a negative one.”
The film’s producer Swapna Dutt had told him that he was the first choice for the pivotal role. When Sumanth got in touch with director Hanu Raghavapudi, they discussed the role extensively and it convinced him to give a nod. “I would like to explore more author backed roles and I’m grateful that Brigadier Vishnu Sharma came my way.”
The actor was introduced to many Malayalam movies of Dulquer through his niece, who happens to be a big fan of the latter. He particularly remembers his Hindi film Karvaan. “I really admire Dulquer, and he is friends with my nephews Akhil, Chaitanya, Rana. Though I never met him before Sita Ramam shoot, it was immensely energising to work with him.”
Dulquer is already on the list of Sumanth’s most favourite co-stars. “We grew close during the making of Sita Ramam; we really like and respect one another.” Sumanth and Dulquer have distinct but similar interests. “I like him as a person, and I couldn’t have asked for a supporting role with a lead like him."
The Sita Ramam actor refers to director Hanu as a live wire and a crazy scientist. “I'm the exact opposite of him— introverted and more inward.” Sumanth shares that Hanu is very demanding and knows well to extract what he exactly wants, be it shooting or dubbing. “I may have worked with many directors, but he is the first of a kind. I am grateful that he gave me this opportunity.”
Sita Ramam would’ve been possible only in the hands of a passionate production house like Vyjayanthi Movies, he feels. “It is a very challenging film to make, in terms of money, efforts, and creativity. Ashwini Dutt has backed one of my earlier films, and we have reconnected after all these years.” The period romance has him embracing new markets - Malayalam and Tamil industries.
For someone who isn’t exactly a travel enthusiast, Vyjayanthi Movies enabled him to discover many parts of India during Sita Ramam. Sumanth recalls that filming in Spiti Valley, Himachal, despite its scenic beauty was physically demanding because of the weather. “We were there in the pre-winter phase, it was so cold and water was frozen, there was no running water, no water even to bathe. Our moustaches were frozen.”’
How would he sum up Sita Ramam in a nutshell? “The film, transcending from the 1950s to the 1980s, has all the makings of a classic love story. When I heard it first, it seemed like a classical Hollywood love story like The English Patient directed by Anthony Minghella. The film’s release will be an emotional event for me.”