“When I am not acting, I am a recovery agent. Private finance companies use me to recover money from loan defaulters”
I have been a Telugu film villain for four years now, one of those villains who appear fleetingly in a group or fight scene. The money we get is not enough for cigarettes and drinks as we don’t get to shoot every day. On an average, I get to shoot for around 10 days a month. If we go out-of-station, our travel and food expenses are looked after. I am at Rs 1,000 a day level wages now. The next advance will be to Rs 10,000 a day, and I hope to earn a couple of lakh per film after a decade or so.
The big challenge is to maintain my physique. We may appear fat, unkempt and shabby, but we are very fit. I come from a very poor family, like other screen villains. My dream, like that of most villains, is to mouth a few dialogues or exchange words with the hero on screen. I will never be a hero. They have chocolate boy looks while I look like someone who’s a rowdy or eve teaser.
When I am not acting, I am a recovery agent. Many private finance companies in Andhra Pradesh use my services to recover money from loan defaulters. But I have never physically assaulted anyone. One police case is enough to mar a career.
I have lost count of the number of films I’ve acted in. There have been so many bit roles. And I have never spoken a dialogue in any one of them— that hurts. So I try to make friends with producers and directors. Many have promised me a dialogue role soon.
Many stars, especially in Telugu cinema, refuse to even pose with us for souvenir pictures. They don’t even talk decently with us.
In Hyderabad, many people recognise me while I am riding my two-wheeler. They smile and wave at traffic signals. School children who come to watch shootings even take my autograph. Those are times when I feel proud about being part of the film industry.
(He has been a film villain for four years and is 24 years old