Vaishnav Tej might be just one film old, but he is proving his mettle as an actor with the kind of projects he is choosing to do. His debut film, Uppena, was a huge hit, and now, his second release, the Telugu film Konda Polam, is on the way to becoming a blockbuster. Directed by Krish Jagarlamudi, the film also stars Rakul Preet Singh. The film revolves around the shepherding community in Telangana and is an adaptation of a Telugu novel by the same name written by Sannapureddy Venkatram Reddy.
Rakul is a veteran when it comes to South films. Before making her presence felt in Bollywood, the Yaariyan actor worked extensively in the South. Sharing his experience of working with Rakul, Vaishnav says, “She is a senior artiste, and we all respect her. Her performance in the film is worth appreciating, and her Telugu accent is on point. It is so inspirational to see her work in both Bollywood and the South film industry. There were times when we weren’t shooting a scene together. But she would be on the set and help me emote my scenes to the best of my ability. If I do a film in any other language, I will first learn the dialect. That’s what I learnt from her.”
So, did Vaishnav at any point get involved or recommend Rakul’s name for the film? “I don’t get involved in the casting process and won’t in future either. That is the director’s job. He has a vision for a particular character, so it’s his prerogative. All I care about is my character and how I should do it,” Vaishnav explains.
Konda Polam has been shot in some remote areas of Telangana. And the actor is in awe of how Rakul managed during the shoot. “She sports a de-glam look and plays a character she never has before. The shoot location was in the interiors. Changing and going to the restroom would take at least half an hour. We had a van in the starting, but it was a little far away. For costume change, Rakul would go to the caravan during lunchtime or change behind a curtain. She was always energetic and prompt during the shoot,” the actor says.
Vaishnav comes from an illustrious film family — he is superstar Chiranjeevi’s nephew and actor Sai Dharam Tej’s brother. Ask him if he has plans of crossing over to Bollywood, like his uncle, Chiranjeevi, or like Rakul, Vaishnav says he first wants to prove his merit to the Telugu audience before making the switch, but he is willing to spread his wings in other language films when the time is right. “I consider Tollywood and Bollywood as Indian film industries. And if an actor crosses over to another industry, it’s like ‘padosi ki ladki or ladka’. That’s how I think,” the actor adds.
Dharam, met with an accident in September. Sharing an update on his brother's condition, he informs, “Dharam is recovering, and in a week or 10 days, he should be back home.” On the work front, Vaishnav has director Gireesaaya’s untitled next and debutant director Prithivi’s upcoming film.