Vennela Kishore: I am always prepared for a 'pause' in life

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 17:45

It would not be preposterous to say that Vennela Kishore is the number one comedian in Tollywood. Producers fight for his call sheets. But this lockdown period has brought the Tollywood industry to a standstill and for the first time, Kishore is staying at home for a long period. How is he coping up during this quarantine period? caught up with him for a quick chat. Read on…

You’re known to be a workaholic and the busiest actor in Tollywood. There’s a saying that ‘tine noru tirige kalu agadhu’ but how are you keeping yourself busy these days?

Luckily, I am always prepared for a 'pause' in life.  At least, I am lucky to have all amenities to survive during this lockdown period.

You are a foodie. You go to any length or place to relish a variety of foods. Now, you are eating only ‘home food’!

Honestly, I should be thankful that I get to eat home-made good food!! As of now, we are managing to eat one solid meal per day and one meal of fruits due to the limitations of getting groceries in my area. Besides, I am also doing household chores and hopefully, this would result in losing some fat which has been resting in me for ages. 

What are the tastiest delicacies you had this lockdown period?

Ha..ha. In this situation, the tastiest meal I had is ghee rice dal and potato deep-fry followed by a chikki. 

Corona is a strict no. What would be your answer if a beautiful girl says ‘Karo Na’ to you?

Jara Door Rehke Baat Karo Na! (Can you please talk maintaining a good distance). 

Who are your online companions during this quarantine period?

Video chatting isn’t my thing! My family is with me. So we watch movies and TV series till late at night. Waking up late helps to get a shorter day so you won’t feel that bored and I have finally started yoga. It’s day 22, I hope will continue practicing it. 

Which movies did you watch on streaming apps? What is the series that you binge-watched?

Well, I am re-watching my all-time favorite films like ‘Seetharamayya Gari Manavaralu’, ‘Rudraveena’, ‘Alludu Garu’’ etc.. Right now I’m binge-watching ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ on DD, ‘Home Before Dark’ on Apple TV, and ‘Ozark’ on Netflix.

What have you learned from this lockdown period that is going to change your perception towards life?

I came to know that I can survive with extremely minimum money and still be happy. My source of happiness is way too easy to find. 

How do you describe your 15-year career?

I am blessed!

When did you realize you could make people laugh?

It was Deva Katta who saw it in me. I am still yet to realize it because I always believe the script makes me funnier. 

Name your 10 best roles!

- Ami Tumi

- Dookudu

- Bhale Bhale Magadivoi

- Keshava

- Chalo

- Ekkadiki Pothav Chinnavada

- Goodachari

- Majnu

- Doosukelta

- GeetaGovindam 

- Anandobrahma

- Bheeshma

& many more like ‘Ala Ela’, ‘Gentleman’.. .. loved doing all of them.

Your twitter replies are witty. There is a separate fan following for your tweets. Do you reply spontaneously? 

Ha…Ha. Na bathukki fan following okate thakkuvaindi.

My twitter followers are like my online buddies and my witty replies are mostly inspired by their witty questions. I’m lucky to have a super fun timeline and lovely mentions.

What is the hardest part of being a comedian?

Generating fun on the first two takes is easy but if more takes are to be needed, it turns into stagey, looks choreographed and mechanical. Making up your mind as if it’s the first take and generating the same timing is the hardest part.

Who do you consider your godfather in the movie industry?

As of now, it is my manager Mahendra.

Do you take inspiration from anyone doing comic roles?

Brahmanandam sir is a text-book for most of the current generation of comedians. Also, I love Vince Vaughn.

How do you feel when people term that you are the best comedian after Brahmanandam?

Wommoo. To be honest, I get scared! I understand that they try to elevate me by showing such affectionate praise. It is similar to how we boost up a gully cricketer telling him ‘sachin tharvatha nuvve’. 

Do you improvise the scenes written by writers/directors or you blindly follow the director’s vision?

If I see an opportunity to improvise the scene, I discuss with the director and if he approves, I will go full throttle until he says ‘enough babu’.

Is it true that you also write/create comedy scenes for your roles?

Yes. Sometimes directors ask me to write and that’s one of the things I enjoy doing. Plus, these days, I am making sure to meet director much before the shoot begins because I want to understand the role and want to know whether I can contribute to it creatively making it better. 

Whose comedy do you enjoy the most?

Brahmanandam, Sunil, Raghu Babu, Ali, Dharamavarapu, and MS Narayana. 

Any role/film that you wish it should have come to you? Or regretted missing it?

I missed Satyam Rajesh's role in Sekhar Kammula’s ‘Fidaa’ because of the clash of dates. “Movie choostunna 2 hours 28 mins feel ayya”. But I must say he nailed it.

Will you take up direction again?

I don’t think so. I want all of you (audience) to be safe and healthy!

Name us comedy movies that you like to re-watch?

Telugu: Chitram Bhalare Vichitram

Hindi: Andaz Apna Apna

Tamil: Panchatanthiram

English: Airplane

Who according to you writes the best comedy today?

Director Mohana Krishna Indraganti.

What is the funniest shooting experience you’ve had?

One of the funniest incidents I can recall was the shooting of ‘Majnu’. As per the scene, Nani and I should be sitting below the pool cross-legged, hold our breath and act as if he’s narrating a story. We both were fine holding our breath underwater but sitting cross-legged was a pain especially when I was floating upwards every time I tried. We had to float up just to laugh and go back n try! Finally, we got it right holding a pipe. You know what, the scene lasted in the film just for a second.

The most memorable moment in your career or life?

1. Nandi award for Best Comedian

2. Chiranjeevi sir talking about me at the success meet of ‘Geetha Govindam’.

Tell us a lesser-known facet about you!

I am an introvert by nature. I am also sure I have mild Agora Phobia. 


Favorite Food: I like many food items but when I am dull I would love to have Bagara Rice and Mutton curry. 

Favorite Holiday spot: Manikonda (the area he lives in Hyderabad)

Favorite TV/Web Series: Game of Thrones and Dexter

Favorite Actor: Kota Srinivas Rao garu

Favorite Actress: Samantha

Favorite Director: Quentin Tarantino

Food or Sex: Both are interlinked but if I have to choose is food. Nothing can satisfy your soul like a hot thin-crust pizza followed by a chilled coke does on a gloomy day.