Tollywood has many fairytales of people who made it from rags to riches. One such story of perseverance and courage is that of Ravi Teja. The actor was a late bloomer as one of the leading heroes of Tollywood.
Ravi Teja’s story is a living example of what the Krishnanagar dreams are made of, the struggles upcoming actors and rank outsiders have to go through on the journey to stardom.
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Ravi Teja: The beginning
A young 20 year old Ravi Shankar Raju decided early to make it big in cinema. Though he did not possess what were deemed good looks as a glamorous young man, the man started his journey from his native Vijayawada to Madras (Chennai,) with the dreams of making it big.
How many of you know Ravi Teja acted in Lady Superstar Vijayashanthi’s cult hit Karthavyam (1990?) From an actor who appeared in one or two scenes in a movie, Ravi Teja graduated to an assistant director of many Hindi and Telugu movies shot in Madras.
It was at this time Ravi Teja met his mentor, director Krishna Vamsi and joined his team as an assistant. It was Vamsi who gave the first opportunity to Ravi Teja in Sindhooram (1997) as a hero. The offbeat movie won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu that year.
However, Ravi Teja continued to play supporting actor roles despite his lead role in Sindhooram.
The image makeover of Ravi Teja: His stardom
Krishna Vamsi played the role of a godfather to this actor who came with no filmy background and who had the passion to make it big. However, the credit of making Ravi Teja a Mass Maharaja goes to director Puri Jagannadh and his film Idiot. Though Puri made Ravi Teja act in films like Itlu Sravani Subramanyam (2001) and Avunu Valliddaru Istapaddaru! (2002,) he gave Ravi Teja an image makeover for the love story Idiot. This movie introduced all the Ravi Teja signature mannerisms, his sarcastic dialogue delivery and his peculiar comic timing.
Puri Jagannadh continued to give great roles to Ravi Teja in movies like Amma Nanna O Tamilammayi (2003,) which was another film that presented Ravi Teja in a mass role.
Soon, many directors like Boyapati Srinu, Sobhan and Rasool started giving mass roles to Ravi Teja.
The biggest ticket to superstardom for Ravi Teja was S.S. Rajamouli’s Vikramarkudu (2006,) in which he played an out and out mass hero in a dual role. The movie became a cult hit for Ravi Teja and was remade in many Indian languages.
Hits like Dubai Seenu and Khatarnak followed, cementing his place as a star hero with a great fan following. Ravi Teja built this fan base through his sheer hard work.
Ravi Teja: The present
The turn of the decade in 2009 saw him in another cult film, Kick, which was again remade in several languages. Similarly, films like Veera made him the mass hero who plays on his strength of sarcastic dialogue and quirky fight scenes.
Ravi Teja’s another hit of the decade was Raja The Great, directed by Anil Ravipudi, which was a Ravi Teja mark comedy.
In 2020, at the turn of another decade, Ravi Teja is coming up with Disco Raja, directed by Vi Anand, to entertain his fans who want his vintage mass dialogues and action sequences. The released teasers prove this fact.
All the best to the Mass Maharaja Ravi Teja, the self made man who is in an important phase of his life.