Have to live upto family’s reputation: Sai Dharam Tej

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Chennai, March 26 (IANS) Actor Sai Dharam Tej, who comes from megastar Chiranjeevi’s clan, says he doesn’t feel any pressure of belonging to the prestigious family. But he is aware of his responsibility of living up to the family’s reputation.

“I know I come from a very popular family. But that doesn’t add any pressure on me. I feel like I have a big responsibility to bear and keep my family’s reputation intact. Although everybody in the family encouraged my decision to act, they cautioned me as well,” Sai told IANS.

Chiranjeevi’s family has already produced actors such as Ram Charan, Allu Arjun, Allu Sirish and Varun Tej among others. Sai says he wouldn’t feel like competing with them.

“Lot of flowers blossom from the same tree, but they don’t compete with each other. We’re all like the flowers from the same tree. We see each other’s films but never talk about it. At home, we rarely talk about films,” said Sai.

After a long delay of nearly three years, Sai’s first Telugu film “Rey” is releasing in cinemas on Friday.

He says the delay didn’t deter him.

“Initially, I was disappointed but it subsequently turned into a learning experience. Every actor has to undergo such a tumultuous phase at some point in their career. And I’m glad it happened at the beginning of my career,” he said.

“I never lost my motivation and used the long delay to groom myself. I took dancing and acting classes because I was certain I may not get such a long break ever in my career again. The delay also taught me how the industry functions,” he added.

Directed by Y.V.S. Chaudhary, “Rey”, a musical drama, also features Saiyami Kher and Shraddha Das.

Explaining the film’s delay in release, Sai said: “One of the reasons for the delay is that I injured my knee while filming a song sequence and the shooting had to be cancelled for about three to four months. We shot the film for about 315 days.”

And the other reasons being the delay in getting visas to travel to multiple locations, including the US, for shooting.

“The director has taken a different backdrop. The story revolves around a music competition in the US, where the best of the world’s top pop stars compete,” he said, and added that the dance sequences took a toll on his body.

“Since this was a dance-based film, I spent almost five months learning dance before the project went on floors. We shot the climax song for about 35 days, and it was rigorous. We’d shoot from morning till midnight,” he said.

“For that particular song, my director wanted me to have six-pack abs. It was physically strenuous, but I really enjoyed the whole experience because I wouldn’t get such opportunities again in my career,” said Sai, who was interested in dancing from a young age, courtesy his mother, who was a classical dancer.

Sai, who has already had a Telugu release, is now busy shooting for his third venture titled “Subramanyam for Sale”.

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