Allari Naresh is shooting for his 48th film and is tipped to complete filming his 50th film by the end of the year,which would make him the first lead actor from the current generation to do so. However, he doesn't make a 'big deal' about the impending landmark. "I don't want to think too much about what my 50th film is going to be. Right now,my focus is just on completing my ongoing projects," says the actor. He is playing the role of a meek guy who relies on his sister, played by Karthika, for protection and support in the upcoming film Brother of Bommali.
"Chinni Krishna has come up with an interesting characterisation and the whole shoot was a lot of fun," says Naresh. The success rate of his films in the past few years has made him one most bankable comedy actors of our time, earning him the tag of a 'minimum guarantee hero.' However, Allari Naresh avers that the tag has come with a huge responsibility making him even more cautious.
"I didn't have any hurdles in the initial years of my career, but once people started calling me 'minimum guarantee hero', I became very conscious about what I was doing. I started reading more scripts and deliver what people expect from me. Now, I'm striving to be a 'maximum guarantee' hero," he laughs.
Behind his chuckle, there's a sincerity which gives an idea about how seriously he takes his work. "I get restless if I don't work for two days in a row. I think I work more than 300 days in a year and from hereafter, I'm planning to act in at least four films in any given year.That's what everyone in the industry expects from me and I'm ready to go all guns blazing," he says, as a matter- of-fact.
NO REGRETS FOR BEING A FUNNY MAN
Despite acting in a handful of serious films like Gamyam and Shambo Shiva Shambo, his name is usually associated with comedy films and Allari Naresh 'has never regretted' being stuck with the comedy genre. "My father used to tell me that an actor who can do comedy, can pull off anything. Some of our biggest stars like Rajinikanth, Amitabh Bachchan and Chiranjeevi have great comic timing and today, the audience expects the hero to entertain them. I'm quite lucky to be a comedy actor and I feel great when people tell me that my films make them laugh and forget their problems for those two hours. I love observing people's mannerisms and there's so much to learn from their body language," he admits.
A VERY SERIOUS MAN IN REAL LIFE
Lest you believe that his comic hero image is a natural extension of his personality in his real life, Allari Naresh begs to differ. "Comedy is my forte, but not many people know that I'm short-tempered and I scream at people when I'm angry. I'm very methodical and expect everything to be organised. Believe it or not, I'm a very emotional person and when it comes to my work, I associate myself more with the serious roles I did.People find it hard to believe that I can switch off my serious side and get into the comedy groove as soon as I face the camera. There's no question of forgoing that aspect of my craft under any circumstance," he confesses.
COPING UP WITH LOSS
Talking about the more emotional moments in his life, he recalls how shattered he was when his father, EVV Satyanarayana passed away in 2011. "He was more like my best friend and I used to share everything with him.We used to discuss films and family issues. It might sound silly now, but I used to sleep next to him and my mother till I was 24 years old. Whatever I'm today is because of him and his decision to make films with me in the beginning of my career, although a lot of big stars were ready to work with him. His death was a big blow to all of us and all of a sudden, I had to step into his shoes and take up responsibilities of the family," Allari Naresh confesses in a muffled tone.
The memories refuse to subside and by his own admission, they strike him at the unlikeliest of instances. "The other day, I was watching a film and I liked it so much that unknowingly I began dialling my dad's number and then it struck me that he's no more. Your whole life flashes by in an instant at such moments." Unfortunately, he lost his uncle EVV Giri, who worked as a photographer on several of his films, earlier this year.
"I was heartbroken when my uncle passed away. Back in 2008, I lost another close friend who committed suicide. I've never cried so much in life as much as I did when my father and uncle passed away. After that, I decided not to celebrate my birthdays in future.This loss has affected my mother a lot. Life isn't the same any more for us," he admits.
CARRYING FORWARD THE LEGACY
This year, his brother Rajesh and he have resurrected their home banner and he has big plans to carry forward the family legacy. "I have been telling my brother to take up negative roles and also look into production under our banner. I began my career as a cashier when I was 16 and I've been involved in production for the past decade, along with my brother. Filmmaking has been a family affair and I'm just happy to take it forward," Allari Naresh adds.
One of his dreams has been directing a feature film; however, he makes it quite clear that there's still time for that. "I'm not in a hurry to direct a film. If I do direct a film, it'll be my own script and I would love to do an emotional film like 7/G Brindavan Colony. I don't think I can think or write a comedy script, although I guess I'm good at improvising it," he says. Now, that's an understatement.