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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

First look at the Casting of Happy Days

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Sekhar Kammula is the man of sincerity and honesty and when he said something about talent hunt, he really meant it. And if you speak to these boys and girls, you would realize that there is no place for them in this inheritors-ridden film industry if not for Sekhar Kammula. Sekhar Kammula went to the extent of giving opportunity to an 18 year old boy (A +2 student from New Jersey) Sandesh just by watching a video sent by him over mail.


I was born in Rayagada in Orissa and later lived in Hyderabad for 4 years. Then we shifted to New Jersey, USA. I finished my +2 just now.

How did you get this opportunity:
I saw the advertisement in idlebrain.com and sent photos to Sekhar. He asked me to mail him the video clippings of certain scenes which I did and voila! I got it. After coming to Hyderbad, Sekhar has put us through an acting workshop for 3 weeks where we learnt about acting, dialogue delivery and modulation, nuances of dancing etc.

Tell us about your character in Happy Days?
I am doing the role of Chandu a calm and confused youngster. I am the leader of the pack.

Did anybody tell you that you resemble actor Siddhardh?
Yes. But one should not compare. He is great.

Who is your favorite hero?
Rajnikant. He is probably the number one.

How is the support from your parents?
They extend lot of support. We got permission from school to act in this film. I have to return to NJ in August as exams are due.

How is it like acting in Happy days?
Sekhar Kammula does not want me to act. He wants me to behave.

What are your hobbies?
Basket Ball, Football, Soccer, XBOX 360 etc.

Do you want to continue in this profession?
I have not given it a thought yet. I will try, but not 100% sure. We have to take life as it comes.

What are you doing in your free time here?
My grandparents are staying in Masab Tank. I visit them and go to movies.

You have desi accent in your Telugu. How are you dubbing for this film?
It is very different from acting. It is easy with experience.


I belong to Srikakulam. My father is an employee in State Bank of India. I completed my B Tech in 2005 and worked in Cognizant Technologies for one and half year. I quit my job because I wanted to seriously pursue my ambition of acting in a film. I won the Andhra Idol contest in acting category of MAA TV. I am also a Bharatanatyam dancer.

How did you get selected?
I got selected through the Big FM contest. I was interviewed for 3 rounds. I attended workshop for 2 weeks.

Tell us about your character in this film?
I am doing the role of Shankar who is very studious. His priorities start changing from time to time depending on the situations.

What homework did you do for this character?
I believe to be in the character even when I am off the sets. I want people to recognize me as a good actor.

What are your future plans?
I want to continue in acting profession. I would like to do films with good story and good characterization. I will wait till the release of Happy Days before accepting the next project.

Who is your favorite hero?
Kamal Hassan. He broke the star mould and did character based films.

What are your favorite films?
Sankara Bharanam, Sagara Sangamam and The Legend of Bharat Singh.


I am born and brought up in Mumbai. I did my first film 'Chand Ka Roshan Chehra' at the age of 13 and half. I did my first ad commercial with 'Fair & Lovely'. I made my debut with Sree film in Telugu. I also did Tamil films KD (Jadoo in Telugu) and Vyabari. I am 17 years old now and just completed my +2.

Your photos in idlebrain.com were circulated in internet as the photos of scandalous bar girl Tarannam Khan. How do you feel about it?
I was stunned. The press from Bombay Times were kind to me. They clarified that the photos belong to me (Tamanna). There should be a way to control these kinds of scandals. However, I do not worry much about it as it is a part of our job. We should better get used to it.

Tell us about director Sekhar Kammula?
He has the knack of showing simple things beautifully. I learnt a lot about how simplicity can speaks volumes. I saw his film Anand for at least 20 times. It instills positive thinking in us.

Do you want to continue your studies?
Yes. I completed my +2. I am taking BA through distance education. I like to let earning and learning go hand-in-hand. It is like getting paid to learn.

Who are your favorite actors?
Hrithik Roshan and Madhuri Dixit

Favorite films?
Anand (Telugu), Erin Brockovich , DDLJ and Mughal E Azam

Dancing and books

What are your future projects?
Kalluri in Tamil and Happy Days in Telugu

Dream role?
I don't have any dream roles. But I prefer performance oriented roles and I love acting.


I was born and brought up in Hyderabad. I graduated from MJCET. I love dancing and I completed my courses in choreography. I had been trying to act in films for the past five years. I am lucky enough to grab a role in Happy Days.

Tell us about your character in this film?
I am going do the role of son of the MLA of Proddutur. It is a playboy kind of character.

Did you try any projects before landing in this film?
I worked as an observer for Hyderabad Nawabs film. I also wanted to enter the field of direction.

Who is your favorite actor?
Ravi Teja.

Favorite film?
Venky. I watch it at least once in a day. It provides hilarious comedy. I get recharged by watching this film.

Dancing (all types)

Dream roles?
I love comedy. I love doing comedy films.

Gayatri Rao

I was born and brought up in Hyderabad. I recently completed my +2 in St. Anns. I am interesting in acting since my childhood. I am a trained classical singer in Hindustani and Carnatic. I also learnt Kuchipudi dance besides playing Veena, Sitar and Mridangam. I joined in NCC and got a certificate. I represented my school for NCC on 15 August in Hyderabad.

Tell us about your role?
I am doing the role of a tomboy Aparna.

Favorite actors?
Mahesh, Siddhardh and Ileana.

Favorite films?
Anand, Godavari, Pokiri, NVNV and Sound of Music

What kind of roles you want to do?
I want to do both glamour and performance oriented roles. I am getting few offers. I want Happy Days to release first.

Don't you have any apprehension that film industry is a bad place to be in?
No. We can always take the good side of it and ignore the bad side aside.

Monali Chowdary Nimmagadda

I am born and brought up in Hyderabad. I am a graduate in Architecture from JNTU. In my final semester my friends sent my pictures to Big FM and I got a call for an audition.

Is Monali your real name?
No. My real name is Madhu Chowdary Nimmagadda. But there are too many heroines with Madhu name. Hence my mother screen-named me as Monali.

Your character in this film?
I am doing the role of Sangeeta who is very rich and shows lot of attitude. This character is close to my real life.

Favorite actors:
Nagarjuna, Siddhardh, Saif Ali Khan, Ajay Devgan, Tabu & Shabana Azmi

Favorite films:
Anand, Aithe, AOR, Grahanam, Gangster, Rain Coat, Cheeni Kum and Metro.

Painting and writing. I was the editor in chief for my college magazine. I love designing too.

How is the encouragement from your parents?
They encouraged me a lot because I like acting and dancing. The reputation of Sekhar Kammula as clean moviemaker helped me in convincing my parents.

You have an encouraging career of an architect. Why do you want to do films?
I don't differentiate between architecture and acting. Both these professions are forms of expressions. For architecture you need mind and for acting you need both mind and body...


I am born and brought up in Hyderabad. I graduated from ICFAI. My father wanted me to join his business, but I got attracted to acting.

How did you get this chance?
I read about Happy Days casting call on idlebrain.com. I got this film after going through six rounds of auditions.

Tell us about your role in this film?
I am doing Tyson character who is a nerd. It is completely opposite to my real character.

Favorite actor?
Pawan Kalyan

Favorite films?
Kaho Na Pyar Hain & DDLJ

Going to gym. I want to improve my physique.

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