Though many actors enter the industry to grab that ‘okka chance’ to become a hero, several have taken up whatever roles came their way to sustain themselves.

Chiranjeevi to Sharwanand 8 Telugu actors who played small roles before turning heroFile Photo
Flix Tollywood Wednesday, November 04, 2020 - 16:09

Colour Photo, a small budget movie which released recently on Aha, an OTT platform, has created a lot of buzz. Through this movie, actors Suhas and Chandini Chowdary have made their debut as lead actors. Suhas was earlier seen in web series on YouTube and his short film The Athidi grabbed a lot of attention from Tollywood actors, who showered him with praise. Suhas was also seen in supporting roles in movies such as Padi Padi Leche Manasu and Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya.

Apart from Suhas, there are several actors in Tollywood who made their debut through supporting roles and later turned into lead characters in films. These actors previously played friends to the hero, hardcore villains, or even invisible junior artists. Though many actors enter the industry to grab that ‘okka chance’ to become a hero, several have taken up whatever roles came their way to sustain themselves. 

Here are some actors in Tollywood who started their career in the industry with small roles and have made it big.

Chiranjeevi : Actor Chiranjeevi, who at the age of 65 is still doing lead roles in Tollywood, once played side roles. He started his career with a movie called Punadi Rallu in the year 1978; however this was released after another movie, Pranam Khareedu in the same year. In both the movies, Chiru played supporting roles. The star was also known for his negative roles, which he played in the following years. Some of the 1980s movies such as I Love Uou, Idi Kadha Kaadu, Bandipotu Simham, 47 Rojulu, Mosagadu, Kukka Katuku Cheppu Debba and others had Chiranjeevi in negative shades

Later, in 1982, Intlo Ramayya Veedilo Krishnayya directed by Kodi Ramakrishna gave Chiranjeevi an opportunity to play the lead role. However, it was the 1983 movie Khaidi which elevated the actor to another level. After that, there has been no looking back. The actor was last seen in Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy and is now prepping for his next movie Acharya.

Mohan Babu: ‘Dialogue King’ Mohan Babu is not active in movies any more. However, he made his mark in the industry with his versatility and dialogue delivery. The actor made his debut through Swargam Narakam in 1975 as a villain and won critical acclaim. He was a prominent ‘cunning’ villain in several of the senior NTR and ANR movies. However, by the 1990s, the actor established himself as a hero and acted in several movies such as Rowdy Gaari Pellam, Soggadi Pellam, Pedarayudu, Major Chandrakanth, Assembly Rowdy and others.

Ravi Teja: The actor started his career in 1990 with Karthavyam in a small role with negative shades. In the initial stages, Ravi Teja was seen in several supporting roles in movies such as Chaitanya, Ninne Pelladatha among others. The actor got a breakthrough with Sindhooram in 1997; though it was not a lead role, he got noticed for it. It was with Neekosam in 1999 that he debuted in a lead role. There were several back to back hits in his career, and some of these include Itlu Sravani Subrahmanyam, Idiot, Chanti, Vikramarkudu among others.  The actor is currently awaiting the release of his upcoming movies, Krack and Khiladi.

Sunil: Sunil, who was for the first time seen as a villain in the recent release Colour Photo started his career as a comedian with Akkada Ammayi Ikkada Abbayi. However, he became famous through Nuvve Kavali in the year 2000. Ace director SS Rajamouli gave him a break by giving him the lead role in Maryada Ramanna. The actor has also been seen in several other movies including Andala Ramudu, Jakkanna, Bheemavaram Bullodu, Silly Fellows and others. However, not many of them were successful at the box-office.

Srikanth: Actor Srikanth made his debut in 1990 through a supporting role in People's Encounter. He was also seen in supporting and villain roles in movies such as Seetharatnam Gaari Abbayi. Some other movies of his include Abbai Garu, Donga Alludu, Kondapalli Raja, and Rowdy Annaya among others. He made his debut as a hero for the first time under Thammareddy Bharadwaj's direction with One by Two. However, it was with Taj Mahal in 1995 that he achieved his breakthrough.

Sharwanand: The actor started his career in 2004 with Idava Thareeku, but that turned out to be a disaster. After this, Sharwanand played supporting roles in movies such as Gowri, Chiranjeevi’s Shankar Dada MBBS and Sankranthi, among others. The actor got a breakthrough with the 2010 film Prasthanam. Now, the actor has upcoming movies such as Sreekaram, Mahasamudram and others, where he is the lead.

Vijay Deverakonda: The Arjun Reddy actor made his debut in a Telugu movie called Nuvvila in a small role in 2011. And in 2012, he was seen in another small role in Sekhar Kammula’s Life is Beautiful. But the much needed breakthrough came only with Yevade Subrahmanyam, where he got to play a meaty role with Nani. However, it was through Pelli Choopulu in 2016 that he got to play the lead. His biggest break was with Arjun Reddy in 2017. The actor is currently on the sets of Fighter under Puri Jagannadh’s direction.

Naveen Polishetty: The Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya actor also started his career with a small role. He was seen in Life is Beautiful in the year 2012 as the 'Gold phase guy'. He got his breakthrough with Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya in 2019, where he played the lead role. He was also seen in the Sushant Singh Rajput starrer Chhichhore in the character of Acid, one of the friends.

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