You just turned 40. What does life at 40 look like and what are the lessons you have learnt?
When I look back, it seems I came to the city just a couple of days ago. I am still trying to learn the lessons of the trade. With every film you do, you make a lot of friends, from who you get to learn. I have learnt to stay grounded.
It has been over 15 years as an actor. Has it been a rough journey?
Being an outsider, I knew it was not going to be an easy journey. Initially, I used to share a small apartment with other people. We used to go to each and every office in Mumbai, travelling by locals and buses. I had my share of struggle. But I wanted to go through the grind.
You are an engineer by qualification. How did acting happen?
When I was doing my engineering, I used to do some fashion shows as an amateur. Then friends said I should come to Mumbai.
You made a mark with villainous roles in Telugu and Hindi films...
I never wanted to cast myself into a particular genre. When Dabangg was offered to me, I did not want to do it. Then, we had to remould my character and brought that comedy streak into it. The film did well and my character was noticed. But, I have said no to the best of filmmakers. Even when I had no work, I used to sit at home and wait for good work. Thankfully, films did well and good filmmakers came my way.
You have worked with SRK and Salman. What do you like about them?
Shah Rukh still has the focus and urge to give his best like it is his first film. There is a boyish factor. He is a very humble guy and with lots of energy. I would love to have that. Salman spoke really less in the initial days of shoot. But after we bonded well, I could speak to him about anything. He is like the elder brother I missed while growing up.
You played Amitabh Bachchan's son in Buddha Hoga Tera Baap. There is a lot of talk about your resemblance to him. Have you two ever spoken about that?
We have never spoken about it. It is a huge compliment when someone compares us. When we were shooting for Yuva, I remember Mani Ratnam sir used to say that Abhishek and I look like real brothers. And that an ideal script would be Mr Bachchan playing the father and you two playing his sons. I never knew that one day I would get to play his son!
Tell us about one crazy fan experience you have had.
I remember a family used to send me gifts every two or three days. It continued for a couple of months and finally, I had to request them not to do it. There were not a super rich family and lived in a small place like Vishakapatnam. They make you feel special.
Any message for the one who follow you on Follo? Do you look forward to chatting with your Follo'ers?
I would love to interact with them. I would like to thank them for all their wishes and prayers that helped me reach here today. There are still miles to go and I hope they keep praying for me and I hope to connect with them very soon!