Pradeep Rudra, seen in Akkineni Nagarjuna’s Wild Dog talks about his journey from fitness to cinema
When you are in a multi-starrer with a superstar, the experience might be surreal. And that is what Pradeep Rudra felt like when he was cast alongside Akkineni Nagarjuna. For those familiar with Hyderabad high-society, the name Pradeep might ring a bell as he helms a well-known fitness centre, F45. From a fitness enthusiast to a movie star, the actor had quite the journey and he agreed to share it with our readers. Excerpts.
Wild Dog opened to rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. How do you feel about the success?
It feels exhilarating. To see my friends and family enjoy the movie and thankfully not cringe at my performance (laughs), gives a sense of contentment.
How would you describe your character from the movie and how did you prep for it?
I play Hashwanth Manohar, a man who has returned from the United States and it happens to be his first mission with the NIA — to investigate a series of terrorist attacks in India. He is skeptical, timid, and has never killed a person. But, he is a pro with computers. The prep was intense. We had about five months of training and were given lessons professionally about how to use guns or move like NIA agents.
You are a fitness enthusiast. Did you see it as an added advantage during your shoots?
Not at all. Before our training, I was slightly over-confident about it. But it did not last very long. I had to unlearn several things that my fitness journey taught me. This also gave me a chance to master new routines.
Nagarjuna is a superstar we all admire and you got a chance to work with him. What would you say about that experience?
I come from a small town in Andhra called Kurnool. We used to go for walks and return home with books that had superhit songs from Nagarjuna’s movies. My sister and I have been his fans from our childhood. So, for the first few days, it felt unreal. In fact, I did not inform my parents for a long time — till everything materialised. And, to answer your question, it is an experience that I will remember for a lifetime.
There is a lineup of interesting movies that I am a part of. I am currently working for Adivi Sesh’s Major, an untitled project with Kalyan Dev and there is a Tamil movie also on the cards.
Streaming on Netflix.