Harshith Reddy spills the tea on how he prepared for his debut film, Mail
The Telugu film industry in the last few months has seen several young talents emerge. Recently, 21-year old Harshith Reddy rose to fame with his debut venture — Kambalapally Kathalu Chapter 1: Mail. The young actor has taken everyone by surprise with his acting prowess in his debut film. Harshith essays the role of Ravi, a small-town college student who has a deep connection with computers. This movie is streaming on the OTT platform, Aha. The first-time actor plays the character with ease and does not even for a minute shy away from it. The role requires him to be foolish and naive, but he has portrayed the character with the conviction that Ravi’s antics do not look caricaturish to us. In fact, we root for him.
When we asked the actor, how he got the part, he reveals, “Surprisingly, I was the last one to be cast. I received a text from the movie’s assistant director and asked if I would be interested in giving an audition. Of course, I was. The movie was produced by Vyjayanthi Films. Who would miss a chance like that? T he movie also reminded me of Amazon Prime Video’s Panchayat. When I watched it, I was blown away by it and hoped to be part of something similar. I am glad that Mail has come to me.”
A different take
Unlike a commercial film, the movie’s lead is not a textbook definition of a hero. Ravi, played by Harshith, is naive and often comes across as foolish. But even with the comedy of errors in his life, he is the protagonist. The story starts with him and ends with him. While speaking about the debut movie, he also shares what went behind bringing a character like Ravi to the screen. “I think a lot of it should be credited to the director — Uday Gurralla. He brought Ravi to life. We also had a 20-day workshop, where we rehearsed vigorously and helped each other get better with our performances. Additionally, I also watched Telugu movies and short videos to get my accent and body language. Also, allow me to add that there is no hero in this project. We just tried to tell the story of a boy who loves computers,” elaborates Harshith.
Social media sensation
Harshith, who has appeared and acted in various Telugu sketches and short videos, believes that acting was never a choice that he made, but as fate would have it, it happened to him. He casually mentions how he mimicked actors and performed as movie characters and entertained his family. “I am not sure if I can call it my passion. Just like everyone I was also starstruck,” joked the actor when asked about his ambitions. The actor also shares screen time with Priyadarshi Pulikonda and some of their scenes make for hilarious one-liners. Harshith confesses that he is a big fan of Priyadarshi. “He is perhaps the funniest person on the sets. I remember working with him in a short series called Loser. But, I did not get to screen space with him. It was disheartening. And, look at my joy now, I shot an entire movie with him. The experience is hands down, one of the best in my life,” Harshith says.
With the onset of a new director and a young team, we were quite keen about what their filming process in Kamballapally must have been like. The 21-year old told us, it did feel like a boy’s hostel, I was petrified in the beginning. But, our team was supportive, and within a few days, the shooting felt like a vacation.” Ever since the Mail has come out, people have said only positive for the young Harshith. His performance is already one of the best in the last few releases. The actor revealed that he is indeed happy with success. “Ah! It has been exhilarating. I could not have ever imagined a reception like this. This is my debut movie you know. And to receive congratulatory messages from filmmakers like Ravikanth Perepu is nothing less than a dream. I am just really happy with how the whole thing worked for me,” exclaims Harshith.
Filmmakers I look forward to working with:
Sukumar, Vetrimaaran, Mani Ratnam, and Gautam Menon
Actors that inspire me:
Joaquin Phonenix, Faahadh Faasil, and Vijay Sethupathi
My current favourite movies and shows:
Sound of Metal, White Tiger, and Scam 1992
Favourite food destination in Hyderabad:
New habits picked up in the lockdown: