'Don’t copy anyone, everyone’s journey isn’t the same': Shanmukh Kandregula on life after Agent Anand Santosh

Digital star Shanmukh Jaswanth Kandregula who debuts on OTT with series Agent Anand Santosh, talks about his role, passion and ambition

author_img Priyamvada Rana Published :  29th July 2022 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  29th July 2022 12:00 AM
Agent Anand Santosh

Agent Anand Santosh

Shanmukh Jaswanth Kandregula, best known as the first millennial Telugu YouTuber believes that he is a dreamer. The digital star has come a long way from doing YouTube series like The Software Developer and Surya to viral videos like The Viva and The Interview with which he has garnered a strong following. Finally, the YouTuber, actor and dancer seems to have arrived on the acting stage with Aha series – Agent Anand Santosh. The 10-episode weekly series is a comedy story that revolves around Santosh (Shanmukh), a resourceful person who wishes to be a detective and embarks on his fun-filled mystery-solving adventures. We caught up with the actor over an interesting conversation about his latest series and more.

From The Viva to the web series Agent Anand Santosh, how has the learning curve been?
I started YouTube in 2012 as an archive of my videos so that I could re-watch them again, but I never thought I would be a content creator on purpose. Now, after a decade, I feel thrilled to have come such a long way! When I was doing the comic video The Viva, I learned comedy is all about timing. I also had in mind that I always wanted to be an actor. I started working on cover songs, refining my dancing moves and sharpening my acting skills. The shift from The Viva to cover songs made me believe in myself, I realised that I could also pull off the acting game by working my way up. One of the lessons I learnt in my decade-long career is that you need to go with the flow rather than pre-plan. Embrace situations and stay original in your craft. Don’t copy anyone because everyone’s journey isn’t the same. Additionally, have patience and hope.

A still from Agent Anand Santosh

What do you like about the series and about your role?
I like the fact that Agent Anand Santosh is a different role from what I have done in the past. In the webseries, Software Developer, I played the role of an introvert. Then, later with Surya, it was again about a character who is depressed and in search of a job. There is no fun while playing those personalities. In real life, I am a person who is bouncing off the walls with energy, comedy sketches and dance videos. With Agent Anand Santosh, I got a chance to show my comedy skills with a very entertaining character. With such shows, I get a chance to unravel a different facet of my personality as an actor. I got an opportunity to improvise which makes the role more believable and helps connect with viewers.

How was your chemistry on set?
On the sets, the director of the web series, Arun Pawar, was so trusting of my performance that he didn’t allow me to watch the screen monitor after giving a shot! (laughs). He preplans everything and blocks the shot in his mind. I’m happy with my team because everyone is young and passionate about their work. Rather than monetary gain, they want the world to know about their innate talent. That gives me a lot of joy and fulfilment at work. I can say this is my dream team!

What can viewers expect from Agent Anand Santosh?
Through Aha, I’m making my debut on the OTT platform. So, viewers have never seen me on a streaming platform before. If they like the series and do subscribe that would boost my confidence as an actor. In return, I need to give great content for them to watch. I can say it’s a task for me to manage to get the same views that I get for my YouTube channel. Overall, I am excited about this project because it involves experimentation, exposure and mindful risk-taking which is always good rather than working in a comfort zone.

Shanmukh Jaswanth Kandregula

Acting, dance and comedy, you have done it all. Which medium do you like the most and why?
It’s dancing because I always love to dance. I started dancing in the fourth grade. When you practice well, you can dance well, however, acting is very different and more demanding as you need to work on every minute detail and then improvise and give the best. In that context, acting is challenging because you must live and breathe your character for a considerable period of time to make it look more believable.

Agent Anand Santosh is currently streaming on Aha. 
Mail: priyamvada@newindianexpress.com
Twitter: @RanaPriyamvada