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Makeover man

Tarun has matured as an actor, and says he will only do roles that suit his age


IS THE romance with teenage love stories coming to an end? Have we had too much of them since the advent of the new generation stars and filmmakers in the past three years? Is it true that the teen stars who have grown up are concentrating on a change of image from mere lover boys to all-pervading macho stars to win over the other segment constituting the mass audience? "It is not switching over. It is an evolution as an actor. I go for characters that suit my age," says Tarun. "I cannot play a police officer and act tough nor can I play father to a child. I do not mind accepting any role, be it sentimental, comedy, action or love story, but I should be able to do justice to the character. When I hear the story, I imagine myself in that role and visualise. That's how I decide on the script," continues the teen-age heartthrob who shot into fame with Nuvve Kaavali, three years ago.

After a dream debut any newcomer would feel envious about, apart from a few commercial grosses, Tarun could not recreate the magic of Nuvve Kaavali. "That film was etched in the audiences minds so much that naturally comparisons were drawn with it and my subsequent releases. Again you cannot expect every film to become a Nuvve Kaavali. Sometimes, we go wrong with the script and sometimes the audience reject even it is a well-made film. Sometimes you gamble, and it does not work. But I have had more hits than flops in my career and am happy about it."

Tarun took a brief respite for a few months before signing his next film. Perhaps the not-so successful Ela cheppanu and Nee manasu naaku telusu made him brood over the whole process of selecting scripts. And ever since his first film, he was stuck with the lover boy image. "I am happy with that image. I am not in a hurry to change that either. But as I said, I would like to evolve as an actor I have to perform different roles. So if I can get a mass character that suits my lover boy image, then I will go for it. My next film will be on those lines," smiles Tarun. What was he doing during this brief hiatus?

"Just chilling out. I went to London with friends. I was also in the process of shedding some weight," smiles Tarun. A movie buff, if he is not shooting, he prefers watching one movie per day, no matter if it is English, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi or some good Malayalam film. Playing cricket is also one of his favourite pastimes. "Every Sunday, if we have the time, NTR, Srikanth, Vishnuvardhan Babu, a few producers and directors, and I play cricket. You know my fans send me cricket balls and bats as gifts."

Among the heroines, he says he vibes well with Shriya, Trisha and Rima Sen. "We are all friends here. It is like classmates in a college. For me, acting as a child star was like having fun. Now it has become my profession. So I am taking it more seriously and the goal is to reach the top spot."

As a child actor, he won a national award for Manirathnam's Anjali. He hopes to do a film with his favourite director once again. "I met him a couple of times. Maybe he will find the script for me one day," signs off an optimistic Tarun as friends wait in his bungalow in Banjara Hills, to chill out on the eve of New Year.

M.L. NARASIMHAM

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