Actor Thiruveer: Theatre and cinema helped me survive
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Actor Thiruveer discusses the Telangana drama ‘Pareshan’ presented by Rana Daggubati, and admits that little has changed in his career post the sleeper hit ‘Masooda’

May 30, 2023 03:59 pm | Updated 05:35 pm IST

Thiruveer’s next is the Telugu film ‘Pareshan’

Thiruveer’s next is the Telugu film ‘Pareshan’ | Photo Credit: Saikiran Kore/Special Arrangement

Telugu film Pareshan will narrate a slice-of-life story of people who work in coal mines in the Mancherial region of Telangana. Actor Thiruveer describes the film as a rural comedy and asserts that it is unlike director Srikanth Odela’s recent revenge drama Dasara, starring Nani and Keerthy Suresh, which also unravelled in the backdrop of Telangana’s coal mines. Presented by Rana Daggubati, Pareshan will release in theatres on June 2, coinciding with Telangana Formation Day.

Pareshan was offered to Thiruveer in 2020 and soon after the first lockdown, the cast and crew led by director Rupak Ronaldson began filming. Thiruveer speaks the Telangana dialect at home and says he had to tweak it a wee bit to be in sync with the Mancherial dialect. “I was born in Mamidipalli and our family moved to Hyderabad when I was young, so I consider myself a Hyderabadi. When I am talking to others in the film circles, I speak neutral Telugu. Once home, the Telangana dialect kicks in.”

He recalls the unit filming with trepidation soon after the first lockdown. The villagers were wary of the film crew; on their part, the crew followed social distancing and sanitisation protocols. “We used our own vehicles and would avoid eating out at restaurants. Despite that, someone or the other would fall ill.” The film was completed towards the end of 2020 and Rupak, says Thiruveer, spent ample time overseeing the editing and background score to ensure sound technical output. Then came the travails of finding a theatrical release window. “A small film like ours had to wait. Digital platforms have also not been accepting films that do not have well-known names.” Things looked up when Rana watched the film a few weeks ago and took it up for distribution. 

Moving away from Pareshan, it becomes imperative to ask if Thiruveer’s career has been on an upswing post Masooda, last year’s sleeper hit, a horror thriller drama that was appreciated for its taut storytelling, performances and technical prowess. Thiruveer weighs this question and admits that little has changed. “I have always been getting offers from indie filmmakers and that continues. I also keep getting offers for supporting roles and that of the villain as earlier. People who see me in a marketplace or the gym tell me they liked my work in Masooda. However, a few people in the industry told me that the credit for a horror thriller goes to the director and the technical team and not to the actors. I don’t know if they said that because they do not want to pay me more, if at all they were to hire me. I have to survive and hence I’ve been accepting offers that come to me.” 

Thiruveer

Thiruveer | Photo Credit: Saikiran Kore

Nevertheless, movie lovers consider Thiruveer as an actor who consistently delivers efficient performances. He did his postgraduation in theatre arts at Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University and acted in plays that paved the way for him to be chosen as the antagonist in George Reddy. Then came films such as Palasa 1978, Tuck Jagadish, web series Sin and Metro Kathalu.

Ask Thiruveer why he chose theatre and he says with disarming honesty that it stemmed from the need for better finances and not from a dream to become an actor. “I grew up in Katedhan industrial area in Hyderabad. I saw people work all day, return home at night to eat and sleep, wake up, and head to work the next day. It was the same routine for years and the money was not great.” He did not want to be caught in that cycle and looked for alternate careers. He considered modelling, a job as a flight steward and then chanced upon theatre studies. 

“Theatre, and, now, cinema, help me survive,” he recalls. Talking about how his foundation in theatre helped him in cinema, he says, “In theatre, you have to be attentive every second since there are no retakes. You have to notice the cues and be aware of any movement. All this learning helped when I began acting in cinema. I could grasp things quickly. At the same time, I also had to unlearn a few things. On a stage, your voice has to be loud enough to reach the audience at the far end. On a film set, even minute movements and sounds get recorded on camera. More often you need to be subdued.”

Although movie commitments do not allow him the luxury of acting in a play, Thiruveer oversees the plays presented by his theatre company, Popcorn Theatre.

Thiruveer has a few films lined up, including a period romance drama to be directed by first-timer Gopi Vihari, and a web series. “I’ve been an RJ, a dubbing artiste, a theatre actor and a film actor. I’ve been lucky enough to get some interesting work both in mainstream and indie cinema. I am hoping better opportunities come my way.”

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