Sai Dharam Tej is one among the most bankable youngsters in T-Town these days, thanks to the success of his films like Subramanyam For Sale and Supreme. His most recent film Thikka might have tanked at the box-office, but that hasn’t stopped the youngster from zooming ahead in his career. Apart from his upcoming film Winner, the actor will also be seen in Krishna Vamsi’s Nakshatram and BVS Ravi’s Jawan later this year.
His latest film, Winner, is making all the right buzz and Sai Dharam Tej confesses that he was bowled over by director Gopichand Malineni’s story. “I’m playing a horse jockey in the film, but it’s not just about horse racing. Contrary to what people might thing, Winner has an emotional story and that’s what convinced me to take up the film,” Sai Dharam Tej says. The film was extensively shot in Ukraine and Turkey, and Sai Dharam Tej recalls having a whale of a time along with his co-star Rakul.
“We shot in a city named Lviv in Ukraine and it was so beautiful that every evening we would just hang out exploring the local cuisine. I would love to go back there once again,” he says.
The most exciting experience of shooting for Winner was, however, in Turkey when the actor had to work with a Hollywood stunt director Kaloyan Vodenicharov, who has films like World War Z, Mission Impossible to his credit. “The best part about working with Kaloyan is that he understands the Indian style of action choreography and he made me adapt to his style as well.
The stunts were quite risky but thrilling at the same time,” Tej recalls.
For a horse racing sequence in the film, Sai Dharam Tej had to strike a bond with a horse, named Toro, which apparently had 16 years of film experience. “It was unbelievable. I spent days altogether with the horse that I struck a special bond with it. Toro was so well trained that if I accidentally fell, he would stop immediately and stop other horses from running over me. I couldn’t stop crying when I left the set. I think I have a better relationship with horses than with women,” Sai Dharam Tej laughs.
Ask him if the failure of Thikka came as a big jolt to him, pat comes the reply, “Sometimes, you can’t control everything. I loved the story of Thikka when I heard it, but somehow it got lost in translation. We just have to learn from our mistakes and move on, otherwise your life will come to a dead end. Right now, my focus is on improving myself and choose good projects.”