Telugu cinema, over the decades has been fortunate enough to be blessed with some exceptional talents in the capacity of supporting roles where the actors are seen complimenting the lead actors in terms of performances as well acknowledging writer-director's thought by mighty portrayal of characterization.
To pick up three of the prominent figures who have gained immense popularity through versatile rendition of roles, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Prakash Raj and Rao Ramesh would occupy distinctive spots.
Kota Srinivasa Rao
The 72-year-old legend, who debuted in 1978 with Pranam Khareedu, has acted in 4 different languages in over 250 films. With close to a 4-decade-old career, the ace performer has delivered some exceptional performances and is a recipient of nine state Nandi awards and the fourth highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri award for his contribution to the Indian cinema.
The present generation film viewers were left awestruck with his performances which oozes variations from one character to the other. If he is seen as a caring father in Bommarillu, then the same person is showcased as a hapless citizen in Temper.
One can never erase the character Sidappa from Attarintiki Daredi. However, it's his roleplay in the Tamil movie, Saamy which brought in a lot of accolades amongst the Tamil viewers followed by his role in Tiruppachi as Saniyan Saggadi.
The actor is known for his Telugu diction and the intonation which emphasizes the importance of every dialogue coming out from the actor's voice box.
He had to struggle during his initial days, had to accept some of the lesser important roles both in theatre and in the film industry when he started his journey by acting in Kannada films. But it was the K. Balachander directorial movie, Duet (1994) which made him a popular on-screen actor.
This movie from his mentor, transformed him from Prakash Rai to Prakash Raj. Since then, there has been no turning back for this adaptable actor who then stretched himself to Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi movies as well.
He started his career as an actor, this exuberant personality saw himself funding movies, wielding megaphone for his own movies and as well tried his luck by successfully venturing himself into the small screen by hosting Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi.
It's very hard to pinpoint some of Prakash's notable works as there are a plenty of them. However, Okkadu/Ghilli could probably be the first movie which strikes every cinema fan where he was seen outshining the protagonist at many occasions.
His portrayal of Ali Bhai character in Pokkiri not just showcases him as a dreadful don but as well tickles the funny bone of audience.
Be it Tamil Singham or the Hindi version of the same, Vasool Raja MBBS, Bommarillu, Badri, Indra or the ever green Iruvar, the national award-winning actor steals the show.
Prakash Raj, gets into his character, gets his body language and dialect suited for the nativity of the characterization and adds every single emotion into the frame which makes his acting not just a form of action, but an equal reaction.
Hailing from the film background, Rao Ramesh, son of Rao Gopal Rao, is now seen one of the major supporting forces to reckon with in the T-Town. If one cinema witnesses him as a responsible head of the family, then the other might offer him a scope for a demeaning character with a grey shade. Not many would realize that he was the one who had portrayed the role of a 'tantrik' in SS Rajamouli's Magadheera.
It's the flexible body language and his spot on facial expression that scores over. A simple close up is enough to show his calibre which gets conveyed through his expressions and dialogue delivery.
One needs to really check out for his performances in movies such as Khaleja, Attarintiki Daredi, S/O Satyamurthy and Katamarayudu where the acting prodigy displays his domain prowess.
With Kota gaaru slowing down due to the age factor and Prakash Raj reducing the number of movie, Rao Ramesh can be seen in many more movies quite often for some years down the line.