Why he matters: The actor who ignited a craze for Southern movies, becoming a pan-Indian phenomenon thanks to Pushpa: The Rise, is celebrated today as one of the country’s most bankable stars. His youngest brother and a formidable cineast himself, Allu Sirish, shares both a never-before-seen image of the star and an aspect of him few people know.
There was time when Ajun was working towards becoming an animator. Before getting into it, to secure admission at Vancouver Film School, he was getting trained in 2D pencil drawings. I remember him spending five to seven hours every day on his art.
With time, he got better than artists who were naturally gifted! He eventually got into the prestigious school with a scholarship, but he dropped out to pursue a career in acting.
His ability to beat boredom and monotony and engage himself deeply in whatever he’s doing is the reason for his excellence. He’s the best example of a horse with blinders. Even during the lockdown, Arjun would sit with director Sukumar and an accent coach on a Zoom call every day, for nearly two hours, to work on getting the Chittoor accent right for Pushpa.
To me, he was always a very affectionate brother. He treated me more like a son than one of his siblings. But the surprising trait that I noticed after we grew up was how he turned into a family man. Not just with his wife and kids, but with everyone else. He organises field trips and holidays for all the kids in our family and extended family. He enjoys taking them out and spending time with them... I find this very endearing and also surprising because this was a side to him we could never have imagined witnessing when we were growing up…
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