Ravi Teja (born Bhupatiraju Ravi Shankar Raju on 26 January 1968) is an Indian Telugu film actor. He won the Nandi Award for Best Actor for the film Neninthe in 2008. He has acted in other films including Avunu Valliddaru Ista Paddaru, Idiot, Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi, Venky, Bhadra, Vikramarkudu, Krishna, Kick, and Mirapakaay. These successful films have established him within a short period of time as one of the leading actors in Tollywood.
Early life :
Ravi Teja was born as Bhupatiraju Ravishankar Raju to father Bhupatiraju Rajgopal Raju and mother Rajya Lakshmi Bhupatiraju on 26 January 1968 in the Indian village of Jaggampeta, Andhra Pradesh, India. Ravi's father was a pharmacist and mother was a homemaker. He is the eldest of three sons and the other two Bharath and Raghu are also actors. Ravi Teja spent most of his childhood in Northern India because his father used to move very often due to his work. Due to that, his schooling was done in Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai and Bhopal. Ravi Teja completed his schooling at N.S.M. public school. Later on he moved to Vijayawada along with his family and completed his Bachelors in Arts at Siddhartha Degree College. From early child hood Ravi Teja had dreamt of acting in films. As a result, in 1988 he went to Chennai to start his career in films.
Personal life :
Ravi Teja got married to Kalyani in 2002. The couple have two children, Mokshadha (b. 2003) and Mahadhan (b. 2006). He is known to be good friends with Puri Jagannadh.
In the following years of his arrival to Chennai, Ravi Teja struggled for opportunities to prove himself at acting. Y. V. S. Chowdary and Gunasekhar were his roommates during those struggling days Finally after few years of struggle, he began his career with small roles in films like Karthavyam (1991), Chaitanya (1991) and Aaj Ka Goonda Raj (1992). After gaining few years of experience, Ravi became an assistant director. He worked in both television and films. As an assistant director, he worked in several Bollywood as well as Telugu projects including Prathibandh, Aaj Ka Goondaraj, and Criminal. He met Krishna Vamsi and worked as an assistant director under him for the 1996 hit film Ninne Pelladutha. Vamsi also gave Ravi an opportunity to act in a small role in that film. He continued to work as an assistant director for few other films.
Sindhooram, Nee Kosam and breakthrough (1997 - 2000)
In 1997, while still working as an assistant director, Ravi got an opportunity to act in the film Sindhooram directed by Krishna Vamsi. Vamsi cast Ravi as one of the lead actors. The film was critically acclaimed and won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu. Ravi Teja's performance was critically acclaimed and was appreciated by the movie-goers. This was the turning point for Ravi's acting career.
Following the fame he got, he continued acting in small yet significant roles in films like Seetharamaraju, Padutha Teeyaga, Manasichhi Choodu and S. V. Krishna Reddy's Premaku Velayara. He became well known to Telugu movie-goers with these films and was acclaimed for his acting. In 1999, he was cast in a leading role by Srinu Vaitla for Nee Kosam co-starring Maheswari. The film was critically acclaimed and won the Silver Nandi for Best Film. Ravi Teja won the prestigious Nandi Award for Best Actor Special Jury for his performance. This was Ravi's first award. Following this, he started appearing in more significant roles such as Krishna Vamsi's Samudram, Chiranjeevi's Annayya and Budget Padmanabham. He also appeared in lead roles in multi-starrer films such as Kshemanga Velli Labanga Randi, Tirumala Tirupathi Venkatesa, Sakuntumba Sapari Vare Sametham and Ammayi Kosam.
Lead roles and success (2001 - 2005)
In 2001, Ravi Teja's association with Puri Jagannadh began when the later cast Ravi as the lead role in Itlu Sravani Subramanyam. The movie was a commercial hit and got Ravi Teja much required success as a solo lead actor. In 2002, his next film Avunu Valliddaru Ista Paddaru, directed by Vamsy and co-starring Kalyani was released. The film was a successful at the box office and won Ravi lot of acclaim. The year also saw Ravi in Idiot. Directed by Puri Jagannadh and co-starring Rakshita, the film was a blockbuster hit and Ravi's performance and dialogue delivery were praised by critics and movie-goers alike. With three consecutive successes, Ravi Teja became a big name in Telugu cinema.
The year also saw the release of Krishna Vamsi's Khadgam. Ravi Teja was cast as one of the lead actors. The movie was a huge success at the box office and won Sarojini Devi Award for a Film on National Integration. Ravi's portrayal of a young wannabe actor won him the Nandi Special Jury Award for the second time and his performance was praised. In 2003, Ravi again worked with director Puri Jagannadh for Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi. The film co-starring Asin became a blockbuster hit and Jeevi of idlebrain praised him:"Ravi Teja did well. His strength lies in his dialogue delivery and reckless body language". The year also saw Ravi working in commercially successful films like Dongodu, co-starring Kalyani and directed by Bheemineni Srinivas and Veede, co-starring Aarthi Agarwal and directed by Ravi Raja Pinisetty. In the same year, Ravi was also seen in films like Ee Abbayee Chala Manchodu, Anveshana and Oka Raju Oka Rani, which failed to do well at the box office.
In 2004, Raviteja was seen in Venky, co-starring Sneha. The film was directed by Srinu Vaitla, who previously made the critically acclaimed Nee Kosam with Ravi. The film was commercially successful and was declared a hit, Idlebrain wrote:"His comedy is very good in the first half. His antics with Siddanthi and the way he curses himself in front of the mirror is hilarious". The same year saw Ravi acting in Naa Autograph, co-starring Gopika and Bhumika Chawla. The film was directed by cinematographer turned director S. Gopal Reddy. It was successful at box office and Ravi won accolades for his performance in the film especially a critic wrote:"Ravi Teja delivers a stunning performance as a dejected lover". The same year had Ravi in Chanti. The film was directed by Sobhan and was a failure at the box office. In 2005, Ravi was seen in commercially successful hit Bhadra. It was directed by Boyapati Srinu and Ravi was paired alongside Meera Jasmine. He was also seen in Bhageeratha, directed by Rasool Ellore and co-starring Shriya Saran; the film performed well at the box office. He also worked in the crime film Shock, directed by Harish Shankar and co-starring Jyothika and produced by Ram Gopal Varma, the film was unsuccessful at the box-office.
Mass Maharaja" and current bad phase (18 Mar 2011 - present)
In 2011, Ravi Teja was seen in Mirapakaay. Directed by Harish Shankar and co-starring Richa Gangopadhyay and Deeksha Seth, the film performed very well at the box office. Ravi was credited as "Mass Maharaja" for this film, implying his massive following in rural areas of Andhra Pradesh. And that was the last success for Ravi as of this writing (06 Jan 2013). The year also saw him acting in Ram Gopal Varma's experimental film Dongala Mutha. This started bad phase in Ravi's career. With a crew of only eight people including Varma, filming of the movie was completed within five days with a budget of 6.5 lakh rupees. Later that year, Ravi Teja appeared in Veera, directed by Ramesh Varma and co-starring Kajal Aggarwal and Taapsee Pannu. The film received mixed reviews and had a decent run at the box office. He also did a cameo in Ram Gopal Varma's Katha Screenplay Darshakatvam Appalaraju.
His first release in 2012 was Nippu under the direction of Gunasekhar. Produced by YVS Chowdary and co-starring Deeksha Seth, the film was released on February 17, 2012 to negative reviews. The film also failed at the box office. His next release was Daruvu, directed by Siva and co-starring Taapsee Pannu. The film was released on May 25, 2012 to mixed reviews and had an above average run at box office. Ravi collaborated once again with Puri Jagannadh for the film Devudu Chesina Manushulu, co-starring Ileana D'Cruz. Filming began in March 2012 and was released worldwide on August 15, 2012. The movie was panned by critics and was a colossal flop. Ravi is also seen in the film Sarocharu, directed by Parasuram which is yet another failure. His other project is Balupu collaborating with Don Seenu director Gopichand mallineni. and also he would be seen in "Jintha Tha Tha" named after his hit song from his hit film "Vikramarkudu" and also a cameo role in his friend Puri's brother Sairam Shankar starrer Romeo.. Now we have to see whether Balupu or Jintata can end this bad phase or not is the most crucial question. Hope that Ravi will bounce back soon!
Commercial stardom (2006 - 2010)
In 2006, Raviteja worked with director S. S. Rajamouli for Vikramarkudu. Co - starring Anushka Shetty, the film became a blockbuster hit, Jeevi praised his performance:"Vikramarkudu is the best film of Ravi Teja so far in histrionics aspect. He did both characters of Athali Sathi Babu and Vikram Rathod equally well, His mannerism of 'jintata' is simply superb". Later in 2006, Raviteja was seen in Khatarnak, directed by Amma Rajasekhar and co-starring Ileana D'Cruz, the film was unsuccessful and bombed at the box office. In 2007, Raviteja was seen working for the third time with director Srinu Vaitla for Dubai Seenu. Co-starring Nayantara, the film was very successful at the box office and was declared a hit. The year also saw Ravi doing a cameo in Chiranjeevi's Shankar Dada Zindabad. In 2008, Raviteja was seen in the blockbuster hit Krishna. Co-starring Trisha Krishnan and directed by V. V. Vinayak, the film was released for Sankranthi and performed very well at the box office. In August 2008, Raviteja was seen in Baladur. The film was declared a flop and was unsuccessful at the box office. Later in the year, Ravi again collaborated with director Puri Jagganath for Neninthe. Although the film was not successful at the box office, Ravi Teja's portrayal of an upcoming assistant director in the film received acclaim and also won him the prestigious Nandi Award for Best Actor. This was Ravi's fourth time winning the Nandi award.
In 2009, Raviteja worked with director Surender Reddy for Kick. Co-starring Ileana D'Cruz, the film was declared a blockbuster and performed amazingly well at the box office. Later that summer, he was seen in Anjaneyulu. The film had an average run at the box office. In 2010, he was seen in the multi-starrer Shambo Shiva Shambo alongside Allari Naresh, Siva Balaji and Priyamani - a remake of 2009 Tamil hit film Naadodigal. The Telugu version was unsuccessful although Ravi won accolades for his performance. The year also saw Raviteja in the film Don Seenu, directed by Gopichand Malineni. Co-starring Shriya Saran, it was very successful at the box office and was declared as one of the biggest hits of 2010.
Ravi Teja is one of the few actors who did not come from a film related family and also struggled for many years to come in this position which proves to be an inspiration for many persons. Similar to another actor Allari Naresh, his films are often tagged as "minimum guarantee" because films are made on low budget and raked great profits to producers and distributors. Despite his success, he maintanins a low-profile in the media.