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Sudha changed me as actor: Venkatesh

IANS | Chennai |

Venkatesh says working with director Sudha Kongara in forthcoming Telugu sports drama Guru, which is slated for release on March 31, changed him as an actor.

A remake of Saala Khadoos, the film features Venkatesh as a washed-up boxing coach.

Talking about the film, Venkatesh told: "Sudha brought this story to me three years ago. Unfortunately, I couldn't take it up because I was unwell. She went ahead and did the film with Madhavan. When I saw the film, I was so moved that I hugged her. I told her in that instant that I'll do it."

Even though he has been part of several successful films over the years, Guru is very special for Venkatesh.

"It changed me as a person and actor. I learnt so much from this project and the whole credit goes to Sudha. It's for the first time in my career that I read a full-bound script before shooting a project. It helped me prepare myself better," he said.

The "Drishyam" actor also credits Sudha for making efforts to change his on-screen presence.

"She took the pain of going through most of my films and changed my look. Though I play a guru in the film, I surrendered to Sudha while shooting. She is my guru and working with her changed my perspective of how I look at roles," he said.

Venkatesh admits it has been his long-time desire to do a sports film.

"I have always yearned to do a sports film. Not long ago, I was offered a cricket-based subject but it wasn't convincing enough for me to accept. Though it's been a long wait to do one, I'm glad I got to do a project like Guru," he said.

The 56-year-old sports a salt-and-pepper look in the film. He is happy to have played his age.

"I didn't wear any make-up. I'm proud to have played my age. When we were shooting in Bheemunipatnam, a lot of people told me that I should continue doing such roles," he said, adding he decided to do Guru because he was bored of the monotony in his career.

The film also stars Ritika Singh as Venkatesh's protege, a fish-vendor-turned-boxing champion.