Have you come to the film industry to become a hero?
Yes. I came to become a hero. But, I played each of my character, though a small one, with dedication and got laurels. Like that, I improved myself from small characters to the level of a hero.
In almost all your films there will be a message to the society? Is there any reason behind it?
Probably because I took birth on Independence Day, I believe, each of my film had some message to the society. Moreover, I don't accept any film which doesn't have a message.
What is the reason behind the production of Hanumanthu?
Kanneganti Hanumanthu was a great freedom fighter. His story was remaining in dark and no one is coming forward to show light on it. Hence I personally decided to bring out a film. The film gave me an immense satisfaction. After the release of the film there was proposal to rename Guntur district after Kanneganti Hanumantu. I felt very happy that my film had done justice to the great freedom fighter. I am ready to play in such characters if some one proposes such roles even in future.
You support the police more in your film? Why?
If I want to become a hero, I should have some speciality. So, I learnt gymnastics. I got a selection to the Seoul Olympics finals. The government had offered Sub-Inspector post in sports quota. I rejected it and sought a post of Circle Inspector. Later, I offered my job to my colleague. Like that I got an opportunity to become a police. Moreover, Balanagar police station is just by the side of my house and I know well about the police station, their discipline. So police characters would suit me best as I always used to watch their body language.
There will be a speciality in your dialogue modulation, language and character in each of the film? How was it possible?
Praan in Hindi, Mohanbabu, Kaikala Satyanarayana in Telugu used to show some novelty, speciality in each of their films. Even if four films were released in a single week, you can find four different Sriharis in those films, provided the director should inject the character well. For example, take a brother's character – You can't notice any similarities in Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana, Mahanandi, Dhee and the recent Viyyalavari Kayyalu.' I take steps to show correct variation in each of the film.
Though the commercial viability of films like Hanumanthu and Sri Mahalakshmi are not sure, you produced them on your own. Isn't it risky?
Whenever an artiste gets a great character, the love towards that character would grow. If I ask someone to produce a film like 'Hanumanthu', they would look at the saleability. That is why I personally produced the film.
What is most favourable character?
Each character I played was liked by me very well. 'Sambaiah, Deva, Bhadradhalam, Yevadra Rowdy, Hanumanthu, Mahanandi, Dhee, Vijayaramaraju and Ganapati' there are several hit scenes in each of the films and everyone who watched the film would come to a conclusion that only Srihari could do such character. That is enough. I thank the producers, directors and writers for offering such characters.
You got a doctorate. How do you feel about it?
I supported and encouraged two students to become doctors. When I got the doctorate from Malaysia, those two also became doctors and were in front of me with bouquets. As I gave them education and made them doctors, the God also made me a doctor. Everyone should live to win. Everyone will have only one birth and one death. Once again my hearty wishes to everyone for a Happy Independence Day.