Surya Kasibhatla, who has cerebral palsy, shares acting tips he got from onscreen mom Vidya Balan during Jalsa

Surya Kasibhatla, who essayed the role of Vidya Balan’s son in Jalsa, has shared the advice and acting tips that she gave him. Surya is a cerebral palsy patient and played a special role in Suresh Triveni’s film that released on Amazon Prime Video recently. (Also read: Jalsa movie review: Vidya, Shefali struggle with half-baked characters)

Elaborating on his dream of working with Vidya Balan that came true, Surya told Hindustan Times in an email interview, “I have always loved Vidya maam’s acting. Working with Vidya maam was more than a dream come true and absolutely delightful. She was very loving and caring and I had a gala time working with her. As a debutant, I learned a lot from her – especially how to emote according to the scene in the best possible way. She always said acting is all about reacting. I tried implementing that to the best of my abilities. Vidya maam is my most favourite actress. I love her so much.” He added that Akshay Kumar is his favourite actor.

Vidya Balan, Surya Kasibhatla and Rohini Hattangadi in a still from Jalsa.

Surya had a rare Bollywood debut–he is a cerebral palsy patient portraying a character suffering from cerebral palsy. “It is mainly about giving an actor, disabled…rather specially-abled…a fair and equal chance. It is also one step further towards inclusivity overall. This can help in building confidence for many specially-abled people to pursue their passions. It is an inspiring step taken by Suresh Sir and Abundantia Entertainment for creating such opportunities and Amazon Prime Video for taking it to a global stage,” Surya said.

The actor knew at the young age of four that he always wanted to be an actor. “From an early age, my passion has been towards computer programming, music, movies, and sports. I wanted to become an actor from the age of four.” He said that his physiotherapists from India informed his parents that Jalsa producers were looking for an actor and he bagged the role. “The casting team of Jalsa and the director identified me as the best fit for the role after an initial virtual audition and from there, the entire team of Amazon Prime Video and Abundantia Entertainment made sure I was flown down to India with all safety protocols and precautions.”

He added, “The best and toughest part of the film was doing justice to the role. Suresh sir and the team’s confidence and belief in me portraying Ayush (his character in Jalsa) was a big responsibility. Being in the scene is harder than many people think, but the pre-shoot workshops as well as the whole team on the sets made me comfortable. So I was able to perform as per their expectations.”

About working around his medical condition, Surya said, “Nobody from the team treated me differently. I was one among them. I was absolutely comfortable while shooting for Jalsa. Right from my travel logistics to the accommodation, food, local travel, everything was a seamless experience. The entire cast and crew made sure that I am always comfortable and at ease.”

Surya flew down to India for the shoot of Jalsa. He revealed that he had spent time in the country earlier as well. “I was born in Hyderabad, India. I stayed there until I was 6 years old. There are many memorable experiences from those years. I learned the value of people and relationships by spending quality time with family and friends. “

Elaborating on the experience he had in India as a cerebral palsy patient, Surya added, “While there is still a very long way ahead for societies to completely become inclusive, there are still some schools that take the inclusivity factor very seriously. Daksha School in Hyderabad is one such school, and I would like to thank them for giving me admission, and accepting me the way I am, during a couple of my schooling years in India.”

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