Here is a list of my favorites and a brief explanation of why. Once I see somebody I like I tend to try to see all their films before I explore further. That is why Megastar and quite a few others are not yet on the list. I just haven't gotten around to seeing their films yet, but I'm watching as fast as I can! I also tend to like everybody so this list will likely become quite long as it evolves. It will be continually under construction so check back every now and then!

The Heroes:

Jr. NTR  (Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, aka Young Tiger aka Tarak )
What can't he do? Whether its action, comedy, drama or dancing he excels at it. In my opinion the best dancer in all of Indian films. The one thing I'd still like to see him do is a real steamy romance, he hasn't quite hit the mark with that yet.  In interviews he comes across as very forthright, animated and funny. I of course don't understand Telugu so I don't have any real insights into his personality other than what I read second hand. His personal history is  very interesting and compelling and oh so very filmi. I am enjoying trying to follow his family drama and also ferreting out his political ambitions. He doesn't seem to have an official website but he is on Twitter @Tarak9999 and I have found these two sites to be helpful keeping up with what he's doing.

Mahesh Babu (aka Superstar Prince Mahesh)
To his fans, Mahesh is an enigma inside a mystery wrapped up in several layers of shirts. The son of Superstar Krishna, he's been acting in films since he was a kid. He is good at action, comedy, romance and drama. I love how he looks miserable and mumbles his irritation at whatever Heroine he is paired up with. He comes across as cautious and reserved and  somewhat uncomfortable in interviews. He also doesn't  go to the many functions surrounding film releases that his peers attend. His upcoming film is his first release in 3 long years. The wait has only added to the mystery.  He is on Twitter @urstrulymahesh and I have found that this site seems to be up to date on his current activities. This is supposed to be his official site.

The uber talented Siddharth has acted and had success in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films. He has written scripts and composed and performed music for some of his films. He is confident of his talents and can come across as arrogant. He is the perfect Rom-Com hero. His movies are what pulled me into Tollywood. Thanks Siddhu! He is very active on Twitter @actor_siddharth where he comes across as knowledgeable, opinionated, charming and combative in turn. He cooperates with the fan who runs this site, so besides his tweets, it's a good source of current info.

Prabhas (aka Young Rebel Star, aka Darling)
Look at the picture... Prabhas plus water is always an excellent combination. He is also very good at action, comedy and romance. Plus he's tall and he dances.  I like his fights best though. He's not on Twitter and as near as I can tell he doesn't have an official website. I could use a good source of info...besides pictures I mean.

Prakash Raj
Prakash Raj deserves a category to himself. Not technically a hero, I am including him here because he often is the thing that turns an average movie into a fantastic movie.  Whether he is playing  "the Dad", "the Cop", "the Goonda" or "the Politician", good guy or evil, his portrayal of the charactor is frequently the spice that gives these mass films their flavor. He has a successful career in all the major language cinemas in India. It's always a bonus when he is in a film. He's not on Twitter and I am willing to reward the person who talks him into joining with my personal Lake Superior Agate collection. ETA: Just found out Prakash-ji is on Twitter! @prakashraaj I don't know who to send my agates to so if Prakash-ji wants them, I'll send them straight away!

Allu Arjun (AKA Bunny AKA Stylish Star)
Bunny is hot. Bunny can dance. I've loved all the movies I've seen of his so far. In my opinion his acting is a bit OTT but he changed that with his performance in Vedam, his best acting yet. Of the Bunny movies I've seen Parugu is my favorite.

Like most heroines, she works in more than one language cinema. I have only seen her in Telugu films, though she got her start in Tamil.  Her first Hindi release  opposite Akshay Kumar is coming soon. I like her best in comedy roles paired with Siddharth or Mahesh.  She has great comedic timing, is a good dancer and is a cutie-pie besides. She is on twitter @trishtrashers

Charmy Kaur (Charmi aka Charmee)
She is one of my favorites because she can play both spunky and tough as well as sweet and funny. She is not trained in classical Indian dance but I thought her dancing in Pournami was one of the best parts of that film. Haven't yet discovered her on Twitter.

Mamta Mohandas
Mamta is primarily a Malayalam actress. She is also a talented playback singer. She became one of my favorites because of the role she played in Yamadonga. She was so funny and no push-over. She's beautiful and an excellent dancer.  I can't wait to see more of her work.  She is on twitter at @mamtamohan

The Villains

   Sonu Sood
He is an actor who has worked in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films. I remember him as Jodhaa's dreamy brother in Jodhaa-Akbar, but I love him as a villain. He usually plays the villain role in Telugu films and he is awesome at it!  He's so bad- he's good.

 Nijam got me hooked on Gopi as a badass. He is now playing hero roles, which I have yet to watch.  I imagine when I do I will change the photo to one of the cute ones where he is smiling and move him up to the favorite hero section.

 Rahul Dev
He has successfully played supporting roles in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu movies.  I first saw him as the loyal and brave Bheema in the SRK starrer Ashoka. But it is his villain roles in Telugu movies that I just love.  I loved the OTT "piano fight" in Pournami.   He's a badass and definitely one of my favorites.                          

The Comedians

Brahmanandam  (aka Brahmi) For non-Desi fans of SI films it is often the comedy track that gets the Fast Forward treatment.  It's very perplexing for us especially when the comedy track has nothing to do with the rest of the story.  I on the other hand, love the comedy tracks and don't even mind if it's not part of the plot. Brahmi is everyones favorite it seems and I am no exception. He has perfect timeing, wonderful expressions, and is so good at physical comedy and wordplay(at least what I can gather from the subtitles). I always look forward to his scenes.

Sunil  With the success of Maryada Ramanna maybe we will lose Sunil to hero roles.  I for one wish him all the success he deserves but really hope he continues as a comic actor. I've always thought he was channeling Lou Costello in many of his roles. For those of you familiar with the comedy duo Abbott and Costello you know that is no small compliment. (Oh GENIOUS Idea! Somebody remake some Abbot and Costello movies in Tollywood with Sunil playing the Costello parts!!) His innocent, sweet persona is filled with humor.  I just love him.

Venu Madhav Venu doesn't even have to say anything and I start laughing. I love when the charactor he plays acts like he's some kind of rowdy. He couldn't be scary if he tried, which makes it all the more funny. He's a little guy with alot of comic talant.

The Directors


  1. Whoa whoa whoa!! Absolutely loved your blog and your love for SI movies.. btw I got here fromcinemachat :D and a follower of Heather and Temple on twitter :P

    Loved your blog.. ask me for telugu movie recommendations if you need any :)

  2. Thank you so much Krishna! What would you recommend as a start on Chiranjeevi movies? Have only seen him in special appearences and and lots of Song videos on YouTube. And please follow me on Twitter too!

  3. great.. really jr ntr is good..

  4. Hi Jake..

    nice to see your blog...you can find more about Mahesh Babu in his official website. www.princemahesh.com

  5. JJake,

    Why dont you try movies of Bumperstar Balakrishna ?
    I think he is the best actor in the hole world. Period.

  6. I beg you to watch the latest blockbuster of Bumperstar Balakrishna, SIMHA. Its an audiovisual treat.

  7. Thank you all for visiting my blog! I am looking forward to seeing Simha and Balakrishna's other movies. Onlytruth, I see you have posted something about my blog on Nandamurifans.com. Thank you! I've been wanting more people in India especially to know there are non Indians out there who love your movies too. I am also glad to know that Princemahesh.com is Mahesh's official site. I have been visiting that site but didn't know it was the official one. So once again thank you all for visiting my blog.

  8. Please write more and more about Jr NTR and Balakrishna. I will try to tell about your blog as much as possible. Tarakaratna and Kalyanram are also good actors from Nandamuri family. I am the honorary president of International Nandamuri Fans Association(INFA).

    1. This guy is highly biased to a community(caste) based heroes , some of them may be actors, good??!! I am not sure about that. Unfortunately the story of that region, I guess here too, isn't it? (TANA & BATA, purely community dominated associations, sadly)

  9. jjake ,
    This is original onlytruth who posted about you in nandamurifans.com, but above comments in this blog page are not of mine. There are few people out there in telugu cinema discussion forums ,probably rival hero fans did misuse other's IDs. In tollywood fans take professional rivalry of the heros seriously :) be prepared for more mess in this regard :) i Strongly suggest you to disallow anonymous comments in ur blog..only for registerd users do allow comments

    and coming back to your enquiries about chiranjeevi , balakrishna....those two were yesteryears superstars and their current films you might not like as they became comparatively old.

    Chiranjeevi was #1 in tollywood for years and his best movies are Gharanamogudu, Gangleader , Jagadekaveerudu athiloka sundari etc.. He was a good dancer .

    Balakrishna was well known for ferocious mass roles and always a close competitor to chiranjeevi @ boxoffice. His best movies were Aditya 369 ,SamaraSimhaReddy , Narasimha Naidu, Bhairavadweepam Etc..Folklore Genre he was #1 hero

    BUt all those movies without subtitles u cannot njoy..

    Young generation Heroes overtook the oldies

  10. Thank you for the Chranjeevi and Balakrishna recommendations. I will hunt for them. I have been learning about the star fanclubs in India and I find the idea of them to be very interesting and very different from the way we think about stars here. Luckily for me I can love all my favorites without feeling disloyal! I will monitor the comments closely to make sure no fan wars break out on my blog. I have enough prema for all of them!

  11. from poland there are few polish females who are loving Telugu stars.... good going

    Prabhas , Navadeep,Nitin are the best

    1. Girls from Poland? very cool

  12. OT, I didn't post your recent comments because it didn't seem like you wanted me to. I did look at both links. Thanks for your interest in my blog, lets keep in touch.

  13. Chiranjeevi Movies.. mentioning a couple of recommendations is a stupidity.. he acted in 149 movies... I may have around 100 recommendations..
    1. Swayam Krushi
    2. Choodalani Vundi
    3. Master
    4. Yamudiki Mogudu
    5. Subhalekha

    Try to watch these first

    1. will also recommend 'Abhilasha'(1983 - very old but some essence in it),Punnami Nagu(-ve role,but good, very original, no bells/vigils), Kaidhi (Telugu version of 'First Blood'), Muta Mesthri(some distinctive acting as a daily laborer, so can be fun), Kodama Simham(telugu Cowboy version, not that great), Rudra Veena(its revolutionary, highly musical you would see some real culture may be, old too)

  14. Siddharth & Arjun are definitely my favorites too... Though after 'Magadheera', i have a huge crush on Ram Charan! Jus cant wait for his next 2 releases - Merupu and Orange.
    Among the ladies, it has to be Trish. Though its becomes difficult to keep track what with so many new girls getting introduced every week! Tollywood heroines have a very small shelf life usually except for actresses like Simran who managed to reach dizzying heights of superstardom!

  15. Loved your inputs. If you want to learn Telugu, drop me a line @lakmar. Otherwise a true admirer of your efforts. Your love just breaks all barriers and connects on the heart level, which all of us readers can see. Great going Jill :))..

  16. Thanks Lakshmi for you kind words and I will surely bother you on twitter for help with Telugu!

  17. Hardcore fan of tollywood.. kudos Mr.Tollywood fan.

  18. I do watch other country/language movies,but only relates to stories, not actors, however this is deep, so admirable.

  19. nice write-up, i do follow this site too, TAMIL Films


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