The name Ashok Kumar reminds one of menacing land lord in Vijaya Shanti's blockbuster film Osey Ramulamma. He is renowned in Tollywood as a distributor, exhibitor, producer and actor. He is the brother in law and nephew of star producer D Ramanaidu.
Speaking to scribes he revealed " I met Ramanaidu after turning distributor when he was making Kathanayakudu with Balakrishna. However he was not keen as he felt that if I make losses I will return to him and he should compensate the losses. At that time I didn’t know that and got angry why he is not giving the distribution rights. At the same time I had taken two other films and those became successful.
Balakrishna's market was 3.5 lakhs per district at that time. When I asked he told 5 lakhs. After a week when I went to him with 5 lakhs, he demanded 6.5 lakhs and later 7 and 9 lakhs. I got angry and I acquired NTR's Veerabrahmendraswami Charitra rights for 23 lakhs for each district. It was a huge amount and Ramanaidu got a shock started wondering how I acquired the rights. I escaped with minimum profits. Later Ramanaidu accepted me. The next week I acquired three films but I made huge losses. I lost 14 lakhs with Chiranjeevi's Chantabbayi. After few years, I decided to do a film.
Venkatesh's Kaliyuga Pandavulu started its first schedule. I went and gave advance to Ramanaidu who announced Venkatesh’s next would be with me. But, that film Raktha Tilakam released as 9th film which collected well. Within six months I did Dhruva Nakshatram with Venkatesh. The film turned out to be super hit and from then on I started believing in Ganapathy Sastri who used to take me to Kanchi Sankaracharya."
I never thought of doing a film with Prabhas. After Premante Idera, I planned to do a film with Tharun. But when I met Roja Ramani she said let's see and didn’t tell anything. During that time a proposal came to launch my son Jayanth as hero. During that time he was doing engineering and his studies will get affected and so I refused.
Someone told me then that Suryanarayanaraju's son Prabhas was there. We met and Jayanth too said Ok. At that time Allu Aravind's son Allu Arjun too was undergoing training. We took his photos and also met few of them after publishing a paper ad. Finally I consulted whom to take after calling all the candidates.
Jayanth and Paruchuri brothers suggested Prabhas for Eshwar. During that itself everyone decided to do Prabhas' next too. But I told them that not now but our fourth film. Later Prabhas too didn’t ask me about it and even I didn’t ask.”