Manchu Manoj is a true all rounder. He displays heroics on screen, and does all tasks behind the screen. Now he is venturing into making films as well. Manoj is heavily influenced by Korean and Japanese films and he dreams of taking Tollywood to that range. He acted in Nenu Meeku Telusa on those lines. Manoj has been disappointed with the result of his films Mr Nookayya and Uu Kodatahra Ulikki Padathara which were released previously. That is why he chose Potugadu- a commercial venture. This film is due to release on 14th of this month. On that occasion, here is an exclusive chit chat with the actor:
What sort of a film is Potugadu?
It is an out and out commercial film. We are going to present 100% entertainment with it to the audience. Once, producer Lagadapati Sridhar came to me and said, “Manoj, though I made many commercial films and they got a good name, I couldn’t generate a hit. I would want to make such film now!” True to what he said, we made exactly such kind of a film. The film is on gaining edge even before its release. What else a film needs more than this?
Potugadu is a remake of Malayalam film. What sort of changes is made for the Telugu version?
Yes. This is a remake of a Malayalam film named Govindayanamaha. It is such a story which doesn’t need any changes for a remake because the story has a universal potential. However, we did some minor changes in the second half. The pivotal scenes were slightly modified to suit the Telugu Audience’s tastes.
You seem to be appearing in various get-ups recently?
All those are for this film alone. I’ve never been crazy for appearances. Based on the story I had to change my appearance. It is quite lucky to appear in the same film with multiple get-ups. Is it not?
There is a producer in you. While making a film, how do you think as a producer for it?
I am well aware of my market. I also know that nobody would come forward to invest 20-30 crores on me. I invest only till that level which would fetch me. I try to evaluate where I can minimize the budget. Most of the films fail only because of no proper budget control. If that is taken care, most of the films will cross the danger zone.
But why couldn’t you control the budget for Uu Kodatahra Ulikki Padathara film?
That’s was the sole mistake we did. If we made the film on the estimated budget, we would have got a profit of 9 crore. With an intention to make a lavish film, we spent on unnecessary scenes also. That was why the results were unexpected.
Were you disappointed with that result?
Yes, Very much. In fact, it was like a dream project for me. We worked very hard for the film. However, it is very common in film industry. Even failure teaches us a valuable lesson- isn’t it?
Is it true that you interfere a lot in the directional department?
This is my film. The story is narrated by the director. If the director cannot take as per my estimate, I should interfere is it not? What can I do if the director takes a scene deviating from what I said? I interfere only with such sort of directors.
You work a lot with debut directors. Is it because of the reason that you can conveniently interfere in their work?
New, and old- these two aspects are the same. What can I tell to directors like K.Raghavendra Rao and Krish? Just because they are perfect directors, I cannot remain silent if they take something deviating to the thought. In this aspect, any director is the same to me.
What about the family starrer film you are planning next?
Is it going to be a special package and leaves a shock to everyone. My role in particular is going to be quite shocking!
Your upcoming projects in Tollywood?
I am working in a film produced by Ramesh Puppala. Will tell the director’s details once it gets finalized.