Most of the people changed based on the current trend. Only few people set a new trend. One among those few people is Nagarjuna. He is an expert in balancing Commercialism and novelty in films. Off late, he has been away from mass oriented subjects. Rajanna, Shirdi Sai and Dhamarukam are completely different themed films. Now he is back with an out and out mass film Bhai that is due for release on 25th of this month. On the other hand, he has been busy with Manam shooting. On that account, here is an exclusive chitchat with the actor:
From now on, you will be addressed as Bhai!
(Smiling) Manmadhudu, King - my fans like to call me with my film names. Bhai is a very good way of addressing. Who doesn’t like it!
However, the word Bhai has two meanings, is it not?
Yes. Mafia Bhai and a Bhai to a sister. These two characters can be seen in the film.
What is the reason behind accepting this film?
I have not been doing mass films off late. Shirdi Sai and Rajanna went in a different dimension. When I was in need of a good commercial film, director Veerabhadram narrated this story to me. I liked the story very much and I had confidence that Veerabhadram can make entertaining films very well. His earlier films proved this. I strongly felt that if I gave an experienced technical team, the film would come out great.
You also must be having a lot of confidence getting into a mass oriented role easily.
Yes, that path is very familiar. Most of our commercial films go in more or less one way. However, the external factors change, the inner story and theme remains the same. This trend has been there right from the inception of Telugu Cinema. Directors like Raghavendra Rao took Commercial Cinema to new dimensions. After that, many directors followed the same path. Nevertheless, for every upcoming film, something new should be tried.
For Bhai how did you try new stuff?
My getups are new in this. I appear in three different characters in the film and for that purpose, I had to look differently for each one. The costumes have come out well. A Don from Hong Kong appears in Hyderabad as Bhai. Why is it so? One has to watch in the film and it is the one feature, which is novel in the film.
However, you were also a Don even in your previous film “Don”, Isn’t it?
That film goes on a very serious note. However, Bhai is different because the film is filled with punches and goes in an entertaining manner.
You gave chance to second heroine status girl Richa Gangopadhyaya in this film as main heroine.
Why should one confine to no.2 position all along? Hema Malini also acted in small roles during her beginning stage. However, she did not confine to them. Richa did really well in this film and I am sure the audience will like her character.
There is lot of piracy trouble off late. What precautions are you taking to protect your film from it?
We have become helpless regarding the piracy issue. No matter how many precautions are taken, new back entry is being created. We are releasing the film in hundreds of theatres worldwide. How can we say from which particular theatre the film has leaked? Moreover, with a small sized camera the entire film can be captured. Anti-Piracy cell is working relentlessly against it. It is curbing those videos that are appearing online illegally. However, we are unable to do anything for films that are coming in CD format.
What sort of precautions the government should take?
Because of piracy, it is not only the producer who is losing, but also the government. The main reason for that is because, the amount which is to be added in the form of tax is not happening. If piracy is prevented, our government can get revenue, which would surpass the liquor revenue of the state.
If the film is good, will the piracy really affect it?
We cannot get convinced like that. With piracy, the audience who want to watch it repeatedly will reduce. Some people tell me “We have watched your Shiva film ten times, and Geethanjali fifteen times!” Now, nobody is watching a film so many times in theatre. At the max, they might watch it twice and after that, they watch in their laptop. The main reason for this is piracy.
Tell us more about your upcoming project Manam?
It is a film, which is close to my heart. I am thrilled to act along with my dad ANR and son Naga Chaitanya.
Will the film be released for Sankranthi?
We have not decided on the date yet. It would be good to release it on Sankranthi but the film would not be finished so soon. There have been lot of expectations on the film and I do not want to spoil them by working in a hurry.
What is your next project?
Nothing is confirmed as of now. I have been hearing some stories off late.
What sort of characters are you looking for?
I do not have one character particularly in mind. I just do what comes in my way. I have not been thinking about my 100th film either. However, I have a feeling that I could not do mythological films. Want to act in a thriller film as well but that does not mean a horror film. It should be a film, which even kids can enjoy. Such scripts are ample in Hollywood and I feel it would be good if have them in Telugu also.
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