Prakash Raj is a powerhouse of talent who is not only pride of Telugu Cinema but Indian Cinema. His unique histrionics, interesting portrayal of any character he gets took him to such pinnacles of acting career. Despite controversies, the actor is unfaltering in confidence and zeal to make Cinema a pleasure to watch. The actor has ventured into production and direction as well with Dhoni in 2012, which earned good critical acclaim. He is now back with another trilingual venture Ulavacharu Biryani in which he acted in the lead role and directed it as well. The film is due for release on June 6th and on that account here is an iQlik exclusive chit chat with the multitalented personality.What made you think of remaking Ulavacharu Biryani which is based on the Malayalam hit Salt n Pepper?
The original is quite interesting. I really liked the twists in the original version. However, I added my experiences and ideas for it and hence thought of making it with a different approach. Producer K.S.Rama Rao called me and asked whether he can take the rights for it in Telugu. I told him that I am doing by own and asked whether he is comfortable producing it. That was how the project took birth. He never involved in the making throughout the film. After the film was completed I showed it to him and he is quite happy with the result.
Tell us what Ulavacharu Biryani is all about. By the title we can guess that it is a story relating to food.
(Smiles) Ya...It is a story of human relations too. There is lots of love and lots of fun in the film. You know, at times even cooking can create strong relationships. We often think of a grandma in our household who would make excellent vadas, or some family friend who is an expert in Chicken Curry. If a house gets new pickle, everybody in and around the household would want to taste it first. So, the blend of Love, Cooking and Relationships with fun is what Ulavacharu Biryani is all about.
Did you make any changes to this version?
I only took the base line of the original for my version. I added few new characters and avoided what I thought were unnecessary.
How do you think Ilaiyaraaja’s music helped the film?
He undoubtedly took the film to a new level. When I showed him the rush and he was delighted to watch it. He simply said, “I am so happy you gave me a good film for re-recording!”. Personally I feel Ilaiyaraaja did not compose music for my film like a duty but he blessed me with some exceptional music.
Any specific reason why you had to act as the hero?
I did not find anybody who could act so well apart from me. I am not telling this out of pride but I felt I would be the one to do justice for it as it’s a trilingual project. Nevertheless, I would have been happier if I found such competent actor.
Now that you have directed films, did you experience and become aware of the troubles and woes of a director?
Yes I did. I always used to think as an actor always bothered about my lines and my work. But a director needs to takecare of every aspect of filmmaking. Previously, I was a color in a sketch made by some other. But now I myself made the sketch and painted it. After becoming a director, I started thinking from the director’s point of view and my respect grew for them.
You have ventured to acting, production and directing. What is next in store?
I prefer to live life on my own rules. I would do whatever I feel like. I just need work satisfaction irrespective of department. So, whenever I feel like venturing into somethingelse I would do it straightaway!
While directing, you would have been compelled to leave some offers in acting.
Yes. But I focus on my work instead of what it is. As long as I have work which I like, I wouldn’t mind whether it is acting or directing. Hence I did not feel like I missed some opportunities.
What is happening relating to the recent ‘Aagadu’ controversy in which you were involved?
That has subsided as of now. But I don’t feel that it is really the end because always the end of one controversy would lead to a new one!
Why do you find yourself getting into such controversies?
I have done around 300 films in my acting career and most of them never had a complaint. Unfortunately, few films in which I had controversies are focused more. Things like these are common in the film industry. That only drives me to focus more on my work and get better.
How do you feel being a part of Krishna Vamsi’s Govindudu Andari Vaadele replacing Rajkiran?
I liked the story when Krishna Vamsi narrated it to me. Regarding me replacing Rajkiran, many people in the past did the characters which were supposed to be done by me. It is entirely director’s choice. It is up to him with whom he would make a film.
Do you have plans to make Ulavacharu Biryani in Hindi?
Well I do have such plans but that needs a lot of script changes. The main reason for it is because of the cultural differences in South India and the North. However, I have the rights of the film and would plan to do it sometime in the future after making the necessary changes to the script.
How do you feel about Narendra Modi becoming PM of India for this term?
It is definitely not easy to get such thumping majority in Politics. That it self explains the tremendous trust people have on him as a leader. We need Modi’s rule in India and I strongly feel he would lead the country with great confidence.
Finally, your message to the viewers?
People already have an expectation from me as a director after the critical acclaim for my earlier film Dhoni. I can confidently say that with Ulavacharu Biryani, they wouldn’t be disappointed. They'll only feel that they have watched a fun filled movie and had a nice scrumptious biryani.