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Jagapathi Babu is an actor who redefined the terms talent and versatility in Telugu Cinema He is perhaps the only hero who made contrasting roles such as Action Thrillers along with Family Drama competently at the same time. 2014 has been a defining year for Jagapathi Babu because he changed his route of acting career with a negative role in Legend opposite Balakrishna. The film was well received and he impressed the audience with Ra Ra Krishnayya as well. Now the actor is entertaining the audience with an interesting role in Manchu Manoj starrer Current Theega which released yesterday. Here is an exclusive chitchat with the talented actor:

Hello Jagapathi Babu garu..

How is the response for your role in Current Theega?
I was always confident about the film. It ran well in Tamil version but I thought if some changes were made in Telugu it would be perfect. Current Theega has got quite good response for my role.

How was it working with young hero Manchu Manoj for this film?
Manchu Manoj is a very energetic young man. All scenes between us came out very well. I have good relations with Manchu family.

Please tell us your working experience with director Nageshwar Reddy..
He took good care in designing my role well. In fact, my role in the original version doesn’t have much importance but in Telugu it has been done quite well by the director.

How do you feel about your transformed acting journey from Legend?
I was waiting for right time till then. I knew my career as hero was over and done few years ago. I realized that it was high time to change my roles and I am happy for it. I am really glad that I took the right decision of choosing Legend and now I am getting very good acting opportunities.

What sort of precautions are you taking now in selection of roles?
I am being very careful. Want to show difference between each character I take from now on. I would want to take sensible and interesting characters with good substance.

You began your acting career as hero.  Now that you changed to character roles, are you treated with the same way like before?
People I worked till now know me and my potential. They are giving me the much needed respect. However, the hero tag would be definitely missing but I accept it as a part of life.

Do you think you are being less highlighted in publicity of your films now?
I never ask for promotion or propaganda of my role for any film. If I am promoted well and good and I am neglected I prefer to ignore it.

There is a talk now that you are taking high remuneration for your roles of late?
I am taking good remuneration because I had hard times earlier. People know my market and I am demanding accordingly. I would never over price a film producer just by my stature.

Please tell us about your working experience for most anticipated film Lingaa..
When I heard it was Rajnikanth film I blindly agreed for it even without hearing the story. He is very friendly on sets. I am not a social person and usually prefer to do my work and leave. But Rajni used to particularly ask about me and call me if I am not seen on sets. He said he liked my portrayal in Legend and said my role was equal to Balakrishna.

Your role in Lingaa?
It is not a great character and I have little to perform along with Rajni. Moreover, in a Rajni film obviously nobody would be looking at another actor! But, I am sure I would get the right mileage with Lingaa. I play the role of a politician in the film.

How did Lingaa happen while you are super busy with Telugu projects?
Arjun has always been a good friend of mine and he was the one who told me about it. He said Lingaa has a good role for me and asked me to meet the film makers.

Your strength as an actor always lied in family oriented films but you changed to villain roles. Do you think you lost family audience in this transformation?
Not really. With my role in Legend I gained the sympathy of family audience as well. I can perform in any sort of role provided that I am comfortable with it. I should get the right script and good film makers that’s all.

Care taken for different role for each new character you are adorning now?
It depends on the director. These days, every director is already coming up with good homework and approaching me. Hence my work in transforming for each film is reducing.

What are your thoughts on acting with Superstar Mahesh Babu in your next film?
I will be seen as Mahesh’s father in the film. Mahesh has great sense of humor and I am looking forward to work with him. There are good scenes with him in the film. It would be a fetching film for me.

How was it working for another big banner film Pilla Nuvu Leni Jeevitham?
Sai Dharam Tej has good ease in dialogues and dances and definitely has a bright future as an actor. Geetha Arts production film will always have high values. I was given good respect as well.

You reshot the role in Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham which was done earlier by veteran actor Srihari. How was the experience?
I was very tensed and wary about doing it because it is difficult to do a character which is already done by Srihari. But if I don’t do somebody else would be doing it and hence I took it as a challenge. Everyday I used to remember Srihari before entering set. I hope I did justice to the role.

Will you be acting as a hero again at any point in your career from now?
I would definitely not act as a hero where he would go behind the heroine or sing duets. I have firmly decided to do roles with good character base.

Okay…Thanks and wish you the best for future projects!
Thanks a lot!

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