In the midst of regular Telugu heroes who follow the formulaic way of heroism, love stories and stunts, there are some heroes who question the society in their own style and come up with brilliant concepts of living. One such hero and director is none other than Upendra- the master film personality hailing from Sandalwood! After a powerful performance in Trivikram’s S/o Satyamurthy, he is ready with a new crazy film Upendra-2 releasing this Friday. Here is a chitchat with the peculiar gentleman!
It was ten years ago the first installment of Upendra came out. How did you get the idea of making a sequel to it now?
Well, I don’t plan about sequels or any film I do beforehand. In fact, Upendra-2 was in my mind since ten years. Upendra had the character “Nenu” and the whole story revolved around it. That role was a representation of Ego everybody has and Upendra-2 deals with how a person would change by shedding the Ego.
So, what is Upendra-2 really based on?
I will put it simple. Upendra was based on “Nenu” (Ego) and now Upendra-2 is based on “Nuvvu” that is the second person!
Your films have the hero character featured in many peculiar looks and getups. Will Upendra-2 follow the same format?
There are many getups I did for Upendra-2 . However, there are not many costumes I adorned!
The cutout of Upendra-2 was stood in reverse and it became a hot topic now! Was it a part of marketing strategy?
The film features a scene where the hero does a yogasaana called Sheershanam. This picture was taken from it. It is not an exclusive marketing stunt but something new to deliver for the audience.
Most of your films focus on the wrong happenings in the society and involve lot of criticism. Is there any reason for it?
(Smiles) I'm a person who always think about human beings and their psychology. I also wonder how a person can contribute for the betterment of this society. That is why I choose such stories. Most of them are related to common man and my hero roles are always abnormal. I find it interesting to tell a strong point through a peculiar lead hero!
You had a long gap in direction after your last project Super. Why did you choose to get such break?
I don’t make films for the purpose of doing them. Unless I get a good story in mind I cannot progress further to make a film. I patiently wait for a good story and if I don’t get it, I remain calm!
How do you feel about the Telugu market for your films?
I am glad that my films are liked by Telugu audience quite well. Though I am a Kannada hero, more people from Telugu and Tamil watch my films with admiration. I strongly believe that a good film will be appreciated irrespective of the language it is made in. I even started my home production house and plan to make many films from it. Upendra-2 is the first film in my production and it is just the beginning.
Do you watch a lot of Telugu films?
Yes I watch almost every Telugu film irrespective of the hero. Usually people tend to criticize even a good film about the length or some content related issue. But I enjoy every good film equally alike.
Popular producer Nallamalapu Bujji is releasing the Telugu version of Upendra -2. How was it getting associated with him?
He is a good friend of mine and when I said about making Upendra-2 he said he wanted to buy it even without watching it! I wanted to release Kannada version first and Telugu one later but he insisted that both should be released simultaneously and took extra care for speeding up of dubbing formalities.
Do your family members enjoy watching your films?
No! They don’t like my films at all! Even my friends comment saying why I take such peculiar themes. But I believe that the judgment of common man is ultimate and follow by what they want to see from me!
Did you get any good offers in Telugu after S/o Satyamurthy?
I really want to do Telugu films but I didn’t get any offers till now. If you know any let me know (smiles).
You are successful both as a director and an actor. Which role you like the most?
I must say I like directing more. Regarding acting I don’t know where I stand but I like to give my best for every role I do!
Why don’t you prefer directing other heroes instead of yourself?
Once I grow old I might write scripts for other heroes! But I prefer writing stories for myself because no hero would agree to do such peculiar films!
Do you see lot of change in Kannada Film industry now?
Yes. There are many good films coming up there. Initially, Kannada filmmakers used to prefer low budget films but now as market improved, they are coming forward to make big budget films. In that regard, I am always inspired by Telugu and Tamil film industries as they have big market. In fact, I am also working to make a big budget Kannada movie soon!
Okay…Thank you and wishing you the best for Upendra-2!
Thanks a lot!