It was the beginning on year 2002. I wanted to be in the profession of movies. I was about to go off to Canada and I got the offer of ‘Jayam’ film. For a few justified reasons, I could not act in film. Later on Gangotri happened.
How did Daddy happen to you?
It happened over night. We did not plan for it. I was a discotheque freak. On the sets of Daddy, Chiranjeevi asked me if I would like to do a small dance bit. And I could not resist saying yes!
When every debutant hero is targeting youth by doing love stories and youth flicks, you chose to do a film that caters to family audiences?
All I care about is a good script. For me the target audience is not the priority. All that matter to me is to be a part of good film. I am a modern city guy and the character in Gangotri is that of a naïve village boy. That character was not my cup of tea, but I did it because I knew that it works. And, of course who passes up the chance of doing K Raghavendra Rao’s film.
How is the experience of working for Gangotri?
It was awesome. Working with a legendary director in his 100th film is a great privilege. The subject is a very sacred one.
Tell us about Arya film?
Arya (giggles). I just finished dubbing for the film. Arya is releasing on 7th May 2004 with 99 prints in approximately 120 centers. Arya has thronged into the hearts of music lovers and it has sold over 2 lakhs units so far. That’s a pretty good figure for an album before the release of the film. If you observe the recent trend, even average films are doing well at box office because of the good music. I am happy the way ‘Arya’ is shaped up.
Tell us about Arya character?
Arya is a positive and cool guy. Kind of aggressive with his opinions and feelings! For example, if you happen to sit beside Aishwarya and Salman and you liked Aishwarya, you would hesitate to say so because of Salman. Arya is kind of a guy, who just speaks whatever is in his mind/heart. Arya is a one-side lover. There is no much response from the girl. The whole movie runs on the characterization and attitude of ‘Arya’. The character of ‘Arya’ is not a common man character. But everybody would enjoy ‘Arya’ character.
Tell us about director Sukumar?
Sukumar and I are like great buddies. He is very young guy. Our wavelengths matched. He is very happy doing ‘Arya’ with me. He said that I delivered more than what he expected in this film. He saw me once getting out of a car and he observed me how I walk and greet people. That’s when he decided that I was the one made for ‘Arya’ character. ‘Arya’ is a director’s film. If I get good feedback about my histrionics and characterization, that credit goes to the director. If I am not good in the film, that credit also goes to Sukumar (giggles).
How did the movie shape up?
I liked the movie. I cannot say if the movie is good or bad because I am involved in it. But the film is definitely positive.
Tell us about the heroine Anu Mehta?
I have not felt like I worked with heroine at all. We have not interacted much, because we did not have many scenes together. She looks good and worked very hard. She has done a decent job.
Who is your inspiration in acting?
(Giggles). Do I need to tell who it is? Even before they read it, the visitors of Bizhat.com know the answer.
Which part of acting did you pick from him?
I picked up all aspects from him. I actually grew on him. There are certain compliments from my unit members that I performed like him in few scenes. It is so much imbibed in me that I deliver it subconsciously. Vhat I wish to strongly acquire from is his hardwork and dedication which is matchless.
How many times did you watch his films?
I watched Indra from 14-15 times. I absolutely love that film. Tagore I watched about 6-7 times. I would have watched it for many more number of times, but time did not permit me. Every time I watch Indra, I find something fresh and new in it. I feel lucky to act in the film of Aswini Dutt who produced Indra.
What are you strengths?
My background is my strength. My determination is also strength. I am flexible. I am adaptable both mentally and physically. The character of ‘Arya’ is a reflection of my ownself.
What are you weaknesses?
If I start telling about my weaknesses, you start looking at them only. I do not want to divert the attention of movie lovers by telling my weaknesses.
You have your 2nd film’s release in a couple of days. Are you feeling tenses?
No! Actually, I am feeling numb. I worked hard for six months. I just completed dubbing for ‘Arya’. I executed my part of work successfully. Every unit member is very happy with the outcome.
Tell us about your next film Badrinath?
Chinni Krishna is directing this film. The script work is going on. It takes some more time to get the solid script ready. This film would be made on my home banner Geeta Arts. We have not given official statement about this movie yet. We want to open it with a bang. It’s a perfect mass film with Himalaya backdrop. My dad feels that unless the script is 100% ready, we should not may any announcement of it.
How was the feedback for your performance in Gangotri?
Yeah. I got feedback from all areas. I know which scenes I performed well and which scenes I did not. I am trying to improve upon the shortcomings.
What kind of involvement do you have in your films?
Obviously I involve, because it’s my film. But I do trust the makers of the films, because I chose the right moviemakers like Raju.
Do you have any buddies in the youth heroes?
Prabhas, Tarun and all the heroes I interacted with are my friends. Before I came to industry, Allari Naresh is my friend.
You are having films from Mani Rathnam (Yuva) and Mahesh Babu (Nani) releasing in the same season. Are you not feeling little nervous?
When you have films from big people like them, there is always a little bit of tension. But let me be honest here. I am just listening to Nani songs now. I liked them, especially 1st and 3rd song. When Nani releases, I would love to watch it. I do not believe in any bullshit like we should not like the other films. If my film is good, it would run well. My films collections might get affected if the other films were good. I thoroughly enjoy watching all the films. In the last year, Dil was released during Gangotri time. I really loved watching Dil. I watched it four times. Amma Nanna O Tamil Ammai (ANOTA) was released after Gangotri. That film has some effect on the collections of Gangotri as well. But I thoroughly enjoyed watching ANOTA.
What are the Telugu films you really liked in the recent times?
Okkadu is a fantastic movie. I liked Manmadhudu, Malliswari, Tagore, Dil and ANOTA a lot. In the latest films, I liked Venky.
What are your hobbies?
Books, music, watching DVDs, play pool, pub hopping, catching up with cousins, and shopping to name a few. When I get some free time, I have lot many things to do.
What kind of books do you read?
I do read personality development books most of the film. My all time favorite has been ‘Who moved my cheese’ by Dr. Spenser Johnson.
If you observe the poster designs of Gangotri and Arya, Gangotri had family outlook where photos of everybody were featured. In Arya, you seem to have monopolized them. Not even a single photo of heroine and other characters is found. Why is it so?
The producer Raju does not want to show the heroine till the movie is released. Hence he featured me in all the posters. My mom scolded me that heroine’s photo is not there on the posters. It was entirely the producer’s decision. Hence, we started revealing heroine in trailers of Arya.
What is the primary difference between target audiences of Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan?
Pawan Kalyan has got youngsters & general audience. Chiranjeevi has got mass and general audiences.
Which kind of audiences you are targeting?
I don’t want to fix my audience. I go by the subject. Script has to be good. Gangotri catered to the general audiences and masses. Arya is targeted at youth. Badrinath is aimed at masses and general audiences.
Tell us about the songs in Arya?
There are six songs. Two songs were shot in Kerala. Two songs were shot in Hyderabad. Remaining two songs come in montages.
1. Takadhimithom: This is the first song in the film. It is a hero introduction song. Harish Pai did the choreography. It would be a pleasant surprise for the audiences. Visually this song is the best.
2. Feel My Love: Second song in the film. It is melody song picturized on hero about how much he loves heroine. It is a montage song. Nixon choreographed this song. He worked for films like Bobby and Varsham in the past. I am getting good feedback for the ‘moon walk step’ in the trailer from this film.
3. You Rock My World: This is the song before interval. Raju Sundaram has done a fantastic job for this song. It’s a hip song.
4. Oh My brotheru: This song is the fourth one in the film. Ashok Master choreographed it. I dubbed my voice for a few dialogues in this song. It’s a youth song.
5. A ante Amalapuram: This is the fifth song in the film. It’s a complete mass song. Shankar choreographed it.
6. Nuvvante: This is the last song on the film taken on montages. It’s a pure melody choreographed by Shankar
Where do find the heroine in these songs?
Almost all the songs are solo. Abhinaya Sri did the ‘A ante Amalapuram’ song.
Being a producer son, do you involve yourself in production activities of the film as well?
I am the son of a producer and a distributor. I know a lot about production and distribution. Raju is a premiere distributor in Nizam. I do not have to be worried about theaters. He has got us the fantastic theaters all over. Arya has best of the theaters in AP.
Gangotri (Saptagiri) and Arya (Sudarshan 35) has renovated theatrical release in Hyderabad. Are you superstitious?
I am not superstitious. But the producer Raju is. He keeps on comparing things in Gangotri with the things in Arya and feels happy about it. Here are few more similar things
1. Hero travel on cycle in both the films
2. There are kids in both films
3. Hero uses musical instruments in both the films. (flute in Gangotri and mouth organ in Arya)
I heard that the prerelease of this film is around 7 crores. Is it true?
I have no idea about it. I just finished my dubbing and had a fresh haircut. Can you believe it? I do not even know how much I am paid. In our unit, money has become secondary for all of us. All the team members have something to prove and we worked with passion. Making the movie success is out first priority. We are not interested in money as much we are in filmmaking.
What is the involvement of your father in your film career?
He leaves me as an individual, just like the fathers of any hero in the industry. I should climb and fall and realize the travails on my own. He takes care of general aspects like script. Once script is finalized, he would not involve. He feels that his pressure should not be on the project.
Are you in the number game?
Yes! I am! Show me who is not in the number game. I know where I stand now. I want to go up and be among the top bracket. I am in the rat race. I am running and I want to run in the future.