'Most Eligible Bachelor' will be released in theatres on October 15. In this interview, Akhil Akkineni talks about the subject of the movie, working with 'Bommarillu' Baskar and Pooja Hegde, what makes the movie unique, his father Nagarjuna's reaction to the final cut, the release of 'Agent', and more.
When Allu Aravind garu offered me a love story, I was not at all interested to act in a love story. I only knew that I would be listening to a love story at the Geetha Arts office in Hyderabad. When I listened to the script, I realized that 'Bommarillu' Baskar is talking about solutions to problems in relationships. It has got an inherent message. A relationship could be pre-marital or marital. I had a girlfriend in the past. So, I know what kind of issues crop up between two individuals.
I could relate to the situations in the script. The film addresses the issues that emanate from the romantic relationship between Vibha (Pooja Hegde) and my character named Harsha.
My mother (Amala) doesn't know the story of 'MEB'. But my father did listen to the story and gave feedback. His inputs were taken after the first copy was out as well. Enough minds have worked on the movie, given that Geetha Arts is the producer.
The film is about Harsha's journey from a boy to a man. He is confused, innocent and how he evolves into a confident man is quite interesting. I did the film because I believed in the story. I had no other considerations. 'MEB' is not because of me, the director or someone else. It happened because of the story.
The climax is where a love story is rounded off. Baskar garu's story is definitely updated. Nobody is going to find our movie outdated. The emotions, the sentimental scenes, the dialogues are all fresh. This is a futuristic family entertainer.
The audience needs to be forward-looking. Pooja's character talks in spicy language. At the same time, the dialogues are not at all vulgar. Despite the spicy dialogues, you will be able to watch the movie comfortably with your family members. Vibha is a stand-up comedian in the movie. Pooja is not a Telugu-speaking girl. Yet, she has played the dialogue-oriented role so convincingly.
The film has Telugu nativity in the sense that the concept of 'pelli choopulu' has been explored. We shot 7-8 such scenes, but not all of them have made it to the final cut. Faria Abdullah of 'Jathi Ratnalu' fame is one of the girls I try to match up with. She is a nice actress.
There are so many ways to show romance. Romance is not just about physical contact. That's what the film conveys. You can be romantic in a lot of ways, for example, by writing a nice greeting card. This is not just about a love story. There is more to it.
It was not easy to do romantic scenes amid a hundred people. The ambience makes me feel shy. But it's a part of doing a love story. Depending on the director, your co-star, you feel comfortable to different degrees.
I thank the Andhra Pradesh government for allowing 100% occupancy in theatres. This is quite essential. I incidentally received this great news after I came out of a temple in Vijayawada. I see this as an auspicious instance. Allu Aravind garu and Bunny Vasu garu have executed the project with great care.
'Agent' won't be releasing in theatres this year. There are too many movies coming out already. There are many movies lined up till Summer next year. It's too early to talk about its release date.
Due to the pandemic, things have slowed down on my career front. I have to speed up things.
My father is happy that 'MEB' is a hilarious family entertainer. If you have to become a family hero, you have to do movies like this one. Gopi Sundar's music is beautiful, especially the song 'Leharaayi'.