Mohan Babu’s youngest son Manchu Manoj Kumar celebrates his 28th birthday today (May 20th). The actor, who impressed the audience with his performance in ‘Bindaas’, ‘Vedam’ and ‘Jhummandi Naadam’ last year, is presently doing a film titled ‘Mr Nokia’. So he took the occasion to share his views with the media on his present projects and building the reputation of Telugu cinema.
Speaking about Mr Nokia: “Mr Nokia is a different conceptual film and is taking shape under Anil’s direction. D S Rao is producing it. Kriti Karbanda and Sana Khan are playing the leading ladies. I wrote a song in this film. The film is presently taking shape very briskly. Earlier, the director and producer planned for 75 days film shooting, but since we are following the pakka script, the shooting schedule has now reduced to 45 days.”
Regarding the production cost control: “Lot of discussions is going on regarding the film production cost control. But as per my opinion, if one plans a film with a fully-bound script ready on hands, he can easily control the project budget. Right now we are following the same method for this project (Mr Nokia).”
On Vukodathara Ulikki Padathara: “This is my dream project. We’ve been working for it and working hard on it for the past 3 years. It’s a period film set in 19th and 20th century. Infact, Rajasekhar Raju who is going to direct this film has decided not to get married until he completes this project. So following his foot-steps I also told my family members not to raise the marriage topic till this project is completed. I’m working for it so much that I’m keeping myself away from cell phone and internet for quite some time. It’s like writing each book for each scene in this film. We are designing a huge set for the film. One of the top heroes is doing a vital role. It’s a commercial film on par with international standard. This apart, I’m going to do a film under Bobby’s direction.”
On type of roles he prefers to do: “Fans not only wish to see heroism in their hero but also like to see him as a good actor. My father acted in 520 films. But for me, now that chances are very rare to do so many films, I wanted to prove my worth by acting in as many different characters as possible. Besides male lead roles, now I want to do villain and comedy kind of roles in near future. I was to do a film for G K Films Corporation in which Varun Sandesh was the hero and me as villain. But later I was not impressed when they changed the script and also made my character a hero. Hence I returned the advance and walked out of that project.”
On multi-starrer films: “Who would not wish to do a multi-starrer film if there is a good story and good role to play in it? I’m not very particular how long my character will exist on the screen, but it is very important to know that the director is crafting the film exactly the way he narrated the story. But at times it so happens that the director’s vision of the film changes during production. This year I’m going to act in another multi-starrer film.”
Regarding competition in the film industry: “All heroes in the Telugu film industry are my best buddies. I never felt it’s a competition between us. I consider Chinese and Thailand films as real competition because they are being screened in Hollywood with sub-titles, while we are yet to reach that standard despite Telugu cinema being a huge industry with abundant talent. I did my best to take our cinema to international standard through my film ‘Nenu Meeku Telusa?’.
He concluded saying, “My principle is to do a different film each time. I’m very happy to say that I’ve made the audience happy with 3 different films last year and I would like to continue in this manner in future also.”