Even after crossing 50, he is the girls’ ‘Dream Guy’, he is a style icon for the leading stars, he is a true soul friend to his producers, he is audience’s favourite hero. He is none other than our King Nagarjuna. His latest film ‘Greeku Veerudu’ is under Dasarath’s direction with Nayantara as his love interest. D Sivaprasad Reddy and Chandan Reddy have jointly produced it on Kamakshi Movies banner. Nagarjuna is very glad to note his film ‘Greeku Veerudu’ is releasing on May 3rd marking 100 years of Indian Cinema. He also expressed happiness over the release of his film on the exact day of release of ‘Raja Harischandra’. On the occasion of ‘Greeku Veerudu’ release on May 3rd, the star took some time out to share his thoughts about the film with the media. Here are few excerpts:
You have collaborated with director Dasarath for the film ‘Greeku Veerudu’ after more than a decade. Can you give us an idea about this film?
At one point of time I had put immense pressure on Dasarath to direct the film ‘Santosham’. And now it’s the other way round. He has forced me to perform as per his requirement to bring the best in every scene in ‘Greeku Veerudu’. He gives prominence to family values in all his films. So, one can expect that in this film too. ‘Greeku Veerudu’ is a matured love story. There are many who are remaining unmarried even at 40. The hero in this film is also a middle-aged bachelor who’s is involved in a matured love with the heroine. What he experiences in this love journey and how he grasps the value of human relationship ultimately forms the rest of the story.
Describe your character in ‘Greeku Veerudu’?
I play the role of an event manager who always fails in love related stuff. That makes him loose faith in love. He is a typical money minded person who thinks every aspect commercially. He simply wants to fulfill his desires and do what he likes. This is the negative shade of this character. We normally do not find villains in Dasarath’s films. He deals with positive characters only but projects the positive and negative shades of the characters. To describe ‘Greeku Veerudu’ in single line, it’s a story of an NRI who feels Love=Pain.
You have paired up with Nayantara once again after ‘Boss’. We are interested to know about your chemistry with Nayantara.
My chemistry will work out well with any heroine. Nayantara is a good artist. This is her first film after she took a break from films and came back to films. She moulds herself according to the scene narrated by the director. I’m very happy to work with her in ‘Greeku Veerudu’ once again.
What could be the reason for her absence in film promotional events?
I think it’s due to her busy schedules with other films.
The trailers and posters indicate that you sport a stylish look in this film.
Of late every film is being filmed stylishly because major part of the audience is young generation. Hence keeping them in mind, we need to change the looks following the trend. Of course the character also demands that. My character in this film is stylish, so as per its demand I’ve changed my hair-style and selected the costumes accordingly. In fact many have appreciated my hair style and beard. The credit goes to my stylish Sachin. He has been taking care of my hair dressing for the past 20 years.
What is your expectation on ‘Greeku Veerudu’ which is releasing as summer entertainer?
Summer is a good season. ‘Greeku Veerudu’ will entertain the youth and families thoroughly. Dasarath carved this film with comedy as one of the main elements. Audience will have good time laughing. So I’m confident that ‘Greeku Veerudu’ will get good response.”
A few words about Thaman’s music.
Thaman’s music in ‘Greeku Veerudu’ has stood up as my career’s best album. Especially the response for the song ‘I Hate Love Stories’ is amazing. There are some few lakhs of people who downloaded that song from internet. It’s tremendous.
Why did the shooting get delayed?
That’s because we faced some problems in getting the working visa in the U.S. Hence it got delayed by two months.
What’s your opinion on the recent hike in ticket rate in single theaters?
All rates have increased and so is the ticket price. On an average 500 lts of diesel is used in generators for shooting a film. And there is hike in diesel rate. Similarly, producer needs to provide all facilities to minimum of 150 unit members every day. Remunerations of artists and technicians have increase. Consequently increase in ticket rate by Rs 10-15 in theaters is acceptable. Recently I paid 14 Euros for a movie ticket at overseas.
There is no change in cinema even though the taste of audience has changed.
Recently I was shocked to watch an English mookie film in a film festival in Delhi. It was 100 years old movie but had four lip-lock scenes. What I really don’t understand is why our censor board is showing its cutting edge even at small scenes. They are chopping the normal dialogues too in the name of limitations. That’s the reason why the young directors are taking the route of double meaning dialogues. These kind of films existed long ago but due to the censor board’s new rules and regulations it’s widely increasing.
In ‘Greeku Veerudu’, it appears that you have danced on par with young heroes?
Many are saying that. But the truth is that I danced as per my range. It’s not an easy task to compete with young heroes in dancing especially the dance movements of Ram Charan and NTR make me go crazy.
Title ‘Greeku Veerudu’ appears romantic, but we hear that there is lot of comedy in the film?
Yes, audience come to theaters to relieve their stress in life. At that juncture if we try to inject sentiment and emotions we are welcoming failure. In order to see the success we need to provide them good entertainment.
Do you have any plans to remake ‘Shiva’?
‘Shiva’ is the career best film for me as well as Ram Gopal Varma. The film was well executed with all required ingredients in it. It’s not possible to make a film like that again. ‘Shiva’ was a destiny.. not a design. Similarly ‘Ninne Pelladutha’ also. It’s not a joke to remake films that are already big hits. It’s a risk factor to remake a film without spoiling the essence in the old film. Even though I’m happy that Chaitu is doing the remake of my ‘Hello Brother’, I still have that fear somewhere in my heart. I watched ‘Tadakha’ movie. Output is great. Chaitu and Sunil did fantastic jobs.
When can we expect the launch of your next film ‘Manam’ with your father Akkineni Nageswara Rao garu and son Naga Chaitanya?
We are yet to fix to the title ‘Manam’. The film will be directed by Vikram. It’s hot summer now. So we do not want to strain my father in this hot sun. Hence we have planned to start the film after it cools down the climate. We have chosen Harshavardhan as dialogue writer for this film. I was very impressed with his work in the recent film ‘Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde’. His dialogues are very natural and good.
Are you playing Don in ‘Bhai’?
It’s exactly not Don but there are few shades of Don. Veerabhadram is directing this film with a good story. The movie will be a good entertainer.
There are speculations about your entry into politics. Are you interested in it?
No, I’m against politics. Many keep asking about my entry into politics. However I do not have any kind of interest in politics. At the time TDP was established many have forced my father to come into politics. Lot of meetings were also held at home. But my father was very adamant in not joining politics and firmly rejected. I’m also the same.
When is Akhil’s entry into films?
He is showing lot of interest in films. But it’s not known when he will make his acting debut.