Mahesh Babu's Interview: Bound script is must for me

Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 17:30

Mahesh Babu is relaxed ahead of the release of 'Maharshi'. In his latest interview, he says that May 9th is going to be a magical date. Sharing his heart-felt emotions about 'Maharshi', the charming actor talks about what makes it unique and powerful. Catch him talk also about temporarily bidding bye to Sukumar. He also talks about certain commercial aspects of his movies and what makes him nervous.

What makes 'Maharshi' special to you? You were charmed by Vamshi Paidipally's narration in just 20 minutes. What is so unique about it?

Firstly, 'Maharshi' is a humongous project. The three producers (Dil Raju, Ashwini Dutt, and PVP) have supported us thoroughly all throughout. I thank them. Secondly, this film has got a powerful point. I wouldn't talk about it and kill your excitement. If 'Srimanthudu' talked about the importance of adopting a village, 'Bharat Ane Nenu' spoke of the place of accountability in public life. In 'Maharshi', something unique has been talked about.

Thirdly, I fell in love with the college episodes right while listening to the script. Doing them was the most challenging thing for me. I have been doing films for more than 20 years. So, for me to play such a role and convince the audience is very tough. I myself took time to digest the fact that I was playing a college guy. I told Vamshi Paidipally that getting this college block right will make the film special.

What is the duration of the college episodes in the film?

They are not a small portion. They run for about 45 minutes. It's a proper episode in the film. I am very happy with the output. I am grateful that Allari Naresh immediately said OK to play the role. Vamshi had only him in his mind when he narrated the script to me.

What have you learned from the unexpected failures like 'Spyder' and 'Brahmotsavam'?

I have learned that I shouldn't get carried away after listening to 30 minutes of narration. I have realized that I should do a film only if the entire script excites me. There has to be a bound script. This is the thumb rule for all, not just me.

The other day, at the pre-release event of 'Maharshi', you seem to have hit out at Sukumar for not waiting for you. What is going on between you?

Sukumar is a great friend and I will always love to work with him again. Let me say that we decided to drop the project after mutual talks. The reason I chose Anil Ravipudi over Sukumar's story is that I wanted to do an entertaining film to come out of the zone I am in. There is nothing more to it.

In thanking directors like Gunasekhar, Srinu Vaitla, etc, you forget to mention those directors who gave you flops. Isn't it?

Not at all. '1: Nenokkadine' was a cult film. It's not about success or failure of a film. It's about what I learned from a film, it's about the experience. Sections of media wrote that I took a dig at Sukumar. It's not true. I only gave a pat on Vamshi's back for waiting for me for 2 years. It was not a veiled dig at Sukumar.

Coming to the songs, so much negative reviews have been heard about them. How do you rate the songs?

Devi Sri Prasad's music for 'Maharshi', in my opinion, is unbelievable. After three songs were released, many complained that they are not up to the mark. Let the film release and these story-based songs will become big hits. I am sure about that. Lyrics have come in for special praise. Shree Mani's lyrics are terrific and when I heard 'Padara Padara', I was blown away. He comes to the sets every day and keeps on writing and rewriting the stanzas.

What is the most memorable day of your career? You have done 25 films so far.

The most memorable days were when I used to watch the morning show with Nanna garu. After watching 'Murari', he simply laid his hands on me. He didn't say whether he liked the movie or not. That's the most memorable day in my career. I am waiting for him to watch 'Maharshi'. He will likely watch it on May 9 itself.

How was it working with Pooja Hegde?

Pooja is a very good looking girl. All fans are going to love her in this film. Credit goes to the director for presenting her that way.

These days, you seem to taking your films to heart. Why this change?

I have always been very very attached and emotional about my movies. Films are my world. When I am with my family, I give them my whole. That has always been my approach.

Tell us about the Madame Tussauds statue...

It was an honour. Sitara papa (his daughter) gave an incredible reaction when she saw the statue (smiles). She was a bit intimidated upon seeing the statue. Her reaction was priceless.

Coming to 'Maharshi', it has reportedly done a pre-release business of Rs 150 Cr (including satellite, digital, etc). Isn't it too intimidating a figure? Are you jittery?

It makes me happy as well as nervous. The stakes are definitely huge. 'Maharshi' has to make it big at the box-office.

What about your film with Rajamouli? When is it happening? What about films with others like Trivikram?

I and Rajamouli garu are committed to doing a film. It will happen after he and I are free of our commitments. Trivikram Srinivas garu's project is on a positive path. We recently had a discussion.

Are you not interested in a multi-starrer at a time when the likes of NTR and Ram Charan are doing one? You yourself acted alongside Venkatesh.

Doing a multi-starrer is no joke. Only able directors like Rajamouli can handle two big stars. If something exciting comes my way, I am game for multi-starrers. Same goes with genres like historicals.

How do you see the smashing performance of 'Avengers: Endgame' in India?

Indians love cinema a lot as it's their first line of entertainment. Especially, the Telugu audience watch good films with enthusiasm.