Mahesh Babu's Interview: "We are not misleading the audience"

Monday, September 25, 2017 - 18:15

Mahesh Babu is waiting for the morning show response on Sept 27. In this interview, the 'SPYder' actor talks about working with AR Murugadoss, SJ Suryah, Harris Jayaj and Rakul, how South Indian cinema is becoming bigger, and more. As 'Spyder' is releasing on 27th, he met media and spoke at length on various topics. Excerpts...

An honor, a dream:

I am honoured to have got a chance to work with AR Murugadoss. We both had been wishing to team up for a project for almost 10 years. It finally happened last year.  Since he is a pan-Indian director, I was always excited to go in for this project. I must say that 'SPYder' offers the audience a very new experience.

A proper bilingual:

'SPYder' is a proper bi-lingual. As you know, every scene was shot twice in the two languages - Telugu and Tamil.  We had no idea about the scale of the making until we started.  Three days after we went on the sets, we slowly started realizing that it's not easy at all. By and by, we ended up making two movies. Actually, it was like remaking a movie even while one is being made on the same day. Each of the schedules had the same difficulty.  In all, it took 190 days. Each of the two versions took equal time, approximately. Some schedules, like the Ahmedabad one, were strange ones. We shot in night effect in this schedule and I don't know how a day is like in that city.

Not a boring thing at all:

Despite having to shoot the film twice, it was not repetitious or boring. The languages are different. The modulation I have to show is also different for the two versions. The energy levels had to be kept going for the entire 1.5 years.

Honest in promoting the film:

We are not misleading the audience into thinking that the film is about something else when it is not. We are honest in promoting it through the teaser, trailer and the promos.  The animated spider you saw in the Teaser has nothing to do with the film. It was a concept-based teaser. That's all. As for the rumours that I am playing a dual role in the movie, we would have let it be known had it been the case. Our idea is to let the audience go through the larger-than-life experience when they watch the movie.

A hero vs villain film it is:

It's a face-off between the protagonist and the antagonist.  The story is narrated from Shiva's perspective. The idea of SJ Suryah as the villain took its time to sink in for me.  But he is such a brilliant actor. But for him, nobody else could have done it. He is playing an invisible antagonist.  You don't see him much in the picture. Also, there are no combination scenes in good number between me and Suryah.

Has a message, but:

'SPYder' has got a message, but it has been delivered in the space of an action film like 'Thuppakki'. In the case of 'Kaththi' and 'Ramana', Murugadoss believed in delivering a message in a straightforward way.

Rakul is the best:

Rakul's professionalism helped us wrap up the film faster. Since she knows the two languages, it was that much easier to work with her. With any other actress, the shooting would have dragged on for 20 days more.  

Bharath's role is very crucial:

Bharath is not playing a cameo as is being thought. His is a pivotal role. He accepted to do the film out of respect for Murugadoss.

Santosh Sivan is that frank:

He is so frank that he will tell it upfront if he doesn't like it. 'Look, it doesn't work for me with this director', is his style of rejecting a film. I am glad that the cinematographer of my childhood dreams worked on our film. He is a superb talent. (Mahesh had dreamt of working with Santosh as a child when he watched 'Dalapathy')

Harris Jayaraj's unparalleled BGM:

If the songs will slowly grow on the ears, the BGM is striking. People are going to wonder how someone could compose such a terrific BGM. It's going to strike instantaneously.

Telugu hero is evolving:

As someone said, counter-terrorism (which 'SPYder' deals in) was not a theme which any Telugu film touched upon just five years ago. It was not even heard. Along with the evolving Telugu hero, the market is also growing bigger, thanks to 'Baahubali'. We had a lot of offers flowing in the last few months. For want of time, we didn't grab all that. South Indian cinema is all the more bigger now.  

Next film's release & the Rajamouli film:

Koratala Siva's 'Bharath Ane Nenu' is progressing. Regarding the release date of 'Bharath Ane Nenu', producer Danayya will announce it after 30 days after the release of 'SPYder'. Let me not speak about it. As for Rajamouli's film, I have to complete my present commitments before working with him.

- Interview by Venugopal L