There is pressure involved with Hello: Nag

Monday, August 28, 2017 - 14:00

Tell Akkineni Nagarjuna that this year is special for him because his elder son is getting married and the younger son is going to have his first hit, he immediately says that the latter is very soothing to his ears. Such is Nag's total involvement in 'Hello!', a title he proudly conceived. In this interview, the charming hero talks about everything from 'Raju Gari Gadhi 2' to doing bilinguals, 'Bigg Boss' and 'No. 1 Yaari' and more.

What is the progress of 'Raju Gari Gadhi 2'? To what extent is it a sequel?

All the production works have been completed, spare a day's shoot. I am very satisfied with the output, which is why I have already completed my dubbing. It's no way a sequel. The title is only because it acts as a reference to the genre to which 'Raju Gari Gadhi' belonged. It's not a horror like an 'Exorcist'. It is a thriller and a comedy in addition.

It has been very nice working with Ohmkar, who is a perfectionist. I say it because he has a great attention to detail.

It has been said that you are playing a mentalist in the movie. What kind of homework did you do for the role?

I spoke to 2-3 mentalists. I have the contact of a mentalist, who can decipher the word playing in your mind by asking you ten questions. Once you have answered them, he will tell the exact word that you are thinking of. Mentalists have such extra-sensory powers. 'RGG-2' provides a scientific explanation of the science.

There have been several speculations about your character's relationship with Samantha's in 'RGG-2'. Tell us about that...

We are not relatives in the movie. She is a spirit. The whole drama is between these two characters.

As a producer, you have been very keenly involved in promoting 'Hello!', your son Akhil's second movie. Tell us about the film and why the title has been chosen?

'Hello!' is a love story. It also has action. Akhil's character longs for the heroine (played by Kalyani) to speak to him. That's why I conceived the title. It was my idea. Mostly, ideas come to me in-between 6 to 6:30 in the morning after I have done with my work-out! Kalyani is the kind of fresh face we were looking for. She is fresh the way Girija ('Gitanjali') and Samantha ('Ye Maya Chesave') were.

And the promotional video involving big stars is very nice.

Ya. The idea was to begin it with NTR gaaru saying the word 'Hello' and end it with Nanna garu saying the same word. But we couldn't find late NTR's video on time. So, Tarak was approached. Since he is a good friend of Akhil, it was great.

It has been 25 years since you got married to Amala. This year, coincidentally, marks Naga Chaitanya's marriage. And of course, Akhil will optimistically score his first hit.

It is soothing to hear the third one. (Laughs). As for Chaitanya's marriage, it will be a close private event. I am only a guest. They have asked me to only give them a cheque (laughs). The reception will be my calling.

As for 'Hello!', there is pressure, too. If there is love, there is bound to be pressure. Also, it is a complicated project involving a range of locations and expenditure. The budget is justified, though.

Bilinguals and multi-linguals have become routine nowadays. Are you thinking about doing them? Also, having done 'Rajanna', are you thinking of doing a pan-Indian historical like 'Sye Raa'?

If they work, it's nice. But in my case, they haven't. I think a director can cater only to one set of audiences (of one language). The First Look of 'Sye Raa' is so good. They are doing something big. I will of course do such films if something the script is good.

Have you watched 'Yuddham Sharanam'?

I have seen certain news. It's a fresh film involving mind games. The director has been a close friend of Chaitanya. The film shows how social media can become a weapon in the fight of an ordinary man.

Trade analysts are of the view that Telugu cinema is out-competing Bollywood this year. Your take?

Films like 'Baahubali' don't happen always. It became possible because of the grand vision and the five years that Prabhas gave to the film. Their efforts and time paid off in the end. Aamir Khan hasn't been able to do a mythological based on Mahabharatha because of the time it would take.

Have you watched 'Arjun Reddy'? What is your view on the expletives?

I have not seen it yet. I can't comment right now. Let me say that expletives have been used in Hindi movies. Hindi ki, Telugu ki theda emundi? Anyways, people use such words in as an everyday routine. So, complaining about them if they are used in movies is double standards.

After you, NTR and Rana are doing great on TV!

Yes. Tarak on Bigg Boss is much like how he is outside. As for 'No. 1 Yaari', if the jodi is good, it's nice. I have been invited to the show. However, it wouldn't work since the age doesn't match. It will get serious. Freeze aipotaru.