Vijay Deverakonda: It's payback time

Thursday, October 31, 2019 - 13:15

Vijay Deverakonda is confident about 'Meeku Mathrame Cheptha', his maiden production work. In this interview, he talks about how he dared to invest 70 percent of his savings on this film. Talk about how the project fell into place and more.

How it all began

Shammeer Sulthan and Arjun approached me after 'Pelli Choopulu'. I was impressed with their short film-related works. On a shoe-string budget, they made quality stuff. I immediately promised them that I will do a film with them. They came to me with a story before the release of 'Arjun Reddy'. The kind of films I went on to sign, like 'NOTA' and 'Taxiwaala', were different in terms of scale. So, I didn't want to be the male lead of their story. After some gap, they came to me with an idea. After they worked on the script, we decided on the ideal cast.

Preferring director Tharun Bhascker as hero

Naveen Polishetty and Tharun Bhascker are the only two actors who could have pulled off this film. I kew Tharun's acting skills when I worked with him on 'Pelli Choopulu'. He would enact the lines as the director. He is a superb actor who doesn't know his caliber. He was reluctant to play the male lead at first.

Lifting talented short filmmakers

There are 5-6 very talented short filmmakers who are searching for opportunities. I and Naveen, who were into theatre, have always sought to encourage them. Giving them a platform to showcase their talent is what we do. Now that I am in a position to help people, I have to do my bit. It's payback time for me. I am here only because somebody else boosted my career.  Middle-class youngsters are taught to be risk-averse. From someone from that background, I am trying to push whatever is possible. That's one more reason why I am wearing the hat of a producer. I am exploring possibilities.  

No interference

I didn't interfere with the script. I never stepped into the film set. My only job was to be there for them when they needed me. They handled everything on their own. Without my dad and a few others, this film wouldn't have been completed. All that I want the audience to do while watching 'MMC' is to laugh. I have a strong feeling that they will thoroughly enjoy the movie.

Investing savings

Whatever I have earned since 'Yevade Subrahmanyam' has been invested on this movie. Almost seventy percent of my savings have been invested. I never knew what will happen with this project.  My dad suggested to me that I should focus completely on acting and avoid production. But I embarked on this journey with the thought that I can earn the lost money on some other movie as an actor. When Sunil Narang gave advance money to my dad, he had tears of joy. He couldn't believe that he was now a producer. Audio rights and digital rights have boosted our confidence. I now have the strength to do more movies. It's only when we do something do we learn it.  

What next?

'World Famous Lover' will be completed in another 8 days. The release date will be announced in November. We don't want to rush anything. If Kranthi Madhav feels that time is needed for better music/output, he will take his call accordingly.

After this, Puri Jagannadh’s 'Fighter' will start in January. Puri Jagannadh garu had been wanting to work with me. 'Fighter' happened finally. I will enjoy working with him. I will not talk about my role now. 'Hero' will take time. Huge action sequences will be there in the movie. Two-three action sequences need heavy pre-visualization. That's why 'Hero' is taking time. Then there will be a film with Shiva Nirvana.