Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mhesh Babu Interview

(Athidi is called a success here..)

‘I do not promote violence for action’
Mahesh Babu is undoubtedly the cool dude, the Prince of Telugu cinema.

Son of superstar Krishna, Mahesh has charted a path of his own in cinema. Endowed with handsome looks, loads of talent and a passion for cinema, the stylish superstar Mahesh has been able to make a mark in almost all the films he has done so far — Okkadu, Athadu and Pokiri to name a few. After the smashing success of Pokiri, Mahesh is equally delighted with the success of Athidhi.

In the first part of this exclusive interview, Mahesh Babu talks about Athidhi.

How do you effortlessly perform roles like the one in Athidhi with felicity and elan?

I do my part as an actor. I give every film my hundred per cent. I am totally into my character while performing which is why I probably do one film at a time. As a result, my performance is not hindered from any angle.

The role in Athidhi seems to be quite similar to the one you essayed in Pokiri — the film had a ‘Pokiri hangover’ in parts. In that sense, was it relatively easy to do Athidhi?

First of all, I don’t think they are similar films. They are different films and I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two films. In my opinion, since they are different films I had a very different time doing Pokiri as opposed to doing Athidhi.

Athidhi had a large dose of violence particularly towards the climax. How do you view violence in cinema?

It is a film. When you do a film, you try to entertain the audience to the best of your capabilities. Violence is how you perceive it. If you look at it in terms of a film and understand it in terms of a story, you would go with it as opposed to just looking at it saying this is violent, that is violent. Even Pokiri had a lot of violence. People took it differently because as a film Pokiri was totally different.

It is how you perceive violence; with what frame of mind you go to see the film. If you are just going to get entertained and watch a good film, you will go and enjoy the film for its sake as opposed to critically analyzing it.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with Athidhi if one looks at it from the story point of view. From the story’s perspective, the character is human — for tomorrow if one were put in the same situation as the character, one would probably do the same thing. It’s how the director has envisioned the film. It justifies the character for sure. We are not independently talking of violence. I do not promote violence for action. It is what the character demands. In some it is more and in some, it is less.

Amrita Rao (your co-star in Athidhi) told me that you are one of the finest actors she has worked with. This was the first time you shared screen space with her. Could you talk about the experience of acting with her?

It was beautiful working with Amrita. She is one of the most capable actors I have acted with. She is diligent and interested in her work which is what makes it even more interesting to see her perform. It is inspiring for an actor when you see the co-actor working in the same capacity.

Both of you shared a good chemistry on screen. To what do you attribute this?

She has put in a lot of effort. She has also shown much interest while doing a scene, a song or anything. She always showed a willingness to learn and that�s probably what has made the difference.

How challenging is it to do action sequences?

It is challenging and a lot of hard work. Many people have the misconception that action is all special effects and computer graphics. We put in tons of effort — from visualising the stunt to actually pulling it off. I do my own stunts so I know what goes into putting an action sequence together. The climax of Athidhi was shot over a period of two-three weeks.

Athidhi had good picturisation of the songs particularly Satyam Emito which was a visual delight. It was also choreographed well. Your comments?

Satyam Emito was a different concept. It was the first time that a hero is not really dancing. There was a lot of emotion in that song which has come out beautifully. We were supposed to shoot in Iceland and then because of bad weather we had to shift to Dubai.

Satyam Emito is one of my favourite tracks from the film and from an actor’s point of view. I think one can see the hard work put in by Amrita too on the screen.

Surender Reddy told me he wrote the story keeping you and your image in mind. How was he as a director?

Surender is a talented boy. He is hardworking and very passionate about his work. Keeping all these three things in mind, it is needless to say he did a good job.

Are you happy with the response to Athidhi?

I am more than happy.

What are your future projects?

I am listening to scripts though I have not finalised anything yet.

You seem to be selective in choosing films. Athidhi is your first and only release this year�

I do one film at a time. I find it difficult doing two films simultaneously because I don’t feel I am doing justice to one. I make it a conscious effort to shoot one film at a time. It takes about 8-9 months from the time I set foot on a set to seeing it released.


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