After Blockbuster Hits ‘Bharat Ane Nenu’ and ‘Maharshi’ Superstar Mahesh is coming with an out and out mass entertainer ‘Sarileru Neekevvaru’ Presented by Dil Raju under Sri Venkateswara Creations banner, produced by Ramabrahmam Sunkara in GMB Entertainment and AK Entertainments banners. Young Talented Director Anil Ravipudi is directing this flick. ‘Sarileru Neekevvaru’ is all set to hit the screens worldwide on January 11th. On this occasion, Superstar Mahesh Babu interacted with the media. Here’s the interview…
How is the experience of ‘Sarileru Neekevvaru’?
— It’s an amazing experience. Anil Ravipudi while shooting for ‘F2’, gave me a narration of this story for 40 minutes. I liked it very much. I told him that I have a commitment and will do his film after it’s completion. But, after watching ‘F2’ I wanted to do this film immediately. I got very excited about this storyline. Since ‘Srimanthudu’ i was doing message-oriented films in a separate genre. Fans are expecting ‘Dookudu’ kind of commercial film from me. I was also wanted to do such a film. When I watched ‘F2’, I got related to this film and decided to do it after ‘Maharshi’. We have started shooting for this film in July and finished it in December. Doing this film during this time is one of the best decisions in my life.
How much confident you are about this film?
— ‘Bomma Daddarillipoddi’. I am very confident about the success of ‘Sarileru Neekevvaru’. I am feeling the same vibe since the beginning of the film. The Producers also felt the same after watching the first copy. It only happens when we knew that we are going to score a blockbuster.
You have completed this film very quickly. Will you continue this for your upcoming films too?
— This is the quickest film I did after ‘Businessman’. We decided to start this film in June and release it for Sankranthi the day we locked the story. This is the perfect script for the Sankranthi festival. I took some time to look fit as I am playing as an army major in this film. Then we started filming in July. The entire unit worked without any rest for 125 days. It is due to the constant team effort we were able to ready the film as per plan.
How do you feel making a film blending Patriotism with Entertainment?
— That is the strength of our Director Anil Ravipudi. It’s not a joke to deal with an army major’s story in an entertaining manner along with elevating heroism. At the same time, we can’t treat a responsible character like other ones. Keeping all these things in mind, Ravipudi did a great job of making this film. This is a different film from him compared to his other films.
What factors do you consider while okaying a story?
— I believe in the director while I listen to a story. It’s very important to tune with the director. I will go according to the director once I liked the story. As Anil has very good clarity about this character, It became easy for me doing my character in the film. It is a new kind of experience for me coming out of my comfort zone and did this film after ‘Dookudu’. But, I can’t repeat what I did in ‘Dookudu’. I need to perform freshly within commercial format.
You have gone the extra mile in doing comedy and dance in this film. How do you feel about it?
— Entertainment will be at its peak in Anil Ravipudi’s films. I need to try new timing. Anil also designed my character according to my body language by watching ‘Dookudu’ and ‘Khaleja’ but in a different meter. Coming to the dances, this film has scope for a mass song. We have to give that credit to Sekhar master.
How different this film is when we compare with your other films?
— This film is altogether in a new dimension compared to all of my earlier films. My fans especially will witness a new Mahesh in this film. It has a new timing along with many surprising elements.
What is the reason to select this script particularly?
— I wanted to do a different character that is open and free-spirited. I acted in ‘Srimanthudu’, ‘Bharat Ane Nenu’, ‘Maharshi’ according to the story. I wanted to do a character which is quite in contrast to them and similar to the one I did in ‘Dookudu’. Then this script came to me. I usually give importance to the story. I need to get excited when I listened to the story. I liked this film very much.
How is it doing scenes in the backdrop of Konda Reddy Buruzu?
— Anil while narrating the script said that this film will have a Kurnool backdrop. Kondareddy Buruzu is a landmark place in Kurnool. It played a role in this film. The scene I did at Kondareddy Buruzu in Okkadu became iconic. Now again erecting Kondareddy Buruzu set for this film made me happy. that entire credit goes to art director Prakash. He recreated Kondareddy Buruzu exactly at Ramoji Filmcity. When I saw the set on the first day I felt nostalgic about ‘Okkadu’ days.
Does this film has a new story or a new treatment?
— This will be very fresh in commercial films. Adience will surely get thrilled and excited while watching it.
How did you prepare for the role of Army Major?
— I haven’t done any special workouts but took care of my diet and reduced 6 kgs of weight. The audience should feel that they are watching an army major. Keeping that in mind, I became fit for the role.
How is it working with Vijayashanthi after a long time?
— It’s an amazing feeling. I worked with her for ‘Koduku Diddina Kapuram’ film. Then, we occasionally meet during our flights. On the first day of the shoot in our combination, I felt like it’s been a very long time since we both acted together. But, after the first shot, I felt like the shoot of ‘Koduku Diddina Kapuram’ was just completed. No one can do justice to that role like she did. Vijayashanthi garu doing this character became a big advantage for this film and our team. Thanks to her.
Director Anil said That Krishna garu will be seen in this film?
— That is a surprising element in the film. We all are very excited about it.
Which song do you like in the film?
— The theme song which comes at the start. Devi has penned superb lyrics for that song. Then I like ‘Suryudiva Chandrudivo’ song.
Whose choice is to cast such a huge star cast in the film?
— It’s Anil Ravipudi gari decision. He suggested the actors while he was narrating this story itself. I said okay if they are willing to act. This film has a very good casting.
How do you feel about Chiranjeevi garu appreciating you in the pre-release event?
— Chiranjeevi garu was supporting me for a long time. During ‘Okkadu’, he watched it and loved it. He spoke with me over the phone. Then we erected Madhura Meenakshi Temple set for ‘Arjun’ movie. He came to that set and spend there for a long time. He said that If I do this kind of film, it will do good for the industry. He is my inspiration forever. After watching ‘Pokiri’ He called me from the Jagan gari office and asked me to come there. He spoke with me for three hours that day. Since then, for all my Superhits I receive the first call from him only. That’s why I said in the event that I wish to receive the first phone call from him only on January 11th. It was my idea to welcome Chiranjeevi garu to the event as the chief guest. When I asked him to attend the function, He immediately messaged me that he will definitely come to it.”
He also proposed the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for your father Krishna garu…
— That topic came between me and my father when I met him. My father said ‘Chiranjeevi garu spoke very nicely. Thank him on behalf of me.’ Father’s fans became very happy with that.
Did Krishna garu watch the film?
— No, not yet. He will watch it on January 11th.
You helped with the operations of 1000 kids…
— We collaborated with a couple of other firms and conducted operations. I am very honored to work with Andhra Hospitals and Heal-A-Child foundation. We will extend these services to a much bigger level in the future.
You always give positive signs to your fans…
— It’s a very good trend. Everyone will get good vibes. during the event, while Chiranjeevi garu and Vijayashanthi garu were spoking our entire unit felt very happy seeing them.
How is the work experience with Rashmika Mandanna?
— Her character has very good importance in the film. We neede a fresh face for that role and thus selected her. It was a brilliant choice. Her character in this film is one of the surprising elements. She is very talented.
Songs are getting a very good response. How is the background score?
— Devi is my personal favorite. I feel very happy and relaxed knowing that Devi is doing the background score for my film. Because he is very responsible for his work. He is also very experienced. He knows exactly where the scene starts and where it should end. He gave his best for this movie.
You always repeat your favorite directors. Can we expect another film in Anil Ravipudi’s direction?
— I will definitely do another film. I like Anil Ravipudi very much after doing this film. I haven’t seen such a kind of energy in the directors. Amidst many tensions and problems, He keeps on smiling on the sets. I have never seen anyone like him before. While our team gets tensed, Anil does a small dance to change the mood. I am surprised that he has completed this kind of big project within 5 months.
How is Rathnavelu’s cinematography?
— We started shooting in Kashmir after doing a recce for 15 days. Rathnavelu garu is also one of the main reasons to complete this film very quickly. His work is amazing when it comes to the visuals and quality of the film.
How is it working with producer Anil Sunkara?
— I am happy to make this film with Anil garu under the supervision of Dil Raju garu in GMB. Anil Sunkara is like a family member for me. I know him since ‘Dookudu’. He admires my father a lot. He also shares a special bonding with our family. He treats me like a family member more than a hero. After watching the first cope he gets excited and messaged me. I felt very happy with that message.
Tell us about the action sequences in this film?
— Ram – Lakshman are my favorite fight masters. They did a splendid job in a couple of action sequences. They designed every fight to have a new touch to it. This is the best in our combination.
What is your next film?
— My next will be directed by Vamshi Paidipally in Dil Raju gari Production. I am very excited about the script narrated by Vamshi. It will be completely in a commercial format.