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Work On Stars Charisma : Harish Shankar [Interview]

IndiaGlitz [Wednesday, October 09, 2013]

Harish Shankar is a good blend of aggression and reason, wisdom and youth, style and culture. While his writings portray the elements that trigger the masses viz., witty one liners and power packed dialogues, he as a person is well read and it's evident if you spend some time with him that he has inculcated a thing or two from literature as well as films.

His fourth film as director is releasing on the 11th of October and he arranged for a press meet to narrate the journey, promote the film and well, almost thank the media too. Ramayya Vastavayya is an action entertainer with lots of fun, loads of one liners and glamour and drama. While he is wary of the fact that the film has touch weather in the state to fight out, he leaves it to the producer to plan the release and as per the timing.

It's a candid flow of replies to the questions aimed at knowing about the film, his own career, mindset about stardom, his heroines, his scripts etc. He shared lot of information yet concealed much to make sure the film is built an image in the fans' minds. Excerpts from the chat...

Great Expectations...

Audio is a huge success, Thaman worked hard for bringing situational songs for a change in his career. The success of audio has really given us great confidence and I promise you this will be the best celebration for
this Dasara

Not My Worry...

As a director, I can only talk about the 24 crafts and the cast and crew and finish the project in time. I leave the release timing and other issues to my producer.

'Never Before' Character For NTR...

It's an entertainer with a 'never before' character for NTR. Contrary to my other stories which have regular heroine characters, both the heroines have their roles with pivotal importance to the story's movement in this film.

Student Because Youthful...

NTR started his career as a student and continued it in Aadi. Student's role is an excuse to portray a youthful hero and that stays there. He doesn't do any rebellion against the system as a student. We don't have even a single classroom scene in the film. His character has a purpose but is entertaining too.

Not Qualified...

With just a few films under my belt in an industry with hundred years of history, I don't think I am qualified enough to comment on the characterizations, stories and values of Telugu cinema. I can only talk about my cinema and comment on mine.

I Work On Star's Charisma...

I take care only while designing the character contours of the protagonist. I believe his character will take us forward in designing the other nuances like his styling, slang, one liners etc. This film is all about NTR and his involvement in the character. His hard work and dedication to keep up with the same body features through out the production.

My Teaser One Liners Are Special...

My one liners, especially in the teasers are created with the hero's image in mind. I travel with the hero, his image and persona from the moment I take up the project. I become the biggest fan of the star. The same happened with NTR as well and when people started asking me about the film with 'Buddodu' (The Kid / Junior), I felt impatient and the same reflected in the teaser liner. Even the stars like this attitude in their characters.

Books And Films...

I have grown up watching Amitabh, Manmohan Desai, NTR and Chiranjeevi. Their films have made me the director I am. My writer took it from the vast literature that my father has introduced me to in my childhood being a Telugu Teacher that he is. However, over the years, I have grown passionate about films than literature.

My Weakness Is My Strength...

People have complained about my obsession for one liners and punch dialogues. I take it as a complement and introduce more of them in my films.

NTR Was Skeptical...

NTR is trying a student's role after a while. So, when we thought of doing this and I said we will reflect his off screen persona, which is more of a next door guy with penchant for quick wit and casual one liners.

So, since this is for the first time he is doing such original character, he was skeptical initially but by the time the first schedule is done, we struck the chord and the sail was smooth from then on.

Shruti Was Approached...

Shruti Hassan is a special role which needs a lot of audience acceptance. I requested her with the comfort levels I have with her and she immediately accepted the role and gave me extra dates too. So, her role is not a second fiddle but a special role that takes the story forward.

Samantha The Beauty

I am a self proclaimed Samantha's biggest fan, especially her role sin Gautham Menon's films. She is a great blend of glamour and performance. He role is the perfect partner to NTR's starting with tussles, grows romantic and takes important twists in the story. We roped both the heroines coz the roles needed them, not for the rich ensemble.

He Is Not A Cop, Damn It...

He is not a cop in the film as reported by some websites. He is a student and request the media to write confirmed news, instead of spreading assumptions. Why Ram takes Bheem's mace is to be seen and appreciated on screen. NTR, The MLA

MLA is the story I first narrated to NTR few years ago. Our friendship grew with it and I still want to do it with him. But needs lot many changes to customize for today.

What I Like & What I Make...

It's always a struggle for the director to choose between what he likes and what he is capable of doing. I always liked sensitive movies of Vishwanath or Sekhar Kammula. But I cannot do a film coz I am not capable of doing it. It's got nothing to do with creativity, it's about the capability.

Plan To Produce Meaningful Films...

I plan to do small films in limited budgets with stories like O Henry, RK Narayan etc. Films like Cheeni Kam, Life In A Metro etc always intrigue me. Don't know when and who will direct them but I am sure I will produce them.

Technology Confuses... Technology is taking us more and more nearer to literature and I am again reconnecting to our novels, books and other literature. I always believe that text is a better tool than a visual coz it wouldn't dominate your imagination

Thaman's Best...

Thaman is a master of BG scores and with a support from the script, I am confident of the final output.


Promoting the film 'Ramayya Vastavayya' is my future project. There is a film with Allu Arjun but since the story is not finalized yet, I can say it's still in pipeline

Love To Write For Anyone...

I worked on the scripts for several friends of mine before and even in future, irrespective of who is the director, I would love to lend my support for the script.

RGV Hasn't seen RV

RGV hasn't seen the film as yet since he's been busy promoting 'Satya 2'. As and when he watches the film, he would post a tweet and the world will know about it.

Pelli With All Three...

Three of us RGV, Puri Jagannath and myself are doing three different versions of 'Pelli' (Marriage). It's under research and will announce as and when its ready. Even if they don't join, I will do it all alone.

Sampath Nandi For GS 2 Is PK's Choice

The decision to rope me for Gabbar Singh original, the remake of 'Dabangg' was taken by Pawan Kalyan himself. He would have taken the call with a liking to me when I narrated 'Mirapakay' script to him before. So, I don't have any qualms about his decision to take Sampath Nandi for the sequel. I wholeheartedly welcome the decision and wish Sampath and his team a greater success than the original.

I Have Plans To Do Hindi Film

Yes, I have plans and offers to remake a Telugu film in Hindi. I would love to do one of my own films in Hindi and I am sure I am as comfortable in Hindi as in Telugu since I have grown up in Hyderabad. In fact, 'Ramayya Vastavayya' itself might be done.

Literature and Drama In My Blood...

I have grown up reading literature. I am a fan of Yandamoori's novels, Sakshi Samputalu and the satire in them by Panuganti, Tilak's poetry etc. I started my career as a child actor in Parishat dramas and toured around the country. My interest grew with each experience and the languages, dialects, slangs gave me such insight into life that reflect in my own scripts. As a great poet said 'I am the sum of all I met'

Lot Of Time For Scripting

I take a lot of time in scripting. I, along with my team including Ramesh Reddy, Satish, Raja Sekhar, Vijay, Bobby, Vipanchi Prasad... all of us worked hard for almost 9 months for the script of 'Ramayya Vastavayya'

Hero Inspires Me...

Hero is the biggest motivation to write the script. There is an interesting element of Ilaya Raja and Samantha.

Yes, I Acted Coz...

I acted in small roles in the beginning of my career more out of passion than need.

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