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Tollywood Is Plagued By Craze For Combinations : Ram

IndiaGlitz [Tuesday, November 12, 2013]

Ram is like a whirlwind. Conversation with him is like a rollercoaster ride or a T20 experience. He may look like a matured young man in his mid twenties outside but inside, he is that mischievous, fun loving kid who is thrown into the big rotten world of cinema and forced to act. His off screen persona is as youthful, hurried yet in control as his on screen character.

Talking exclusively to IndiaGlitz, Ram laughs a hundred times, makes you smile hundred others, winks at you with silly stuff, immediately going into the camouflage of a 'Hero' but unable to hide himself, gets back into himself after completing his act and gives a huge sigh of relief as he does so. He doesn't evade serious questions but gives his own angle to it and makes you think.

About half an hour thru the chat, you get a feeling that he has answered many questions but left many unanswered, wait... no, he actually gave a new perspective or did he... One thing is sure. On the young shoulders, there is a wise head growing and is starting to think. That makes you smile, smile with a relief that he is not another silver-spooned kid but has a mind of his own.

Here are some excerpts from the tete-a-tete...

A 'Masala' Entertainer...

'Masala' is a clean family entertainer and the fact is stamped by the 'Clean U' certificate given by the Censor board. So, everyone in a family can come watch and enjoy the film without any age restrictions.

Apprehensive Initially...

There are two shades to my character and one with and the other without a mustache. I was apprehensive about the role in the beginning. It's hard to take a call initially but once I did, I never looked back. The eunuch's character comes as an interval bang in a song and the song was choreographed by Siva Shankar Master. I just followed his moves and expressions. Over a period, I could customize it into my body language and make it my own.

Subtle Changes To The Original...

We have done some subtle changes from the original to suit Telugu audiences' sensibilities but kept the original flavor intact. The quality of the output in the film 'Masala' cannot be attributed to one person. It's a teamwork and we all did our bit.

Anil Is Future...

Anil Ravipudi who wrote my film 'Kandireega' has written dialogues for this film too and he could impress the director Vijaya Bhaskar also instantly. The dialogues in the trailers are able to attract both the audiences and industry folks. Anil did a fantastic job.

Thaman Proved Why...

Thaman did a fabulous job and the first credit for the great sound tracks goes to him. Then the director who could extract such output from him. Not just the songs but Thaman was instrumental in a great value add in terms of BG scores too.

No Headaches Of Production...

I completely concentrated on my job especially since the production was taken care of by stalwarts like Ravi Kishore and Suresh Babu and direction by Vijaya Bhaskar. I never had any doubts on the way the product was shaping up.

Venky Was A Treat...

It was fun to act with Venkatesh, especially his comedy acts. I have grown up watching his films and I was always in awe about his comic timing. So, it was a treat to watch him enact and was a lesson to learn from. He is a legend and has a place of his own in Telugu history.

Floor Was Rocking...

In my initial days, I was not sure how the product was, how my acting was etc. But over the few projects, I have learned to sense the response from the way unit members were responding to. In 'Masala', it was actually a laugh riot on the sets itself. That gave us a confidence that yes, this film will bring the house down.

Trivikram Won't Be Missed...

Yes, Trivikram's dialogues were catalysts in Vijaya Bhaskar's movies but you cannot take the credit entirely away from the director. Many movies with good scripts have failed coz of poor handling by the director. Vijaya Bhaskar was especially good in handling persons. He is not confused about what to do next. So, it came as a blessing when it's a multi-starrer. And Anil gave a fantastic script. So, Trivikram's absence will not be felt in this film.

Thumbs Up For The First 100 Cr Venture...

I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that a Telugu cinema has grossed Hundred Crores at the Box Office. As a famous historian who toured the world studying cinema wrote, Telugu people worship film stars as much as rock stars like Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson are done in the western countries. So, it doesn't surprise me that AD has crossed the 100 Crore mark, it actually surprises me that we took so long to do it. Coz, Telugu movies collect what a Hindi film collects across the country.

Worried About State's Turmoil...

'Masala' was supposed to be released on the 9th August but was delayed due to the political scenario. Not just our film but many big and small films were forced to postpone or prepone their releases. While I cannot comment on whether the state bifurcation is good or bad since I don't know much about it, I am certainly worried of the fact that millions of Telugu people are suffering coz of the turmoil.

I Blindly Believe The Director...

It's hard to completely go with the director's narration of the story coz many stories told to me by the directors were filmed quite differently and there were instances where I felt cheated. At the same time, when I feel that the director is narrating something he has in vision, I blindly follow him. It's always secured to go with such directors' mind. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to do even a movie a year with all the doubts over my head.

Yes, I Am Buying Scripts...

I believe that script should decide the hero, heroine, director, producer and budget. But the trend in Tollywood has been otherwise. It's a combination driven industry today. I want to see it get back to the 'script first' track. For me, I am listening to scripts, buying it from the writer, developing it and then trying to work on the options. This decision is driven by the experiences I got. I have even identified some talented directors who couldn't hit the success chord coz of a flaw in the script or a miscasting decision. My idea is to give them a good script and direct the film for me. So, once the script, hero and director are in place and are excited about the script, then it's not hard to bring the others on board. This is not to bypass the producers but to bypass a dangerous trend.

Makeover Is Important...

Yes, I also work on the makeover of my character, the looks, body language, diction etc. You will see a lot of change in the way I conducted both the characters in 'Masala'. Some scripts have a good scope for such makeover but some don't. It's futile to work in such cases.

My Tamil Debut...

We actually made the film 'Endukante Premanta' in two languages properly while filming itself. We also worked on certain changes in the final product to suit the Tamil audiences. The product is ready and we are discussing on the possibilities of releasing it coz I have a long term plan for my career Tamil industry. So, will go ahead only after proper brainstorming on it.

Heroines Have Space...

As Venky's character in 'Masala' says in the film 'My sister your wife, your sister my wife'. Shazan plays his sister and my love interest and Anjali is my sister and is Venky's lover. Both the heroines have wonderful screen space and time, so everyone will be satisfied.

Andrew Is The Man...

It's important to have a cameraman who show the grandeur when the producer is spending money bags. So, Masala, with all its grandeur requirements, needed a DP that can show it. That's why Andrew who is a wonderful cameraman and my chemistry with him is growing by day.

Script Vacation...

I am going to take a script vacation coz I am working on a script and as soon as I am satisfied with it, I will announce the next project and will start building on the combinations.


'Masala' is releasing on the 14th November and I request all the IndiaGlitz viewers to watch the promotions and interviews on the net but watch the film on the big screen coz it's a big screen film. So, watch it in the nearest theater on the 14th November along with all the family members for the clean nonstop entertainment. Thank You !!

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