Are you disappointed with the failure of your recent films like ‘Andhrawala’ in Telugu which really affected your progress in Telugu cinema?
Well, disappointment is part of this profession, but I look at this whole issue positively.
I had three continuous hits in the Telugu film industry and even ‘Lakshminarasimha’, which had only an ‘item’ number by me was successful. ‘Andhrawala’ was a much-hyped film. Its failure has made me to understand the vagaries of the film industry. I had two hits recently – ‘Shivamani’ in Telugu, with Nagarjuna, which has completed 100 days in many centres and ‘Gokarna’, with Upendra; which was also a good money-spinner at the box office.
The fact is that during the early part of my career I had a series of huge hits, but now I am seeing a phase of flops and successes. My two recent Kannada releases, ‘Vijaya Simha’ and "Avale Nanna Gelathi’, were also flops, but still now I am busy acting in more Kannada films.
Obviously, the industry has not identified me as the reason for these flops. It was due to many other factors. For example, since these two films were released after a considerable length of time after they got ready, the audience interest in the projects waned. These things. Like the release of films, are not in my control. I have decided to give the best and hope for good results. .
Your bilingual film. ‘Love’ in Kannada and ‘Premnagar’ in Telugu, is reported to be complete and ready for release by June end. It has been shot in different locations, different countries and is being directed by a well- known director like S.V. Raj
My career is not on a downslide as you are making out through this question. I am still busy acting films like ‘Kalasipalya’.. Another film, ‘Ayya’ was launched recently. I have two more offers in Kannada films, about which I have still not decided. One Telugu film with Sirkanth. directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, is on the cards. I have completed two schedules of shooting for a Tamil film, ‘Madhura’ with Vijay in the leading role. This film is directed by Madesh..
About "Love’ I am really confident because all of us have put in a lot of hard work. The film has been a dream opportunity not only to the hero, Audithya, who is being launched in this film, but also for me. I am also happy that veteran artists like Mohan Lal and Amrish Puri are part of this film.
I don't say that I have an extraordinary role in the film, but certainly it is better compared to many roles that I have done recently. I have really worked hard for the film which has been shot in as diverse places like Dubai, Hyderabad, Chikkamagalur and Madikeri in Karnataka and Varanasi in varying temperatures.
If my fans are looking for a performance-oriented role from me, I think ‘Love’ should fit the bill.
Was it not risky to do an ‘item’ number in Telugu film ‘Lakshminarasimha’ when you were doing main roles in Telugu and Kannada film? Will you continue to do ‘item’ numbers in future also?
I have explained why I did this particular ‘item’ number earlier also. It was an offer I could not refuse. It was also the first time that I was part of a film which had Telugu superstar Balakrishna in the lead. But I would not like to be slotted as an ‘item’ number artist, though many well known heroines in the film industry were not averse to doing item numbers even when they were busy working as heroines in other films.
Where do you stand in the industry today? Are you happy about the way your career has progressed?
I am certainly happy and contented. In this short span of time, I have already acted with top stars like Puneet Raj Kumar, Sudeep, Vijaya Raghavendra and Darshan in Kannada, NTR, Shivamani and Venu in Telugu and Silambarasan in Tamil.
If I had to face some failures during my stint, it is only natural and part of this profession. You will see me bouncing back with some good films. I am highly bullish about the multilingual film ‘Love’ which, I think, will be released in June.
One more happy news is that I will be lending my own voice for the film. I will continue to dub my own voice for the Kannada films for the time being, and switch over to dubbing for other language films, God willing.