You created headlines with your entry, debuting with seven films at a stretch. But the films didn’t work. What do you think is the reason for this?
Yes. You are right. I launched seven films on a single day. The next day I launched two films and the very next day another film. That means a total of 10 films were launched in a span of three days. But there are no special reasons for their failure. I believe that the audiences did not like what we planned. Moreover, my lean personality could also be one of the reasons for the failure. As the grandson of NTR, the audiences and our fans expect something more from me, and I had to prove worthy of their expectations. If I don’t prove worthy, the films would fall flat. It is not good to blame someone or something else for such failures.
How does your background, which includes grandfather NTR and uncle Balakrishna, help you in your career?
Definitely it is my grandfather's image which helped me to enter the film industry. My paternal uncle Balakrishna's influence is working heavily on me too. But that will stand by me in good stead only for one or two films. But then, I will have to prove my talent. The shadow of someone falling on you will not last long and it would be helpful only for a certain period.
How do your cousins encourage you?
We were all brought up together and we used to meet frequently during our childhood. But now, we do not find time to meet each other because all of us have become busy in our respective positions. But yes, we are always in touch over the phone. We keep discussing about films at least once in a week. I get full encouragement from all my cousins.
How about competing with them?
Competitions among us will always be healthy. Whenever their films prove to be big hits, I call them and congratulate them. When my films do average business, they call me up and console me saying that I did better in a particular scene. They give suggestions on how I should have enacted a particular scene and offer me constructive criticism. They talk to me about the selection of subjects and advise me to choose better subjects. They advised me this way when I did 'Okato Number Kurradu' and 'Tarak'.
Do you listen to the story for a film together with them, or do you alone listen to it?
No way. Everyone is busy with their respective works. So, my father and I listen to the subject. We go to sets only after both of us okay the storyline.
How do you choose your story? Do you take your fans into consideration before accepting it?
The parameter is that it should be impressive to everyone. At the same time, it should suit the image of our entire family. I basically prefer action-oriented movies, as it would be attractive to mass, youth and all classes of audiences.
When it comes to NTR family, it is not just action. Your grandfather did love stories like 'Aaradhana'. Are love subjects not your cup of tea?
Of course, yes. My grandfather did love subjects like 'Aaradhana'. At the same time, our next generation artiste Balakrishna got an action hero image with films like 'Samarasimha Reddy' and 'Narasimha Naidu'. So our family has an image of working for action-oriented films also. We continue that trend.
Which among your films did you like the most?
It is definitely 'Okato Number Kurradu'. The songs in that film are quite memorable even now. The subject was also very interesting. Apart from that, I don’t think I can name any other film. I thank Aswini Dutt who gave me a chance to make a debut in films. I also thank Keeravani who gave me fantastic audio for the film.
Which is the latest film you watched?
I watch all the movies. Vikramarkudu, Pokiri, Bommarillu… what not? I watch every film and discuss about the film with everyone. At the same time I keep thinking of what kind of movies I could do.
The producers who made films with you earlier are not approaching you now. Why?
There is no specific reason. I am at my usual best with everyone. Even when they come across, they interact with me very cordially. I do not know what problems they have in approaching me with good stories.
You took a long gap after 'No'. What could be the reason?
There is no particular reason for the gap. I am not able to detect the defects in me, while doing films continuously. So I took some gap. The interval helped me to recharge. Everyone says that I am sporting a new look now. I will sport a different look in my coming film 'Mukkanti'. I strongly believe that taking some gap for doing a good film is logical.
Tell us about your forthcoming flick 'Mukkanti.’
First we readied a story for our home production. But the producers who made 'Nanda' in Tamil approached me with a new director named Raj Krishna. I liked the storyline narrated by them. So, we kept our story aside and accepted this film. Moreover, Raj Kiran, who played villain in 'Pandem Kodi’, is also playing a key role in this film. I am very happy about doing a film with another good artiste.
What is your character in 'Mukkanti'?
The entire story of the film revolves around my character. It is a very different story and I will have a different look. I cannot reveal the details now but one thing I can tell you is that it is a very good subject.
In fact 'Mukkanti' means Lord Siva. So is it a socio-fantasy movie?
No. It is definitely not a socio-fantasy film. But as you rightly said, Mukkanti is Lord Siva and it is believed that he always wanders in burial grounds. But in the film, I take birth in a hospital and continue my life there itself. It is a universal subject and hence we are doing it simultaneously in Telugu and Tamil.
Do you think you will be a success in Tamil, though you missed out in Telugu?
No, it is not like that. The audiences have some high expectations on me, as I am the grandson of a great artiste like NT Rama Rao. We can't be a success, as long as we do not fulfill those expectations. But in Tamil I do not have an image. Image of my grandfather or paternal uncle will not work there. If the film is good, the audiences would throng the theatres, if not they will reject it. I am confident that I will be a big hit there and at the same time, I strongly believe that I will be a big success in Telugu as well, with this film.
Finally, tell us about your fans.
Whoever the fans are, whether they are of my grandfather NTR or of my paternal uncle Balakrishna, they give life for us. We are ready to do anything for them. Very recently, my uncle Balakrishna left for the US and met his fans there and enjoyed a lot by spending quality time with them. They felt very happy with Balakrishna’s presence.
I thank Indiaglitz for getting me closer to my fans and for having helped me share my feelings with them through this website.