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'NOTA' doesn't support any party: Vijay Deverakonda

Thursday, October 4, 2018 • Telugu Comments
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NOTA doesnt support any party: Vijay Deverakonda

Vijay Deverakonda awaits the release of 'NOTA' on Oct 5.  In this interview, he talks about why he said OK to do it, what is his role in the movie, what makes it different, if it's political partisan, and more.  

Why are you sporting a thick beard, once again?

I have to shoot for 'Dear Comrade' with the beard for 5 days.  That's why I have grown it.  I won't be getting the time to grow like this in near future.  

You have been promoting your movies ('Geetha Govindam' and now 'NOTA') tirelessly.  Aren't you getting restless?

Since 'NOTA' is a bilingual and is getting a wide release in Karnataka too, I have had to go to Chennai and Bengaluru.  To the Tamil media, I have mostly interacted in English since I am not fluent in Tamil.  It was a different experience.  I have been doing 8-9 video interviews on an average per day.  All this will come to an end tomorrow (Friday).

How are you enjoying your stardom?

I am not getting the time to think about it.  I have been busy continuously without finding time to savour anything.  I am going after work.  It's nice to be busy with work.  It was happy to attend the film's public meets recently.  Although it's a big scary, it was a happy experience overall.  I never thought of becoming this busy.  I only wanted to do films.  I never expected films to come to me this much.  I love acting.  I had a backup option in writing or direction.  But I have gone on to become an actor.  

Are you tired of controversies surrounding you or your films?

I feel like asking people to leave me alone.  Why do they want to crack me up, I say to myself often.  What the Congress party is saying about 'NOTA', you have to ask them.  It's not for me to answer.  I am not feeling sad over the controversy.  It's a silly row.  This controversy is nothing.  When portions from 'GG' were leaked, I was jittery.  The film's run-time is 2:10 minutes.  But even portions we had edited out got leaked.  The entire film was out.  We have seen how films have been pirated for years after their release in the theatre.  But this was a different case.  I was scared that the audience might not even turn up to theatres to watch my movie.  But the film was a big hit.  

So, it didn't result in any losses. Isn't it?

Yes.  The producers used the anti-piracy cell to control the damage.  Before the release of 'GG', my phone would be abuzz continuously with calls related to the anti-piracy cell.  Everything is a part of survival.  I have to face things because it's my life.

Do you think the 'NOTA' controversy will affect the film negatively?

If they try to sabotage the film, I will do everything I can to ensure that the movie collects Rs. 20 Cr more.

Weren't you scared to do a political story so early on in your career?

I don't know why 'A' list actors don't try political stories.  But I found the story of 'NOTA' quite interesting.  I would have done the movie even if I were an 'A' list actor.  I would have done it even if I were a newcomer.  We all observe political leaders and scams.  People are affected because of political apathy.  We all get frustrated because of what we witness.  'NOTA' was a platform to vent my frustration.  When I listened to the story, I wanted to do it without fail.  Even if I had 3-4 other films, I would prefer 'NOTA'.  Political issues have to reach the people in a timely manner.  A love story can be narrated any time.  More than us, the film will connect to the Tamil people more.  Political corruption is a subtle layer in 'NOTA'.  

Does 'NOTA' give any message?

It gives no message.  We are not asking people to choose NOTA option while they vote in the elections.  I play a novice who is thrust into the middle of politics in AP or Telangana.  How he learns things would be interesting to watch.

How is the film different from 'Leader' and 'Bharat Ane Nenu'?

The film does have some similarities with those two films.  But 'NOTA' takes place in a more realistic zone.  The behaviour of politicians in the movie is very true-to-life.  I love realistic characters more.  

Was the film made keeping the Telugu audience, too, in mind?

We have made it keeping the audience in mind.  When I started doing 'NOTA', I didn't know a thing about Tamil politics.  I know of what happened when Jayalalithaa was in the hospital.  But I never had an in-depth understanding.  When I listened to the story, it was extremely interesting.  

There are rumours that the film has shown certain real cases of corruption.  Jayalalithaa's death scenes too are there, we are told.

I wouldn't comment on rumours.  

How was it doing a bilingual?

It was very difficult.  I told the makers I will learn Tamil.  Sathyaraj garu and Nasser garu have major roles.  

Are you aware of politics?

I don't have much of an understanding.  As an actor, I want the traffic to be hassle-free.  I want a regular water supply.  There should be no electricity deficit.  The roads should be free from potholes.  The air should be pollution-free.  Law and order should be maintained.  When we come to know of some scams, we are flabbergasted.  We all tend to think that the siphoned off money should rightfully be used for the public.  Even if I were a politician, I might take a cut.  Even in the movie industry, you have managers.  I have started a production house.  We pay some salary to our managers.  Then there are commissions.  Such things shouldn't upset us.  My argument is that, you take 10 percent of my investment and give me my 90 percent back.  I am not justifying the commission culture.  But the fact of life is this.  

Have you tried to follow any politician for this role?

I followed KCR as far as the style is concerned.  I have adopted some aspects of his looks in toto.  I personally like him a lot.  He is a young politician.  

Who is your favourite CM?

I have no much understanding.  When I was young, I would admire Chandrababu Naidu garu's leadership.  The boom in Hyderabad was brought by him.  Government employees used to complain a lot during his regime.  Many government employees used to blame him for forcing them to be punctual.  I would observe such things in him.  I like straight people.  

I like the governance in Telangana now.  There is a lot of stability.  When I recently met KTR garu, I realized that he is not a photo-op guy.  He gets angry when things don't work.  A lot of politicians do things only for public consumption.  They run a campaign against plastic use today, only to consume water from plastic bottles the next day.  But KTR garu is not like that.  He does what he preaches.  He has advised me to promote Khadi and give up plastic.  Last time, I voted for TRS.  Vote is my personal choice.  

So, is 'NOTA' supporting TRS?

Those who are raking up a controversy over the film are those parties who fear that they might stand to lose to NOTA option on EVMs.  

Tell us about your production house, King of the Hill.

It was not a planned thing.  It occurred to me suddenly one day.  The name of the company is the English translation of my surname.  During the making of 'Pelli Choopulu', I and Tharun Bhascker believed in a script.  There was no one to invest even Rs. 60 lakhs on us back then.  We had to work so hard to ensure its release.  If I find anybody who has content in him, I will surely encourage him.

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