In conversation with the South Superstar Cheeranjivi

(interview session with the Padma Bhushan awardee Cheeranjeevi, who talks about his upcoming movie SyeRaaNarasimhaReddy)

What did it take to become Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy?
It is an untold story of an unsung hero so I wanted to bring this content as Pan India because all the Indians should know about Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy. This story was lying with me since almost a decade and a half. Because of the budget constraints I couldn’t dare to make this film now Charan and Surender Reddy came to make it at Pan India level. I am so happy as my dream came true.

Ten years coming back to Hindi cinema..
This is the story every Indian should see. I feel my responsibility is to make it. Since I have a beautiful content with me so I felt this is the best time to come back to Bollywood and other Indian languages.

Reason behind absence from Hindi cinema..
I don’t know why this gap has come. I did not get proper content to come back. I had stopped film acting when I went into politics, so for ten years I was there. Then again from 2016-2017 I started working. With this film I felt I should come back to Bollywood.

Working with Amitabh Bachchan
He is my real life mentor. There is only one megastar and that is Amitabh Bachchan and nobody is near to him. Working with him is an amazing experience. I am indebted to him a lot. My director wanted him to play the role of my guru in the film, it is a special character and he insisted me if we have Amitabh Bachchan then it will be great.
I called him and told him that I want him to be part of this film that Ram Charan is making a film on Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy and that is a wonderful subject. I told him I want him to be my guru in the film, it is a special character and it will take one week’s time. He said, don’t ever ask me anything, since you are asking, I am saying yes. He asked to send the director and other people to discuss other things about his role. So he immediately said yes. My heart felt thanks to the Indian megastar.

Difference in Hindi cinema
From early 90s and till 2007 I was in that field after that I stopped string then again I entered in 2016. In ten years time I have seen a lot of changes in films. There are negative and positive *** I felt when I was doing 150th film I felt like a newcomer as the scenario was different. In theatres projectors have gone but the heritage and sentiment doesn’t change. The emotion and soul of a film carries the film ahead.

Doing action
It was challenge. Ram Charan and Surender Reddy made me work hard. While I was hearing the subject I was like the duplicate or morph my face and do the action bit. But these guys did not comprise and made me do fight and everything. I had a bad shoulder I had got operated and even then they made me do fight and horse riding at this point of time. But I do cherish this experience, I enjoyed doing this film. The call time was 7 am and I would get up by 4.30 and do work out and get ready so one day my wife Surekha, who is the presenter of the film, told me I shouldn’t be punctual as my son is bad with it. I saw the result (on screen) and I am hopeful people will cherish it.

Make up and look
It used to take one hour to get ready

True that Rajnikanth and Mohanlal will dub version..
Both Rajnikanth sir and Mohanlal sir are not doing it. Mohanlal sir is presenting the film in Malayalam and he has a voice over in Malayalam. In Telugu my brother Pawan Kalyan is doing it. Kamal Hassan will be doing it. The initial intro and conclusion voice over will be of these stars.

Ram Charan
I am happy being a producer on this film. I am thankful to the great star cast. This journey is his dream project and they all recognised this and it is kind of all the actors to help me put this cast together this cast together.

I have not shied away. For me it is all about content. Coming with a great content matters the most. Hopefully I am coming (to Bollywood) with S S Rajamouli’s next project ‘RRR’ that will come next year. Hopefully that will be my next project.

Difference between father and the megastar
It is definitely not the same. The man is completely different when he puts make up, he gets into character immediately.