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'Manmadhudu-2' is more entertaining than 'Manmadhudu' - Nagarjuna

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 • Telugu Comments
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Manmadhudu-2 is a full-on family entertainer: Nagarjuna

Akkineni Nagarjuna awaits the release of 'Manmadhudu-2' on August 9.  In this interview, catch him talk about the film, what made him go for the remake, working with Rahul Ravindran, Rakul Preet and others, doing 'Bigg Boss-3', his upcoming movies and more.  

What is the mainstay of 'Manmadhudu-2'?

I have butterflies in the stomach.  When I saw the French original, I felt that it was tailor-made for my image.  It's not about romance or love.  There is more to the film.  It's more about how a middle-aged person can be bullied by his family into doing things.  He leads a double life, he can't say no to his mother.  What happens when a young woman enters his life is the crux.

How was the experience of shooting in Portugal?

The hero is pampered by his family members, especially his three sisters.  His father passed away long back.  The family has been settled in Portugal for four generations.  When you migrate to another country, you tend to be very protective of your family.  Portugal was very easy to shoot, given that the density of the population is less.  The backdrop is fresh.  

How different is your character compared to other similar characters?

In Telugu films, we generally see younger men not wanting to get married. In 'Manmadhudu-2', the male lead is middle-aged.  The story gives a lot of scope for humour.  

What made you choose Rahul Ravindran for the remake?

I watched 'Chi La Sow', which was a small film but had unique sensibilities.  He extracted the best from his artists.  A film like this needs the best performances, given that there is an ensemble cast.  And he handled everyone so well.  The relationship between the family members is what we are banking on.  The humour between them is organic.  The French original is hilarious throughout.  Rahul's sensibilities also match with it.  He was initially hesitant to do a remake.  But once he watched the French film, he was ready.  

What went right for the movie from the beginning and what made you choose a relative newcomer like Chaitan Bharadwaj?

The pre-production work took one year.  It was perfect and that made it easy.  Both Rahul and his cinematographer did a recce of Portugal and locations.  When I watched 'Rx 100', its music instantly captivated me.  That's why we chose Chaitan Bharadwaj for this movie.  Viacom had been wanting to do a film with me.  It finally happened with 'Manmadhudu-2'. 

Are there any cuss words in the movie?

We have got 'U/A' from Censor board.  As for using cuss words, you have to watch the movie to know which character speaks them in the movie. Characters use certain language that they have to.  It's all contextual.  To be frank, this is the first time since 'Annamayya' that I have spoken chaste Telugu. 

Recently, while speaking about 'Manmadhudu', you didn't utter the name of Trivikram Srinivas.  There has been this speculation that you have had differences with him.  Your comments?

It was Vijaya Bhaskar garu who narrated to me the story.  It was he who would be with me during the making.  I wouldn't say anything more.  

How happy are you with the choices made for this film?

Working with new directors has always worked for me.  It holds good for music directors as well.  When I asked for Devi Sri Prasad for 'Manmadhudu', he was relatively new.  I am confident that my choice to go with Chaitan Bharadwaj falls in the same category.

It seems you love fun-filled movies more.  What is the reason?

I don't like to watch serious movies.  Even if you cry, it should be because of joy.  I have played inspiring characters like Annamayya, which made people cry with joy.  I have tried different genres in recent years.  And with 'Manmadhudu-2', I have done a full-fledged family entertainer.  I would say that this one is as entertaining, in fact, more entertaining than 'Manmadhudu'.  

How is your Hindi movie 'Brahmastra' going?

'Brahmastra' is a very exciting film wherein each character has its value. The story, the scale are quite exciting.  My character might continue into the film's sequel.  Each character comes with its own strengths, much like in the 'Avengers' series.  There is a lot of VFX involved.  I have never sought Bollywood.  

What happened to Dhanush's movie and what is the update on the sequel to 'Soggade Chinni Nayana'?

The Tamil film with Dhanush is shelved.  They shot for 35 days and shelved the project.  I have no idea why they cancelled the project.  As for the sequel to 'Soggade Chinni Nayana', we have been working on it.  Unfortunately, Kalyan's elder brother passed away recently.  

Are you planning to do any bilinguals?

Bilingual films haven't worked for me.  The four that I have done haven't worked for me.  There are cultural and nativity issues.  'Oopiri' was predominantly shot as a Telugu film.  I would like to expand my market but bilinguals haven't worked for me.  Nowadays, the audience are watching all kinds of films on the Internet.

How has it been hosting 'Bigg Boss-3'?

'Meelo Evaru Koteeswarudu' was more about talking, knowing people's lives.  Bigg Boss is dynamic, where contestants change their colors.  Every time I see them, they are different compared to the last week.  I can't imagine another person sharing my room but for my wife.  And these people have to live in the same Bigg Boss house for weeks and weeks.

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