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That's what makes NTR great: Jagapathi Babu

Sunday, October 21, 2018 • Telugu Comments
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Thats what makes NTR great: Jagapathi Babu

Jagapathi Babu is on a high. He is glad that his performance in 'Aravindha Sametha' has been lauded widely. In this interview, the senior actor talks about working with NTR, what makes the Nandamuri actor special, how he sees his career graph, and more.

A selfless endeavour that's 'Aravindha'

As far as this film is concerned, if the director created it, it's the hero who gave it a boost. Every artist encouraged other artists during the making. Everyone gave a thought to the characters played by fellow artists. They were not selfish. Usually, you wouldn't know how the character of other actors is turning out to be. Such details are always kept under the wraps by artists.

Tarak's encouragement

I don't see my scenes in the monitor during the making. For this movie, though, I made an exception. I watched the rushes every day. Tarak has praised me and when he gives praises, there is no stopping him. Being a top hero, he has appreciated me so well. He always encourages me.

Dubbing was onerous

Yes, I did scream at the top of my vocal chords for this movie. I didn't care about losing my voice. I couldn't care less because that's how much I like Trivikram Srinivas garu. I respect me hugely as a director. Tarak is a good friend. He is also like a brother.

They all helped me

My opening line in the movie has gone down really well with the audience. That established the character. When I enacted this as the opening shot, I decided that I should do something beyond my reckoning for the movie. I always knew that my character is good in the movie but didn't imagine it will come out so well. While I dubbed for the character, I was helped by a sound engineer, Penchal Das, and associate director Anand. They constantly improvised me. More than acting, I worked hard for dubbing.

Modulation matters

Penchal Das' modulation helped me with the dialect. Since he is a novice in the film industry, I would improvise what he would tell me as an artist. I was intent on giving the character right dubbing modulations. I kept it as a secret from everyone my plans to improvise with modulations during the dubbing stage. I collapsed many times feeling dizzy during the dubbing.

The primacy of Basi Reddy

During the making, Tarak told me that cinema is bigger than the hero. If the script is gigantic, so will be the hero. He asked me to do whatever I can. He is not insecure about the dominant villain. He would tell me that, without Basi Reddy, there is no 'Aravindha Sametha'. No hero would talk like this. A fan recently called me up and told me that, with this film, even those in remote villages now know of me. Many are looking up 'Jagapathi Babu' on YouTube. Credit goes to Tarak for allowing my character to grow fully in the movie. Such is Tarak's greatness to accept a character like Veera Raghava.

Cinema matters the most

There was a time when Ranga Rao garu dominated NT Rama Rao garu. It's because they believed that cinema is the biggest that they made great movies. When I was doing 'Shubalagnam', the director would tell me that Amani will walk away with all the laurels. That was Amani's film, not mine. In 'Samanyudu', Sai Kumar was the one.

Most enjoyable phase

'Hero' is just a tag. I have never enjoyed myself more than now. The kind of success I am delivering now, I never enjoyed in the past. I never got to work with this kind of artists and directors back then. I am working in other languages now. What more can I ask for? I never thought I will come to acquire this thinking and phase in my career. But for 'Antahpuram', I did soft roles only in all my movies (in the first innings as a hero).

I like sophisticated roles

Usually, I like to play sophisticated-looking characters. I want to do 'Godfather'-like characters. Given my voice and style, such characters will be apt for me. I don't know what kind of roles are going to be offered to me. I can't think of a character beyond Basi Reddy.

Blindly trust some directors

If I trust a director, I don't even listen to the script. Basi Reddy is presumed dead in the beginning. And he makes a comeback in the film at a later phase. That's where the director's specialty lies. After my character dies, a song arrives. That's where you see the director's midas touch, again.

'Aravindha' is a wise movie

I am not calling 'Aravindha' a wise movie because it's a blockbuster. When I first arrived on the sets, Tarak was seen fighting off 40 baddies. He was killing it with his performance. I complained within myself that heroes routinely do big fights in movies. That's when I didn't know the story. I felt that at least Trvikram garu should change the track. By afternoon, the fight was cancelled. They had changed the screenplay.

Three distinct roles this year

I have played a terrorist in 'Goodachari', a feudal lord in 'Rangasthalam' and a factionist in 'AS'. The variations in all these characters are so different. It's only because of my directors that this was possible. The genres are different. 'Saakshyam' was not a hit. I am wishing to play soft characters, too.

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