Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nagarjuna's Film Career in Discussion

An actor whose filmography has movies from all cinematic genres, A-lister status in Tollywood and a reputation for doing two films a year, only, Nagarjuna is back in the reckoning with "Ragada" where he romances Anushka and Priyamani.

While Nag's last movie "Kedi" didn't exactly set the BO afire, the actor has no qualms in accepting this and promises that he will end the year on a happy note.

"This movie is different and I haven't played this kind of 'tapori' character with punchy dialogues in my last six films.I tried something new in "Kedi" too, but it didn't do well." Nagarjuna is known to work with newbie directors because he believes debutants come with fresh ideas.What's his check list before he says 'yes' to a movie? " I consider the potential of the director and producer before I sign a film. If they are sensible then the script would be alright too. Most stars say it is the script that makes them sign a movie but if the script is good and director isn't competent and producer doesn't give it good platform, the movie won't work.The director needn't be a successful one, but someone who understands the dynamics of film making is whom I work with," Nag claims.

One look at Nagarjuna and one wonders if time has stood still for 15 years. His personality gives a lot of young stars a run to their gym. We quiz him on his fitness secret and looking back he recalls, "I started working out only before I did "Shiva". I religiously exercise for anhour every day ever since.I have also maintained consistency in my diet. I eat whatever I want to, but I make sure I work it out. I don't take lemon juice for a few months, lose weight for a role and then forget about it. I don't like to shock my body Besides, I think I'm probably genetically blessed ," he laughs.

Nag's also signed "Rajanna" and has a ready-to-release "Gaganam" in his kitty. The latter is expected to be a comeback vehicle for Nag in Kollywood. "I became popular after Mani Ratnam's "Geetanjali " that was a success in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, followed by " Shiva" that released as "Udayam" in Kollywood. Quite a lot of my films got dubbed into Tamil and did well there, so the audience there does remember me. The director is from Tamil Nadu and wanted a bigger budget for the film , so he decided to shoot the in Tamil too. I am glad we shot the movie for both versions."

Despite movies like "Criminal" and "Khuda Gawah", doing big business in north, Nag preferred to stay back in Hyderabad and didn't really give pursue a B-Town career . "RGV who was shifting his base to Mumbai had asked me to come with him, but I chose to stay back and told myself that if the Hindi film makers want me, let them come to Hyderabad.I focused on my Telugu movies and despite that I got "Zakhm", "LoC Kargil" etc."

There have been rumours of his link-ups with loads of actresses. Do these rumours affect him? " They affect me if they are spiteful and hurt my family. Otherwise, being linked to heroines doesn't bother me. Some rumours are of course borne out of professional jealousy. I guess people also take these rumours with a pinch of salt. I am part of showbiz and belong to a film family . I have learnt to laugh these off," he says with a twinkle in his eyes.

A little birdie tells us that his younger son Akhil is likely to go abroad for a course in acting. So do we see another star in the making? "Well, his dad, mom, grandpa, brother, uncles, cousins are all associated with films — he's grown up in film family. It is natural for him to like this industry. But he is just 16 and I suggested that he make a career choice in four years' time. For now he's enjoying life, playing cricket and studying," says the doting dad on a parting note.


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