Ahead of Khaidi No 150’s release, Chiranjeevi addressed the media about his much-awaited comeback into films and why it doesn’t mean that he has put an end to his political career.
Megastar Chiranjeevi is at clearly ease with himself as he fielded questions, ranging from his upcoming film Khaidi No 150 to RGV’s tweets, from the media. We are at his house in Hyderabad and the room is packed with as many as 60 journalists, who couldn’t help but ask him if anything had changed about film industry in the past 9 years. “Filmmaking has changed so much in the past few years. We don’t see ‘film reels’ anymore on the sets while shooting and the project systems have been replaced with QUBE and other things. It feels very different,” Chiranjeevi said.
A lot has been written in the past few months about Chiranjeevi’s comeback film and the moment he chose Khaidi No 150, a remake of Vijay starrer Kaththi, it came as a big surprise; however, Chiranjeevi says that the film is a complete entertainer with a good message at its core. Apparently, quite a few changes have been made in the Telugu version and there’s no political flavour in Khaidi No 150 compared to Kaththi. “We have just focused on the issues which the farmers face and how the MNCs have been making their lives even more miserable. It’s an universal issue across the world and I hope that it will resonate with all cross-sections of the audience. At the same time, it’s a fun film and perfect outing for the family this Sankranthi,” he said.
The film has been produced by Ram Charan under Konidela Production Company, the newly constituted production house which was initiated by Chiranjeevi’s own family. Chiranjeevi is all praise for Ram Charan’s conviction as a producer and said that he’ll go a long way in his career. “Sometimes, when people come up with ideas, I have the habit of taking them into consideration and start doubting what I do, but Charan isn’t like that. As a producer, he comes with the sets with a lot of conviction to implement the plan. Also, he has an eye for talent and he was instrumental in bringing several top end technicians on board. In fact, it was his idea to get VV Vinayak onboard to direct the film and I just had to agree with him,” Chiranjeevi confessed, adding, “When I look at my nephews and nieces talking or playing in front of me, I feel that this is what I’ve achieved in my life. I don’t interfere in their lives, but I’m always there as a watchdog to correct them if they go astray (laughs).”
Ever since the trailer of Khaidi No 150 was unveiled, people couldn’t stop raving about Chiranjeevi’s dance moves and buzz is that he’s going to be at his vintage best in the songs. Surprisingly, Chiranjeevi confesses that he has never tried to ‘dance’ in the past nine years, except on one occasion. “The only time I danced was for my daughter’s (Srija) sangeet ceremony and that too I practiced for just 10 minutes. But then, I can feel the dance inside me every time I listen to a song. It’s similar to what Shruti Haasan’s role was like in Race Gurram,” he laughs. Ask him if Khaidi No 150 will have a signature move, the actor spilled the beans saying that Raghava Lawrence, who choreographed one of the songs, made him to recreate the iconic ‘Veena’ step. “I told him that it had become a cliche because it has been repeated numerous times. But Lawrence was adamant and said that it’s different when I do it. So, you’ll see me doing the ‘veena’ step in a different way.”
Along with all the jubilation about Chiranjeevi’s 150th film, there’s also been an occasional untoward incident. For instance, after the pre-release event at Guntur recently, RGV took to Twitter to criticise Naga Babu when the latter took a dig at RGV for commenting on Chiranjeevi and Khaidi No 150. The tweet storm caused quite a lot of stir among Chiranjeevi’s fans. Chiranjeevi is quite aware of all these things and more, but he chooses to ignore them. “If I react to everything that people have to say about me, I’ll fall into their trap. Why should I something where another person has set the agenda for me? I switch off the moment I’m done shooting for a film. I don’t think so much about what people have to say. Let them do or say what they want to. I believe my fans are also wise enough to realise this. The moment you react to something, you’re just giving it too much importance,” he explained.
Now that he has acted in his 150th film, we wonder if he has more up his sleeve. And more importantly, is there anything left for him to prove considering that he has been around for more than 35 years? “Well, every actor will have the urge to keep acting until his final moments. ANR garu had once said that he wanted to act until he does and he did that. I would like to keep acting as long as people feel I’m relevant enough. I believe actors should be wise enough to judge when to stop,” he says.
So, does his re-entry films mean that he wouldn’t get back to politics again? “I never said that. I’m still with Congress party. Thing is, right now, there’s a political vacuum in the two states. We don’t have an agenda yet to fight against something. When you are not in power, except for creating awareness about issues people are facing and expressing your solidarity with them, there’s nothing much you can do. So, I’m focusing on films at the moment. After Khaidi No 150, I have couple of more films in the pipeline including a film each with Boyapati Srinu and Surender Reddy. There’s also an idea of doing the biopic on Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, but it’s too early to talk about it,” he said, putting things in perspective, adding, “I hope both Khaidi No 150 and Gautamiputra Satakarni turn out to be big hits. It’s good for everyone when films do well.”
Khaidi No 150 Official Theatrical Trailer