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Interview with Vishal
Date: August 13, 2008, Hyderabad

One of the top heroes in Tamil film industry, Vishal, son of ace producer GK Reddy, nurtures a volcanic ambition to become a Telugu hero. He wants it to be through “straight Telugu cinema”. All of his films in Tamil were dubbed into Telugu and they received good patronage from the Telugu audience. Incidentally, Vishal, the Telugu guy from Rayalaseema, is accepted by the Telugu audiences as a potential screen hero for them. Vishal’s latest is Salute (Satyam in Tamil). With only a few hours left for the film to hit the marquee all over the world with 800 prints, Vishal says: “August 14th is very special to me. My long-cherished dream to make my debut as Telugu hero is coming true.” An exclusive interview to

What prompted you to become an artiste?
As you know, my father GK Reddy garu is an outstanding producer and he made some of the best films in Telugu. I used to be with my dad and my brother, keenly observing the film industry. Since for long, it had been my passion to become a hero in Telugu film industry, though we are put up in Chennai. I should have actually got introduced to Telugu films, but it occurred in Tamil. Now, after a long time, I am so excited that my debut film Salute is releasing in Telugu.

Tell us about your excitement over Salute?
For the last several weeks, a lot of expectations have arrived in the industry, both in Tamil and Telugu. There is immense response to the trailers and advertisements. I am also very nervous. But, I am sure that I have really done very hard work for the film. I brought 100% justice to the script. Going my experience with all my films so far, I am totally convinced that script plays a major role in Entertainment. Salute is one such film with extraordinary subject.

You play the role of a cop. What steps you took to bring perfection?
I always wanted to do a police office role. For the first time, I am doing now. See, characters meant for high-voltage action have special place in the hearts of people. After all, stunts play a dominant role in any cop’s story. Other than stunts, it is altogether my composure to which I attached much importance. I should look like a cop first. It took me almost 4 months to train myself, to get into psyche of a police officer, to master the body language of a police officer. It was through the friend of my director (A. Rajkumar) that I took thorough guidance from some of the senior police officers.

Okay, why did you go for tonsure in the film?
See, tonsuring head as part of the script is not a big matter. It is a requirement. And as an artiste I should do that. This tonsure scene comes in the climax. Why this clean shaven head is necessary? You will find answer only after watching the film. It is not like that happening artificially or to give a getup like feeling. This clean-shaven head is perfectly the resultant of the script.

While doing Telugu film, why did you choose a Tamil director?
A technician is above language and region. He is a visionary. Rajasekhar is one such person. He already holds lot of respect as a journalist in Tamilnadu. He is also a good thinker. A logical thinker. You don’t find anything extra from him at any point of time. When he narrated the script, we (my brother also) were thrilled. Later, the development of the script further and its execution was made more as a team work. Perfect presentation of Salute wouldn’t have been possible but for our collective efforts. Moreover, I have heard several stories from our Telugu directors in the recent years. But, none of them could satisfy me. Finally, it was this subject (of Salute) that gripped me to the core.

Tell us your experiences working for this film?
Basically, it’s an action film. I required showing big amount of discipline, on and off the screen. You have some of the terrific shots. They turned risky sometimes. But, I dared to do them. Something prompted me, pushed me, saying: “Yes. Vishal, you could do it.” But, one thing I tell. I will never be doing a film like this again. It was a big regimen on my part.

Other than action, what’s next in Salute?
You have superb comedy and family entertainment also. Of course, the romance plus.

Compared to your previous diction, it seems you amazingly picked up your Telugu. How?
It’s simple to say. But, very hard to follow. You know that I am a Telugu man. We talk Telugu in my home. While doing this film, I had free interaction with some of the best Telugu artists like Brahmanandam garu and Ali garu and several others. This helped me whet my diction to near perfection. My friends and well-wishers are particularly calling me each day to appreciate my big improvement in Telugu language.

Your work style with co-artiste Nayantara?
She is a wonderful girl. Nayantara is the right person to our film because we needed a girl like her. None but she alone is the right person. I repeat. I don’t need to say much about her glamour. She is simply superb and a thorough professional. It’s my luck to be acting with this big heroine.

Tell us some highlights in Salute?
The Car chase scene will make the audience forget their breath. We specially deployed Hollywood technicians to monitor the chase. It is a tremendous success. Next, we shot the song sequences in Turkey amidst great locations and thirdly, the airport location in Dubai.

What are your next projects?
As of now, I can’t tell you. Plus, I am a sort of a person who doesn’t believe in set plans. But, hereafter, all my films would be bilingual.

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