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Interview with Vishnu
Date: April 16, 2007, Hyderabad
R Ravinder

Though Vishnu entered in to Tinsel world with his debut film ‘Vishnu’ on September 28th, 2003, it almost took three and half years to get the right commercial break, thanks to his latest film ‘Dhee’. ‘Dhee’ is running successfully with very good collection and excellent mouth publicity. met Vishnu at his plush office of Thinksmart studio on April 16, to get an exclusive interview. Excerpts from an interview:

You had to wait for a long time to taste success. How were you treated by the film industry till Dhee happened?
Finding true friends in film industry is very difficult. I have very few friends in film industry like Junior NTR, Aryan Rajesh, Jagapati Babu, Srikanth, Sivaji and Sivaji Raja who stood by me throughout difficult times. I have some close friends outside the industry too. Success obviously brings in many friends.

How did Dhee happen?
I was supposed to work with Seenu Vytla long back, but it did not materialize. Seenu Vytla came with an action story as I told him that I wanted to do a different comedy film as all directors are approaching me with action subjects. I loved the subject when he narrated the story of Dhee. He could able to present the story on the screen exactly the way he narrated it.

What did you like in Dhee?
I loved the characterizations. The role donned by me, Sunil, Brahmanandam and Jaya Prakash Reddy tag along with the audience even after walking out of the theaters. There is so much of likeability in those characters.

What did you not like in Dhee?
The music should have been better though I loved the song 'Kanupapa neeku telusa'.

Tell us about Dhee release?
Dhee was released with 180 prints across the State including 33 theaters in Hyderabad alone. The Prasad’s multiplex is planning to increase the number of shows in the coming week as it has become a successful crowd puller. I am going to Singapore this week end to attend Dhee premiere over there. My friend and associate Ashok bought Singapore theatrical exhibition rights for Dhee.

What is the response for Dhee?
It’s huge and beautiful. My mom forced me to accompany her friends when they watched the flick in PVR yesterday night. They all loved it and started teasing me that they have become my fans. Krishna Vamsi - with whom I share a good rapport told that he would watch it tonight.

What is the reaction of your family members to Dhee?
My father said that Dhee will be a hit whenever it is released. The release would not have become possible without the support of dad. My brother Manoj said that there is no need of publicity for the film and the positive mouth talk itself would get the movie lovers to the theater. For the first time, I realized that I could get tears in eyes even with success. My uncle called me from Tirupati on the night of Saturday and he choked while talking to me.

You are making your career in acting. You are also the owner of postproduction company Think Smart. You also look after the affairs of education institute Sri Vidya Niketan too. How do you manage your time?
My first love is acting. When I have time I take interest in attending the activities of Think Smart and Sri Vidya Niketan. I visit the school in Tirupati once in a month. There are efficient people to look after Think Smart and Sri Vidya Niketan. My father has 1300 employees in his organization. I concentrate on acting.

Tell us about Think Smart?
Think Smart is a postproduction House located in Hyderabad. It has all the latest equipment that simplifies postproduction works and CGI. We spent 18 crores on getting the postproduction equipment for Think Smart. We also work for Hollywood projects along with South Indian projects. Our latest work for a Hollywood film is Roto work done for 'Happy Feet'.

You had plans to produce small budget films. When is it shaping up?
The new generation in our family is starting a new content development company called '24 Frames Factory'. The main aim of 24 Frames Factory is to produce films and TV serials. We are going to launch 24 Frames factory very soon.

Your father's frank remarks at Telugu cinema vajrostavalu created lot of controversy. It also led to many unpleasant situations. What is your take on this?
What happened at Telugu cinema vajrostavalu was very unfortunate. I don't see anything wrong in what my father spoke. Senior heroes like Krishna and Krishnam Raju called dad and appreciated for his fervent speech. MS Reddy openly said 'Okkadunnadu Magadu Industry lo' referring to my father.

Dad got the information in advance that he is going to be felicitated under celebrity category. My father informed the committee in advance that he would not want to get felicitated. However, he would be performing on stage as promised earlier. They deliberately called him on to the dais to felicitate him, which led to the speech. Now this case is rest though little unpleasantness still persists. I had to rush to several places as fans started doing protests. When fans in Warangal asked me why we had to be silent as people would take silence as weakness, I told them "Silent is not a symbol of weakness, but is of respect and responsibility." A few Bollywood actors called me about this issue. I want good things to be known to Bollywood about Telugu film industry. Not issues like these.

Did you watch any good Telugu films recently?
I loved Bommarillu. I would like to watch Okkadunnadu.

What kind of friendship you have with Sania Mirza?
I knew Sania even before she became famous in Tennis and I became an actor. Our friendship goes to a long way. But people started becoming curious about us when she became famous as a tennis star and I became an actor. We are just good friends.

When are you going to reduce your weight?
Director Vijaya Bhaskar frankly said that he would only kick start the project once I reduce the weight. I lost 6 kilograms since January 2007 and aim to lose another 6 more kilograms before I start shooting for my next film. There is a 15 minute sequence in Vijaya Bhakar film where I have to run without my shirt on.

How do you kill time?
I go to gym, do swim and watch films. As I travel a lot, I love reading while traveling.

Did you have any embarrassing situation from fans?
I was shooting for Asthram in a college at old city. A groups of girls appeared from nowhere and started hugging me and kissing me. It was such an embarrassing situation. I expected the people around me (fight master Kanal Kannan and my father's security guys) to take care of situations by fending those girls off. But they were just looking at us and laughing. For the next couple of weeks I was teased by my friends in the film industry.

What do girls like in you?
Most of the girls I know have admitted that they liked my dimples.

What is your final goal?
I am just in the beginning stage of my career and still have a very long way to go. Film media is a very powerful media. I want to remain as one of the best actors of Telugu film industry forever.

What are your future projects?
I have two films lined up. One is a fun flick to be directed by Vijaya Bhaskar. The other one is a socio fantasy to be directed by P Vasu (Chandramukhi fame).

When are you going to get married?
I am just 25 now. You should ask me this question after 15 years. I would love to marry a hot and sexy Mexican chick by then.

Do you want to say anything to the visitors of ?
In life, it is always now or never. Live life only by your rules, not by rules governed by others.

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