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Chitchat with Venkatesh
venkatesh about eenadu

August 7, 2009

Venkatesh's latest movie Eenadu starring Kamal Hassan is slated for a release on September 18. Chakri Toleti makes his debut as director with this remake of Hindi blockbuster A Wednesday. Venkatesh met scribes on the morning of 7 September. Here are the excerpts of chitchat -

Kamal Hassan's influence:
I have to openly admit that I am a great fan of Kamal Hassan and I loved his movies like Swati Muthyam, Nayakudu, Kshatriya Putrudu etc. His influence on my work has been tremendous. Even at this age, he did a massive film called Dasavatharam by donning so many roles. I feel ashamed and belittled in front of Kamal Hassan. It was unfortunate that I couldn't get a chance to act with him when he was doing those films. Kamal Hassan is not an ordinary actor.

I was supposed to do a vital role in his magnum opus Marmayogi, but the movie was shelved. When Kamal asked me to do the remake of A Wednesday, I thought that we could set a trend in Telugu if two big heroes join in their hands to do a story-based subject. This trend is prevalent in Hollywood. Success of films like Eenadu will encourage the writers to come with different subject and it will encourage big stars to do different movies. Initially I was keen on doing cop role in both Telugu and Tamil. I was also interested in playing the role of common man in Telugu version though there are negative shades to it initially.

Don't you think there will be comparison with A Wednesday?
Runtime of movie is 1 hour and 40 minutes. Once you start watching the movie, you forget stars and you will see two characters on the screen. You see a commissioner role played by me and a common man role played by Kamal Hassan. Eenadu is a honest and clean movie. In the beginning of the movie itself you will know that how an young commissioner handles a unique case of a stranger coming into his life and ruining it. I am hopeful of audience receiving it positively. I am sure that 95% of Telugu audiences haven't watched A Wednesday. So they will go afresh and watch it as Eenadu.

I get inspired from Hollywood films like Oceon 11 where seven stars join hands to do a heist movie. I often wonder why can't we do such kind of slick flicks in Telugu. We have to work in different manner when we attempt films like A Wednesday. Stars shouldn't ask for big remuneration for these kind of films.

How many days did you work for Eenadu?
The whole film was shot in 35 days. I worked for 15 days for Eenadu. The runtime of the movie is 1 hour and 40 minutes. It was refreshing for me to work in this movie where story unfolds in real time. There are no heroines and no love angle. I wear single costume throughout the movie.

Tell us about director Chakri Toleti?
He knows what he wants and he has got clear judgment about the movie. Another important aspect about the movie is the RED camera. One can do online editing seamlessly. They had a couple of vans with editing suites at the shooting location so that editing can be performed right after the shot is taken. It is a new experience for me to see the final product right after the shot is over.

Will you continue doing experimental films after Eenadu?
Yes. I was always willing to do it. I would have done Pithamagan (Siva Putrudu) if Bala narrated me that subject to me. In fact, I was supposed to act in Bala's direction later. I am open to new scripts. I don't mind doing villain role if the script is challenging enough. I am open to get into Hindi film industry and do different movies. I feel that we are stuck to formula films now. Somebody from the new generation of actors should let the trigger go. Then you can see a flood of different and highly potential films from our young actors. All our young actors are highly energetic with huge acting potential.

Tell us about your ambition to do negative characters?
I think every hero wishes to do a negative role deep down his heart. An actor is not complete unless he attempts negative roles. If you look at the history, all the great actors portrayed negative roles in few movies. It gives tremendous job satisfaction to look at the other side of heroism. If you look at Kaliyuga Pandavulu, it has bad shades to my character in the beginning. I had a second option of doing negative roles if I didn't click as a hero in Kaliyuga Pandavulu.

You get inspired by Kamal Hassan for emotional scenes. Is there any actor who do you think is difficult to learn from?
Mohan Lal is an amazing actor with a strong body language. I never try to attempt acting like him. He is unique.

Are you open to do Pouranika movies?
I am intrested in adventure based Pouranika movies. But I am not fit for dialogue-based Pouranika films as I feel that I don't have grip over Pouranikam language. If I attempt pournika film, people would take legend NTR as yard stick and compare. I better stick to my strengths than attempting Pouranikams.

Tell us about your next movie Namo Venkatesa?
We completed our first schedule in Austria and Iceland. It is an entertainment oriented romantic comedy. There will be high voltage entertainment scenes in my kind of body language. We will start second schedule from 11 September and finish the entire movie in that schedule. If all things go well, Namo Venkatesa will be releasing for Sankranthi.

Tell us about Ganga film?
It is an action oriented family drama titled Ganga that is going to be directed by Amma Rajasekhar. It will a treat for mass audiences. I sport a rough look in Ganga.

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