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Chitchat with Venkatesh

December 13, 2008

Today (13 December) is the birthday of actor Venkatesh. He had chitchat with media persons a couple of days back to share information about his future project. Venkatesh discusses about his remuneration and future generation in this chitchat. Here are the excerpts -

How are you going to celebrate this year’s birthday?
I never celebrated my birthdays.

Tell us about your next project?
I might announce it in a week’s time. I feel that we should have a bound script in place before announcing the project. Most of our filmmakers are after the combinations, and sometimes they are compelled to make films without script in place because they got hold of dates of actors. It is the time for the producers to be more responsible and do the business as lots of lives are involved in it.

Are you happy with Chintakayala Ravi?
Yes. It is a simple comedy film. And it was a nice experience working in USA for that film. We had the problem of decreased tariff rates which took toll on the openings. And the pirated CDs flooded the market right on the day 2. Since it was not a big budget film and it was sold at reasonable prices, the film turned out to be a safe project at the box office.

Since the government is allowing hiked tariffs for the forthcoming big films, don’t you think your film is single out in the process?
Past is past. I don’t want to think about. The proposed rates for the next hike are good. But for a huge budget films made with 25 crores or more, even these hiked tariffs might be little less.

For big heroes’ project, the remunerations account for more than 50% in the total budget?
I am the most reasonable actor when it comes to remunerations. I don’t want to reveal it, but I am doing my bit towards the reduction of budget. I am always a producer’s actor. For that matter, I take remuneration only after completing the project. It saves a lot to the producer in terms of 6-7 months interest.

There are rumors that you slashed your remuneration to Chintakaya Ravi just before release of the film?
I don’t want to boast about it now.

Where do you invest your wealth?
The only investment I do in my life is in spirituality. All monitory investments do not matter. I can be a very good businessman if I want to. But I decided not to become a business man.

Tell us about your nephew Naga Chaitanya?
He will have a great future. Responsibility is there on him to prove himself. Sincerity and self discipline are two things which are needed for the success. The young generation has the opportunity to take the Telugu film industry into a different league. Being young, they should take necessary risk to come out with different projects.

How differently did you do when you were young?
To be honest, I did not have any pressure to perform as I was not any star hero’s son. Hence I had the opportunity to do a mass film like Kaliyuga Pandavulu and a class film like Swarna Kamalam at the same time. My big mass blockbuster Bobbili Raja is followed by a class flick Kshanakshanam.

Will you act in Naga Chaitanya’s future films?
When I gracefully come out of hero’s roles, I will be open to do good characters in youngster’s films. All it needs is one director to spark it off.

When is the launch of RaNa (son of D Suresh Babu)?
He will be launched in the next year. He is working hard towards it. Since he is coming from a producer’s family, I caution him to consider business responsibility while signing any project. Youngsters need sincerity and self discipline to succeed in this field. My wishes and encouragement is always there with them.

What is your reaction to recent terrorist attack in Mumbai?
It is a big shock to be. It happened on such a big scale for the first time in India. It is the high time to react. Both the Government and the public should work towards creating awareness. The Mumbai terrorist attack affected a couple of my friends. The live coverage of TV channels on such incidents create huge psychological impact. It is not good for the kids and future generation as these activities instill fear factor in their minds. At the same time, we should get on with our lives.

Tell us about your next project?
I am listening to lots of scripts. I will do a sincere film next and I will do an entertainer as well.

What happened to Krish’s project?
Krish is working on the script. I liked Gamyam film for the human emotions and bonding. It was a sincere attempt by Krish. He is a well read boy. We should encourage him. I hope to get something new with the script he is working on.

You were talking about bound scripts. Is it possible in the current scenario?
There are various factors like actors dates, taking advances, announcing the combination in media much before projects are affecting the producer to stick to his commitment. Hence most of the projects will get started even if the bound script is not ready. The producer will shoot a couple of songs first so that during that time the remaining part of the script could be completed.

Hence I prefer to do homework first and get the bound script ready before doing a formal announcement. Hence I am not announcing any project now.

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