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Interview with Chakravarthy by Jeevi met Chakri on 24th December 2001 (Sunday) at Nanakram Guda studio. Chakri was doing a dance bit for 'Konaseema Kurradaanniro' song of the film 'Navvutu Bratakalira'. Rasika(fourth heroine in that film) was his co-artist. An amicable Chakri talked about various aspects with the finesse of glib talker and Jam master. Here is the transcript of the interview. Click on the relevant audio item to listen to his fluent speech. We do recommend you to listen to interview than read the transcript as the true essence can only be expressed in the way Chakri has spoken!

Tell about your studies. What all places you had been for studies?
I was born in Hyderabad and brought up in Rajahmundry. I did my schooling from LKG to 8th class in Cambrige University. I also had been to places like Jabalpur, Bhopal, US etc for studies. I did my engineering in Hyderabad. Click here to listen

How did you land up with Shiva assignment?
My friend (Uttej) was working as an assistant director to Ram Gopal Varma. He wanted me to come to studio so that he can show of that he belongs to a circle of wealthy people (as I has a car at that point) and silence the staff of Annapurna, who never bothered to give an iota of respect for Uttej. So I went to Annapurna studios and barged into the office where Uttej was supposed to be there. There was a queue of 5 people. I was asked to join them. Without realizing what the queue is all about I was standing in it. Then it was my turn to go inside. A guy was sitting in a chair and he asked me which Institute I was from. I told that I was from a college as I was doing my 2nd year of engineering. Uttej, who entered the scene at that time interfered and clarified that I was his friend and I did not go there to act. Then that guy asked me if I was interested in acting. I told yes. He asked me to act. I asked him to give me a scene. He gave a scene to act and a day's time to prepare. Click here to listen

After coming home, I saw an ad of 'Shiva' inviting new talent in a news magazine. Then I realized that the person I met was Ram Gopal Varma. I prepared and went for audition next day and shown him the action in six different styles. Then Ramuji asked for a screen test, in which I failed miserably. I was selected for that role as Ramuji was convinced about my acting prowess. But, it was my sister who encouraged me all throughout my persuasion to become an actor.

What went wrong between you and Krishna Vamsi? He told me that Maheshwari was the reason for the your relationship going sour with Vamsi during the making of 'Gulabi'.
I do appreciate Vamsi for coming out and let me know his feelings. At that period of time, we use to be very desperate for a girl. We were made work with so much dedication under Ramuji that Vamsi and I could attend our sister's marriage. Our ambition in life was to ride the motorbike with a girl. So, we did create a bike song deliberately so that Vamsi can ride the bike with Maheshwari during rehearsals and me with her during the take. It was kind of fun for us and we did it just for the thrill and excitement of being with a woman. But we did make sure that we never asked her out when the shooting time was over. Over a period of time, we did realize that we were in love with Pooja, but not with Maheshwari. Pooja is the character name of Maheshwari in 'Gulabi'. There was a strong reason for us to be in love with Pooja, as we created that role and the entire film revolves around Pooja. We worked over a year to conceptualize and produce that film. Click here to listen

Why was Mahatma Gandhi Autobiography stopped?
I am just the director of the film. You must ask the producer of the film. I did dialogues, story and screenplay in addition to the direction. He did not stop the film, because he did not like my work. He was very much satisfied with my work. He has got some legitimate reason to stop the film. He asked me to go ahead and make the film, as I have my own production company. I do not want to reveal the reason as Varma is a third person here and it's not ethical on my part to do so. But, if I make that film, Varma will be in trouble. I do not want to put my Guru in trouble. Click here to listen

What went wrong with the first film of the year 'Kodanda Ramudu'?
I did predict that it was 'Kodanda Ramudu' till the film was released, and it would be called as 'Dandaga Ramudu' after the film was released. I enjoyed making of that film. And people did not like it. Click here to listen

What are your current assignments?
I am doing a film called Suri in the direction of editor Shankar. I am doing another film called 'Navvutu bratakalira' in the direction of Kodi Rama Krishna. Taranga films are producing the third film I am doing. This film is titled as Akka Bavekkade! In addition to these films, I am doing another film titled 'Swarna Yugam' in the direction of SV Krishna Reddy. Click here to listen

Why Swarna Yugam is stopped?
It was not stopped. The muhurtam was held in August. At that time only it was decided that we are going to start shooting from 15th January 2001 onwards. I had no problems with that.

Tell us about Suri and Durga?
For Suri, I am giving story, screenplay and dialogues apart from acting in the film. Officially, I am writing dialogues for the first time. But unofficially, I have been ghostwriting dialogues for lot of films in the past. It was my bread and butter at one point of time.

Is Gulabi, one such a film?
I don't want to name anything. I don't want to talk about anything related to past. But for Durga(Chakri's first directorial venture in Hindi), which is not a remake of Suri, I am doing production and direction of the film apart from dialogues, story and screenplay. There is no similarity between Suri and Durga except for a couple of romantic scenes and songs. Durga is based in Bombay and Suri is based in Hyderabad. Click here to listen

Who is the cast in Durga!
Priyanka Trivedi is playing the heroine role. Sayaji shinde, the villain of 'Shool', is playing the negative role in this film. The Satya gang too is playing a vital role in this film. I have taken a couple of actors from Hyderabad too. One is Jeevi, a guy acted in Anthahpuram, who has done good job and Satya Prakash, who acted in Samarasimha Reddy. I am introducing a new cameraman called Arun. He is a part of Varma's gang. I am also introducing Vidya, who is called as Vidya Sagar in Tollywood, as the music director in Hindi.

Don't you think you are handling too many departments for Suri?
Tammareddy Bharadwaja, the man who is born and brought up in the cinema industry, though that my story, screenplay and dialogues do contribute towards success of the film. Bharadwaja is called as the 'Annayya' (Big Brother) of the entire Telugu cinema industry. He produced around 32 films and directed around 16 films. I am putting all my efforts in making the film. It is up to the audience to decide whether my work is good or not. Click here to listen

Tell us about this film and song you are doing now?
This is from 'Navvutu Bratakalira'. I have never done this exciting character with a good characterization. Whenever you get time, please watch the film. If I tell you the scene, the excitement goes down. Click here to listen

You are acting in a dance song now. Don't you think the dancers, who are doing their part of dancing, wanted to become hero or heroine at one point of time? Since, you have got the right break at the right time, you have become a hero and others remained as dancers!! And most of them are struggling to make their ends meet!
It may look little irrelevant, but what I am saying is the truth. The moment a special privilege given to the women by providing the special counter and special seats in buses and other areas, the power to demand equal rights for women at the par of men is vanished. Why are you saying that dancers are leading pathetic life? Their ambition in the life is to become dance masters. And they are striving hard to become dance masters. One need not show any sympathy towards dancers, since they enjoy doing dancing and their goal is to become a dance master. That's their profession. The moment you show sympathy towards them, the situation becomes similar to that of ladies reservation! Click here to listen

Till what time would you work for today?
It may sound a little arrogant to you, I have no constraints or time limits for the work I do. If the work is interesting, I do not mind stretching myself up to 3 am in the wee hours. Today, being a Sunday, I thought I would work till 6 pm. But I don't mind staying late if the film needs me to do so. That too, I do not have anybody in the home to spend time with. My mom is in USA now. I do miss her a lot. 'Mom, if you happen to read this interview in the Internet, please do come back!'. Click here to listen

What is your experience of producing films?
I lost money. That's why I signed a few out side projects so that I can make some money and produce films again. I made some mistakes in the past. I make sure that I do not repeat them. In stead, I will make new mistakes. Click here to listen

Did you sing any song recently?
Yup. I did one for Suri. At that time, Nagur Babu was in USA giving some shows. I did sing the track song for that film and everybody liked it. Then I realized that I did not come here to make my living as singer. And I don't want the producer think that I am being given special favor. We re-recorded the song with Nagur Babu later. Click here to listen

Don't you feel the itch when others are directing the film? You might feel uncomfortable without interfering in the direction, as you too are a director material!
Let me take an analogy of a rally. I go to rally to enjoy it. If a participant meets with an accident I feel sorry and if someone wins, I feel happy. But if I am producing the film, it's like my brother is participating in the rally. Most of the time, I would be worried about the safety of my brother than anything else. If a film is being made in my production, I do make sure that every department is functioning in the right way. If someone else is producing, my involvement in the film will not go beyond acting in it. Click here to listen

Which characters does suit you?
It not me, who decides about the suitability of the characters for Chakri. It's the director, who has to decide which character I do fit in. I accept whichever character excites me. Click here to listen

What is the best character done by you?
Let me be frank with you. JD character of Shiva film is the ultimate character played by me. It was always my dream to be a cinema hero. My aim, ambition and goal are completed the moment I grabbed the role of JD in Shiva. I did not have any stage experience and I faced the camera for the first time. I channelized all my skills and energies to deliver my performance for the role of JD. Even today, I am called as JD Chakravarthy in the industry, as that character made such a lasting impression on the cine goers. JD is the best character that is offered to me so far and my performance in Shiva is the best! Click here to listen

Who is your favorite hero?
Chiranjeevi gaaru! Nope, it's Chiranjeevi. As a fan, it's Chiranjeevi to me. But as an actor, he is Chiranjeevi gaaru for me!

When did you see him for the first time?
I came to know that Chiranjeevi was going to attend a marriage of a cine artist in Vaani Mahal of Madras. I went there to catch hold the sight of Chiranjeevi. I was truly excited about having a glance at Chiranjeevi. After becoming the actor, I did not want to meet Chiranjeevi gaaru, as I was afraid that I might lose the charm of Chiranjeevi. He carries larger than life image for me. For me, he is of 25 feet tall. That's the reason why I did not want to meet him in flesh and blood! But, he called me to meet him after 'Money' was released. Recently, Chiru and I had shooting in the same floor of a studio. We can get a glimpse of each other. But I deliberately wanted to be away. It was an achievement for where my favorite hero and me are doing shooting in the same floor. I do still like him and in great awe of him. Click here to listen

Who is the best director you worked with apart from Varma?
How can I keep Varma apart? He is part of me as an actor. He is the best and I do give the rank one to 100 in my list for Varma. And all other directors come with 100 plus ranking. I don't consider the director who comes after 100 as the best director. Click here to listen

What is your age now?
I am elder to Mahesh Babu and younger to Chiranjeevi.

You have told the same answer in all the interviews!
I will tell you in other words. Since, Sridevi has married now, let me tell you that I am in an age where I can marry X heroine.

I am giving you feelers to you so that you can ask me who that heroine is. To be frank, I am not in love with any of the heroines. I was willing to love them. But they think I am too innocent and nice guy to fall in love with. They do not know that I am a brat too! Click here to listen

When are you going to get married?
I fail to understand why Marriage and Food are given greater priority in the life. Food should be eaten only to live and marriage should be done when one is ready for it. I should feel that I require a partner. I am not ready for it. Blah… blah! Click here to listen

Do you get fan mail from girls?
Yes, I get a lot of mails from the fans. It's not that I get love letters all the time. Most of them write good things about me and a few of them write bad things. I do understand that concern of the criticizers. If they do not like me, they would not have taken pains to write a letter to me. For the people, who say that they love me, I used to write that Chakri is different from the character you have seen in that particular movie. I don't think anybody known who Chakri is, except around 4 people. My fans do ask me for the pictures and I send photos to them. I do not sent give any messages to them. Click here to listen

Did anyone embarrass you publicly with his or her adulation?
When I went for a tour to Warangal for promoting 'perulenu cinema' produced by me, my hired AC bus was damaged when the violent fans threw stones at us. I did bear the brunt, as I had to pay the money to the buswala, since I produced that film.

Do you eat non-vegetarian food?
I do not eat non-vegetarian. I find it to be cruel on our part to kill the species and eat them. Around 18 years back, there used to be a non-veg pakodi seller in Calcutta. He used to charge around Rs 2000/- per kg. And people used to throng on him to buy it. Later on, it was found that, the seller used to prepare the pakodi using human flesh. Why don't you try it? I heard it's tasty too. A human is not designed to eat non-veg. His teeth are not made for eating non-vegetarian. I hate non-vegetarian and eventually I hate the people who eat non-veg. Click here to listen

When did you stop eating non-veg?
When I was doing my sixth standard.

How come you have become such a chatterbox?
Why did you ask me that?

You seem to have an instant answer for every question I ask!
If I don't know about a particular topic, I do not boast off. Why should I leave the subjects that I know? Probably, I learnt it for my mom, who was curious about knowing everything in the world. Click here to listen

You seem to be a Mama's boy
She is a wonderful mother. Who else do encourage their kids when they say they want to become a part of cinema industry. When my mom came to know about my ambition to become a cinema actor, she encourages me and bought a VCR and rented lot of Hollywood films so that I can see them and hone my skills. My parents are the best parents. They never threatened me. They used to make it clear to me that I need to get 70% of the marks. They never interfered what I was doing as long as I produced the results. My mom used to buy lot of comic books for me. She wanted me to become a graduate. I too wanted to become an engineer. So I finished my engineering studies. I am an unemployed engineer! Click here to listen

Interviewed by Jeevi
Related Articles: Checkout the interview of Nagababu & Ramana Gogula
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