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You are at Home > Celebs > Interview > Mahesh Babu
Interview with Mahesh Babu by Jeevi

Date: 21st January 2002 Venue: Padmalaya Studios
Other Interviews
Lisa Ray (Heroine)
Sravanthi Ravi Kishore (Producer)
RP Patnaik (Music Director)
Smita (Telugu pop singer)
Shyam (Producer)
Karunakaran (Director)
Sri (Music Director)
Gudipoodi Srihari(Film Critic)
SJ Surya(Director)
AM Ratnam(Producer)
Tammareddy Bharadwaja(Producer n Director)
Jayant C Paranji(Director)
Kodi Rama Krishna(Director)
Chakri (JD Chakravarthy)(Hero)
Ramana Gogula(Music Director)
Naga Babu(Producer n Actor)

takkari donga

Being the son of legendry superstar Krishna, Mahesh Babu was always traced by the movie lovers since his childhood. Everybody knows the family background of Mahesh Babu. Hence, it was a touch task to frame questions to interview Mahesh Babu.

It was my personal experience that movie related celebrity does not care for the time value of others. In the past, when I went to interview celebrities, I had to wait for at least an hour as they we were busy with their own work. They give interview only after complete their work. When Mahesh Babu gave an appointment for 3 pm at Padmalaya on 21st January 2002, I was expecting him to turn up at 4 pm and give me an interview by evening. But he was there at the venue 10 minutes before and the interview was started sharp at 3 pm. Mahesh Babu gave measured and crisp answers to the questions posed by Here are the excerpts of the interview, which lasted for 30 minutes.

Listen to the voice interview of Mahesh Babu by clicking the link below

It's been more than a week since Takkari Donga is released. What is the commercial outcome of the film?

Commercially, I think, Takkari Donga is a huge hit. The figures are there for everybody to see. There is no comparison with the other films released in this season. Jayant and I are on high right now. It's really satisfying after working hard for one year.

Did you get to hear any critical remarks made by industry?

Yes, there is some criticism by the industry people. They say that there is no story in this film. Right from the day of the start of shooting, we kept on saying that there would be no story in the film. What kind of story can we write for a cowboy film? Cowboy film is an adventure. Takkari Donga is a two and half hour adventure film. That's what we had in mind. That's why I has to do those risky shots. I would not be doing that for other films.

Are you 100% satisfied with the outcome of the film?

Oh, Yes! More than 100% satisfied.

Could u please tell us about your educational background?

I studied in Madras and I graduated in commerce. Now I am here!

Did you not consider any profession other than acting?

No. I did films when I was young. So it got into me that I would finish my studies and take acting as my career.

What was your experience of working as a child artist?

When I was a child, acting was my hobby. I like going to sets. It was exciting. My dad used to be there. I used to follow dad's instructions and get back. And it was an opportunity to bunk school (giggles). But, now it is changed. I was not focused when I was child. But it helped me in a way to expose me to the cinema industry. I am comfortable right from the day one as the hero, because of my experience as a child artist.

You have done five films so far. What is the most satisfying film?

Other than my third film, every film has been satisfying. I prefer to forget, Vamsi, my third film. I feel that I have done only four films.

What is your policy in accepting any film?

I should get excited when I listen to the script. There might be good scripts, which I rejected because my character in that film is not exciting enough for me.

Did you watch any cowboy films to observe how cowboy behaves when u accepted 'Takkari Donga'?

No. That's the one thing I deliberately avoided. If I watch cowboy films, I will get into that mode. That's the reason why I acted very naturally in 'Takkari Donga'. I did not follow any style or whatever. We did not even rehearse most of the scenes. I did the shots spontaneously.

There is a critical comment on the film that the hard work and efforts put on this film was not effectively made an impact on the screen to influence the audience to a higher lever. What do you feel about it?

Today is 11th day and the theaters are packed. If the movie did not make any impact it shows up in the collections. If a film is not good, the collections drop on 3rd or 4th day. For a crazy product like this the collections may fall on 7th day. What about now? Saying 'what efforts we put in did not transform on the screen effective' is rubbish. You can see every frame in the film and you can see our efforts right there. It's not a normal Telugu film. Compared to the Telugu film standards, that's much much high! That's what we wanted to do. And, we did it with in the available budget.

Few characters of the film are missing in the end.

Like what?

The characters of little dog, Tanikella Bharani, Surya, Raj ….

Those are very minor details. Fine. Dog is not there in the end. But it's not a major problem. Why do you scrutinize this film like an Oscar film? It's a basic entertainment film. We had the length problem in the film. If we had shown the logical conclusion for all the characters, the film would have taken 3 hour 45 minutes to 4-hour duration. We made the film little crisp.

Are you planning for any post release promotional activities for Takkari Donga like going for road shows (Vijaya yatra) etc?

No. We are not. We don't need that.

What are the future films you are doing?

I am currently doing one film with K Raghavendra Rao garu. Sobhan Babu is the director. I am doing another film with Guna Sekhar. Then I produce one film.

There are comments on you that you side with directors and ignore producers?

Can you elaborate it?

For Takkari Donga, KS Rama Rao was original producer. But, later on Jayant became the producer.

Jayant did not replace the original producer. Original producer opted out of project. KS Rama Rao was not willing to produce cowboy film for budget consideration. Telugu movies he was not sure how we are going to produce this film on that limited budget. He wanted to produce a normal love story. Jayant and I were excited about the film. Then Jayant asked KS Rama Rao if he had any problems with Jayant taking over production. KS Rama Rao was happy about it. Now you know what happened to Jayant and how he spent the money. It's incredible.

Tell us about Jayant as producer.

He is unbelievable. Initially, I thought the production would hamper his direction work. But it did not affect him at all. The product is out there and it's like a big treat to us.

You have become very selective about picking the right films and there seems to be a huge gap between two releases. Are the fans happy about it?

The big gap is there only between Murari and Takkari Donga. For other films there would not be so much gap. Takkari Donga need this much of time for production. All the action sequences are very complicated. Rains and delay in USA schedule added to it and the product was delayed.

When is Sobhan Babu directed movie is releasing?

It would be released during July or August.

What kind of character you are playing?

We are targeting youth. I never tried Youth films in the past.

We heard that you were the initial choice for Nuvvu-Nenu. Is it true?

I have seen Niram, the Malayalam version of 'Nuvve Kavali'. I expected that it would become a super hit. But I could not do it, as I can't work on remakes. The remakes do not interest me as they have already done by somebody else in other languages. In that case, there would not be anything special for me to do.

Are you averse to remakes?

I am not averse to remakes. But I can't do remakes. If you expect me to see original film and do the same emotion, I can't do it.

But, I heard you are doing the Telugu version of Surya's New?

New is not a remake. It's a bilingual. Both versions (Telugu and Tamil) would release on the same day.

What is the response of Tamil version Muari?

I really don't know. It was released during Sankranthi in Tamil Nadu. I have to call up Krishna Vamsi and find it out.

You have got the most loyal and passionate fan following among Telugu film lovers who are living in AP and across the world. Do you have any words for them?

From the beginning I have been saying that I am very lucky to have fans like that. At the same time, I am scared of them also. Because, they rip my films apart if they don't like them. They all loved 'Takkari Donga'. They call me up and say that I don't need to do risky shots like that. What would happen if something goes wrong? That's a personal kick. If they say that …it infers that I have succeeded in what I was supposed to do in Takkari Donga. I am very happy.

Do you think its necessary for you to do such a risky shots in 'Takkari Donga'?

For a film like this, Yes! Otherwise what specialty we are offering to the audience? Just showing Grand Canyon?? No! You have to do something special!!

When working for films, are there any incidents you differed with director for the betterment of product?

I don't differ with the director during the making of film. You have to believe in the film to able to work with. Only for the third film, there was such argument as we entered the shooting without script in the hand.

What is the response of Superstar Krishna for 'Takkari Donga'?

He loved the film. At the same time, he was upset about the risky shots I have done. He told that I should not have done those shots. Nobody knows about these shots till the film was released. I did not tell him prior to that either. After watching the film, he asked if we used any graphics. Though upset, he was also proud about those shots as nobody has done it before.

After a decade, if you get an opportunity to do a cowboy film again will you be a game?

May be not. My physical condition would not be suitable. I know how much hard we worked. I am 24-25 now. After each and every schedule of Takkari Donga, parts of my body would ache. After 10 years, I don't think my physical condition would permit.

Any marriage plans?

No. I am too busy with my career now.

What is your ultimate objective as an artist?

I don't know. I have not set any objectives. I want to do good work and keep my daddy and fans happy.

We all know about your strengths. Tell us about your professional weakness?

I have doubts about shots I do. I usually think if we can do the shot in some other way. I doubt about the quality of takes. I do set very high standard. And I am not really satisfied with any of my performance till date. That is also a good sign because that gives you a scope for improvement. If you think you are a good actor, then you are finished. Nobody is a good actor. You can learn everyday and every minute. That's what acting is all about!

How do you upgrade yourself with the current trends in industry?

There is no such thing as trend. A good film is a good film. What happened to Narasimha Naidu? Was that film suited the trend at that time? It was a good film. That's it!

Do you watch the films of other stars?

Not really. I have seen Narasimha Naidu. Then I saw Manasanta Nuvve, as my producer (MS Raju) who produced that film wanted me to watch it.

The Telugu movie lovers perceive you and Pawan Kalyan as archrivals. What kind of relationship you share with him as a co-artist?

I met him 2-3 times in formal occasions. Once I remember him sending me a bouquet when Raja Kumarudu was released. I think that's a really nice gesture. He seems to be a good human being.

This film industry is having lots of big names with vicious minds who always want to suppress you. How are you coping up with them?

If you let them suppress you, what kind of man you are. I know there are lots of bad people out there. In the industry, they always try to put you down. But you should not be really bothered about them. That's what I feel about it. It's not worth it. According to them none of my films did well. They used to predict that my films have gone for a toss on the day one. Right now I am on high and am doing well. All their comments are rubbish.

What kind of role Telugu media is playing when it comes to promote the films?

All the Telugu journalists write really nice about us without any controversies. They have been really nice to me. This is because of my dad. It is not like Hindi field where they rip all the actors off.

Did you take any remuneration for Takkari Donga?

That's personal. (pause) Yes, I did take!

Did you visit

Yes, I do. In fact, I last visited the site day before yesterday. I don't want the feedback I am giving to you on tape …… (some feedback to Jeevi which should not really bother the readers reading this interview)

Interviewed by Jeevi
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