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Interview with Siddharth
Date: 15 January 2011, Hyderabad

Siddharth is a man who follows his passion and applies business sense at the same time. With a perfect balancing act, he is able to do multiple films in multiple languages to get the tag of a ‘multi-faceted hero’. Apart from acting, he has skills in writing, producing, singing and music composition. He is doing local films with debutant directors and doing international films with acclaimed Hollywood directors as well. He accomplishes so much in so little time and still has so much time to tweet. He has over 3.3 lacs of followers from all around the world on Twitter. Siddharth’s latest film ‘Love Failure’ with a tag-line ‘Fail in Love’ is getting released on 17 February. Here is the excerpts of an interview -

You are doing multiple projects in quick succession?
I believe that we should make hay when sun is shining. I didn’t have a major hit in the past 5 years and I am still getting plenty of offers. Most of the films I worked for are by first time directors. Love Failure is my 10th film with a debutant director.

What is the reason behind getting into production? Were you not interested in direction?
I came to film industry to become a director. Direction is always on the cards. The project of Love Failure fell in place and I decided to turn into production. I happened to see a short film on Youtube called ‘How to mess up in love’ by Balaji Mohan around 1 and half years back. It went viral. I was searching for Balaji and I was told that he was already offered a movie by some producer. After that I ran into Sashikanth (YNot banner) and he informed me that he has roped in Balaji Mohan. I met Balaji and expressed my intention to produce a full-length feature film based on his youtube video. I thought of casting a new boy. But I realised what Amir Khan has told me during the time of Rang De Basanti. Though RDB could have been done by a new comer, Amir Khan prefered to act in as main lead as his brand will get more crowds to theater to make it a blockbuster. If a new guy were to cast in Amir’s role, it would have remained just a good film with no massive reach. I thought that I will do the main lead so that the film will have commercial viability and a wider reach.

I launched Etaki? banner to produce films. ‘Etaki’ means ‘what is this?’ in Bengali. This is the word I uttered while dubbing for an ad film when I was a kid. I got a remuneration of Rs. 300/- for that. It was my life long dream to establish a company called ‘Etaki?’.

Tell us about Love Failure?
Love Failure is a tribute to international romantic films. I have adapted a Hollywood style of film-making in shooting and budgeting. I have used ‘Spielberg Model’ which professes that if you are going to lose, don’t make a movie. We have shot the movie in two months and I am amazed at the quality of output. Its well shot and classy. Love Failure is a city based film. It is a small film with big heart.

You are acting in many languages. If you were to tag yourself with a particular language, which one do you prefer?
I consider myself of as a mainstream Telugu hero. After Boys and Yuva, I haven’t done a Tamil film 8 years and I have migrated to Telugu and starting owning it. I introduce myself as a Telugu hero when I go to Mumbai. Likewise, Love Failure will have a better opening in Telugu than Tamil.

Tell us about music of Love Failure?

Sri Mani: Sri Mani has penned nice lyrics in 100% Love. The lyrics of Tamil and Telugu are different. The lyrics of Love Failure of quirky and fabulous.

Thaman: I worked with Thaman as an actor for Boys film. I know his potential. Thaman has been asking me for a long time and I was waiting for the right subject. But I am lucky that I signed him when he has delivered huge chartbusters in Telugu. Love Failure is a right film for him. Music is fresh for him. We have adapted a random structure with no palavi/charanam grammar.

Tell us about the director Balaji Mohan?
Balaji Mohan is a 24 year old editing graduate from LV Prasad Film Institute. He has a clear and uncluttered mind. He is a character. He has shot Happy Heart Attack song in loony tunes cartoon video. When you watch any film, the characters will be speaking to other characters. In this movie, you see me interacting with camera. It’s in typical Woody Allen style (Annie Hall is an example) which adds to the empathy of the script.

You are going to love Love Failure. I am curious to know how family crowds are going to react. Family audiences have always been my forte.

You are saying that Love Failure is a kind of experiment done in a commercial way. Do you think it will work in Telugu?
I feel that Telugu film industry is the least experimented film industry. It is the same industry that gave a classic blockbuster like Sankara Bharanam. Love Failure is experimental in terms of methods, but not in content. I found the director on youtube and made/shot/budgeted the movie in an experimental way.

Tell us about casting Amala Paul?
I saw Maina film and cast her. We had done a make-up test and I was taken aback with her performance. She can speak with eyes. Heroines play important roles in all my films and Love Failure is no exception. Amala Paul will connect with audiences.

I heard that you do compose music and have a huge bank of your own compositions?
My substitute of going to gym is working on songs/music. It keeps my mind active. I can compose a song. But I am not a full-fledged musician.

What are your future projects?

1. Love Failure: Due for release on 17 February.

2. Nandini Reddy’s film: Next film is in the direction of Nandini Reddy which is going to be produced by Bellamkonda Suresh. Samantha plays female lead. It’s a straight Telugu film.

3. Sukumarudu: This film will be directed by Ashok who directed Pilla Zamindar. It is a straight Telugu film.

4. Vetrimaran film: National award winning director Vetrimaran is penning and producing this bi-lingual film.

5. David Dhawan’s film: It is a hindi film which is likely to be titled as Chashme Buddoor. The shoot is almost done.

6. Midnight Children: It’s an English film which is going for film festival release soon.

7. First Class Man: It is a Hollywood film based on the life of mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujam. It will be directed by Roger Spottiswoode who directed Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies”. This film will go to shoot in the end of this year. This is going to be the biggest film in my career.

I am also scouting for the right script for My Malayalam debut. Dil Raju is eager to do another film with me.

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