May 5, 2009
Manoj Manchu’s life is changed after the release of Nenu Meeku Telusa. He got recognized as a different actor who doesn’t give a damn to the stereotypical characters and routine filmmakers. He has a series of different films lined up. Prayanam - his latest film in Chandra Sekhar Yeleti combination will be releasing this month. Here are the excerpts of our latest interview with Manoj Manchu -
How is life after Nenu Meeku Telusa (NMT)?
NMT changed my life. I did films which I personally never liked in the past. NMT is a project of my choice. I bagged lots of exciting projects because of my performance in NMT.
How did you get Prayanam film?
I had been a great fan of Krishna Vamsi, Gangaraju Gunnam and Chandra Sekhar Yeleti. I got to know about the story line of Prayanam through Ajay Sastri who is a buddy of Chandu. I approached Chandu and asked him to consider me. He said that I was not considered as he felt that I was a commercial hero. He took me in and that’s how Prayanam happened.
Tell us about the character you play in this movie?
I am doing the role of a hyper-active kid who is into traveling. It is a weird characterization. I didn’t wear make-up in the episodes that took place in Malaysian airport. It is a neatly crafted character and the credit must go to the director.
What is your observation on the director Chandra Sekhar Yeleti?
He got the script ready and characterizations perfect much before the start of the shoot. He explained my character and asked me to come with my own interpretations. I went to him with 4 variations and he picked up one. I used method acting in this movie. He used to conduct 2 hour workshop every day throughout the shoot. In that workshop, all of us used to practice our lines and do rehearsals for the next day’s shoot.
What was the biggest challenge for you in Prayanam?
The story of the movie happens for 2 hours and it took 40 days to shoot the film. The physical appearance should change in a gap of 40 days, but we have to make sure that continuity is intact as story happens in 2 hours duration. It was a challenging job to have perfect continuity.
We used to start from our dugouts at 6:30 am and used to get back by 9 pm. It was a hectic schedule. I felt home sick. My father made a surprise visit and stayed with me for 4 days. My sister also came and accompanied me for a couple of days.
Tell us about other technical departments of Prayanam?
Music by Mahesh is going to be highlight. He gave meaningful music and terrific background score for the movie. Prayanam movie will be like a musical poetry as the music is integrated at the script level. I also loved the camera work by Sarvesh Murari. He will be working for my next project with Veera Potla as well.
I would like to give a special mention about the executive producer Sudheer who did an amazingly responsible and honest job. He worked really hard. And I loved all the members of the direction department and they are going to rock when they come out and make movies independently. I would love to work in any of their future projects.
How did you manage food in your 40-days stay in Malaysia?
We frequent KFC and MdDonald’s for food in airport. I used to crave for biryani, but they make it with dry fish (endu chepalu) or dry prawns (endu royyalu) in Malaysia. Food was a major problem for me out there.
Lots of Telugu summer releases are shot in Malaysia. Billa, Veedokkade and Mitrudu are already released and Kick and other films are due for the release. Don’t you think locations in Prayanam will be stale by the release time?
Most of the movie takes place in the airport. We went to Malaysia only because we got the permission from the airport authorities for such an extensive shoot. Our intentions were never to show Malaysian locations. Hence there is no competition regarding that aspect. We shot the film in Malaysia as the story demands it.
What are your future projects?
1. Veeru Potla’s comedy: A movie in the direction of Veeru Potla. It will be produced by Anil Sunkara. It will be a commercial comedy film and it will be launched on 5 June.
2. A multi-starrer: I am doing one of the heroes in a film to be directed by a young director who achieved incredible critical acclaim with his first project. It will be launched on 7 June.
3. K Raghavendra Rao’s musical: I will be doing a musical in the direction of K Raghavendra Rao. It will be produced by my sister Lakshmi Manchu. It will feature 10 songs. This film will be launched in August.
4. A Tamil film: I will be acting in Tamil version of a critically acclaimed Telugu film director’s movie.
5. Thriller by Raj: I will be acting in a movie to be directed by Krishna Vamsi’s protégé Raj. It is my favorite script. It is a horror comedy.
6. Krishna Vamsi’s film: If Krishna Vamsi is impressed by me, then he may cast me (giggles)
7. Another project in Chandra Sekhar Yeleti’s direction.
Chandra Sekhar Yeleti
Sunil Kumar Reddy
Kiran Kumar Koneru
Shankar - Ehsaan - Loy
Seenu Vytla about King
Puri Jagan about Neninthe
Chandra Sekhar Yeleti about Prayanam
Ram Gopal Varma about Phoonk
Seenu Vytla about Ready 1
Seenu Vytla about Ready
Ravi C Kumar
Meghha Burman (heroine)
Chandra Siddhard (Idi Sangathi)