Q & A with Adivi Sesh
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23 August 2019

1. You initial films Karma and Kiss didn’t work. You directed these two. Then you got good response for negative roles (example Panja and Baahubali). What made you turn around? What made you tick with films like Kshanam, Goodachari and Evaru? Tell us about total turnaround.

Karma is more like a film school product. It’s a slow film and its treated more like an art film in india. It’s a layered and textured film. It’s a little amateurish too. Karma has helped my career. It was a great demo reel for me. I got an opportunity to play an important character in Panjaa because of Karma. Pawan Kalyan garu has told me that Karma is a beautiful film. He has asked me not to stop making films like Karma.

When I was doing villain roles, people around me started poisoning my mind that I should be doing hero roles. Kiss happened because I wanted to make a film on suggestions of others. I changed the original script because others had a problem with that. The first step itself was taken on a wrong foot for Kiss. It was not from my heart. I didn’t do any due diligence. I was stupid to not follow my heart.

After the failure of I kiss, I have decided to follow my heart and then do due diligence if it would be liked by others. As a technician and actor, I understand nuances better and we tend to get better with age.

2. How difficult it is to hide the title of original prior to release?
When we were adapting a thriller from a foreign language, it was not advisable to reveal the source prior to release because lots of social media sites create trolls by revealing the plot and twists. Evaru is a suspense thriller and also an official remake of Spanish film Invisible Guest. If we remake a love story, it's easy to reveal it. But we can’t reveal original source for a twist based film.

However, I find Evaru to be fundamentally different. It’s a coincidence that genders are changed both in Badla and Evaru. Character motivations are different in both films. The entire story happens because of a car accident in Invisible Guest. The character's intentions are different in Evaru.

3. Evaru is about telling lies in the form of stories and contradicting these stories with another story by offering proofs. Telling stories and Points of Views (PoV) have their origin in Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon. All other thrillers like Usual Suspects and The Invisible Guests are upgraded/tweaked versions originating from Rashomon. What’s your take on it?

The style of PoV is used in several films since the time of Rashomon. This film has inspired lots of filmmakers and its a subject in filmmaking schools. I think it was fantastically implemented in Kamal Haasan’s film Virumandi.

4. Releasing with another big budget film is a risk. And that risk is rewarding now. How did you arrive at release date?
When Saaho was shifted from 15 to 30 august, it was a good opportunity and PVP has immediately locked the date. Coming along with another Telugu film and a couple of big budgeted Hindi films was never an issue to discuss. Evaru and Ranarangam were released on August 15. Even if both films collect money to full potential, it will not even be 50% of Telugu market. Hence, there was never any competition. During Sankranthi time, 4 films (2 big budget, 1 medium budget and 1 small budget) became blockbusters a couple of years back.

5.Were there any censor issues for love making scenes of Regina and Naveen Chandra. They were repetitive. Were there any cuts to those scenes?
It was an honest filmmaking, not an exploitative filmmaking. There are few sequences referring to rape and some sequences refer to lovemaking.

6. Your market has been increasing. But, you are mostly seen as a good actor with good judgement. Do you have any plans to enter the numbers game down the line?
I don’t. There is no limit to it when you chase numbers. It’s futile. It looks so funny when people write on posters saying ‘non-Baahubali’ record. We should compete with ourselves. I should be able to perform better than my previous film.

7. You had come up the hard way since Karma days. It’s been a long journey. Can you tell about the support of your parents?
My parents supported me like I was a star’s son. They helped fund Karma. They paid interest on my debts until I became financially successful. It’s a point of pride that they moved from the USA to India. I am taking care of them. They are everything to me. They are the platform on which I am building my career.

I got a lot of support from the film industry. Vishnu Vardhan, Sobhu, Neelima and Prasad Devineni offered me Panja when I had just done Karma. With in a week after the failure of Kiss, I was working on the sets of Baahubali. Bunny tweeted about the film after Khanam became a hit. Trailer and teaser of Goodachari were launched by Samanth and Nani. If you are genuine and humble, I feel everybody supports you.

8. Do you think you had taken an unconventional route to prove yourself?
It’s a path followed by actors with no background. Chiranjeevi garu, Rajnikanth garu, Shatrughan Sinha and Krishnam Raju garu tried hero and negative roles in the beginning. I tried as hero and it didn’t work out. I tried villain characters and then tried hero character again.

9. Tell us about your marriage?
Once I tweeted that there were going to be a Major announcement. It was supposed to be about Major film. But, we didn’t do it because of Pulawama attacks. We took a week time and then announce ‘Major’ project. Meanwhile, everybody started speculating that it was about my marriage. I don’t know about my marriage yet.

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