By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai–Telugu film star Akkineni Nagarjuna has been super-busy in the closing months of 2017, but he is satisfied and happy about the response of the audience and critics to his son Akhil Akkineni’s movie “Hello”.
“There was my son’s film ‘Hello’ and there’s my own film with Ram Gopal Varma,” Nagarjuna said
“For me, my son Akhil’s film was more important than anything else. I’ve never been more nervous about any of my own films. I personally supervised the production and post-production. Though, mind you, I was never on sets while shooting was on. I didn’t need to be.
“The film was in very capable hands. Our director K Vikram Kumar made our family film ‘Manam’, which starred my grandfather, my son Nag Chaitanya and me. So we knew what Vikram could achieve with my younger son. I am glad I trusted Vikram. My faith has paid off.”
Nagarjuna says he is extremely proud of “Hello”.
“It’s a love story that makes us believe in magic. In any case, isn’t all cinema about believing in magic? The action scenes were devised on a scale never done before. Nowadays, we can’t try to palm off sub-standard stunts, and tacky special effects just because a big name is involved with the project. Audiences want their money’s worth.”
Nagarjuna admits he was nervous about the release of his son’s film.
“Like all fathers was eager to see my sons find their place. We did our best with ‘Hello’. I am relieved and happy that our efforts paid off.”
Looking back at the year that was, Nagarjuna says it was important for two reasons.
“My elder son Nag Chaitanya got married and my younger son Akhil had his film ‘Hello’ on release. These events were more important than anything else in my life in 2017.”
Nagarjuna is back with Ram Gopal Varma after three decades. They are collaborating for a film which promises to be as hard-hitting as “Shiva”.
“We have shot only for a few days and we return to the film after the year-end holidays. But I must say I am impressed with what we are doing here. Ramu shows the same level of dedication that he did when he made ‘Shiva’.
“I think when a director is in awe of an actor, he tries to do something special with his vision. That’s what Ramu is doing here. I feel our collaboration after so many years is going to be really special.”