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The Rediff Interview
Murugadoss excited about Stalin
Radhika Rajamani | September 15, 2006
Good news for Chiranjeevi fans. A R Murugadoss is almost ready with his mega-venture Stalin, starring the megastar and set for a September 20 release. It is, in a way, a litmus test for Murugadoss, who has tasted success with all his earlier films. Shot mostly in Hyderabad, with a few songs filmed in Austria, it also stars Khushboo and Trisha.
Stalin is an important release for Chiranjeevi too, considering his earlier venture Jai Chiranjeeva didn't have a good run at the box office. Taking a break from the editing room, Murugadoss spoke exclusively to Radhika Rajamani about the film and his plans for the future. Excerpts:
Are you satisfied with the way Stalin has shaped up?
Yes. I am confident it will be a hit.
In an earlier conversation, you told me it was inspired by the crowd that attended the 100-day celebration of Chiranjeevi's film Indra at Vijayawada. Is the film a slice of life? Does Chiranjeevi play an army officer?
Chiranjeevi's real image is the character, based on real life incidents. The army officer bit is just a flashback.
What was the process of filming Stalin like?
It was interesting. The Telugu film industry was new to me and I got to know the people and the work. It was as if I was on an educational tour.
Were you nervous about directing Chiranjeevi?
I was scared in the first week, but he put me at ease. In fact, he used to address me as 'Sir' and give me a lot of respect. That was humbling. He continued to address me in that manner even after I asked him not to. As he knew Tamil, he helped me with Telugu. He has given a natural performance, and Stalin will be a feast for Chiranjeevi's fans.
What about directing Khushboo and Trisha?
It was easy. Communicating with them wasn't a problem because they speak Tamil. Khushboo has a powerful role to play as Chiranjeevi's sister.
It seems Stalin is being released with 400 prints sold for a huge amount, a record in the Telugu film industry?
Yes. I am happy. I worked hard on this project, leaving my family in Tamil Nadu and living a bachelor's life. I couldn't even be near my wife when our son was born. I saw him only the next day. It is as if I have done penance for almost a year. I want the film to create a sensation.
Are you nervous now that the date of release is near?
I am usually nervous but, with Stalin, all my nervousness has vanished in the post-production stage. I am waiting for its release.
You told me movies shouldn't be for entertainment alone, but should also have a message. What is the message Stalin wants to convey?
It is a message about how people should live.
After this, do you intend to move on to the Hindi remake of Ghajini with Aamir Khan?
In October, I will have a few discussions with Aamir Khan about adapting it, but actual filming will begin only in June 2007.
So, will you be taking a break then?
No. I am thinking about doing an action film (on the lines of Ghajini) that won't take too long to film. I am undecided about whether I should make it in Tamil or Telugu though.
Any long-term plans?
My ultimate aim is to make a movie in English, with Hollywood stars. I know it will take some time, but I am sure I will do it. My work in the Tamil and Telugu film industries is the journey. My Hollywood film will be the climax!