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'My character in Greeku Veerudu has negative shades'

Last updated on: April 30, 2013 10:03 IST

'My character in Greeku Veerudu has negative shades'

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Akkineni Nagarjuna's new film, Greeku Veerudu, a romantic film that co-stars Nayanthara and is directed by Dasaradh, releases on May 3.

Sitting in the relaxed atmosphere of his Annapoorna Studios, Nagarjuna begins this interview by saying, "I'm happy that my film Greeku Veerudu is releasing on May 3, which coincides with the 100 years of Indian cinema."

You worked with Dasarath more than a decade ago in Santosham and now you are doing Greeku Veerudu with him?

Yes, I did Santhosham in 2002. I liked Dasarath's narration then. I told him that he should direct the film, but he wasn't sure. We told him we'll help you out. He took a week to decide and then did it.

I like his sensibilities. His movies are not over-dramatic. They are feel-good, happy films. There are no bad guys in them. I believe you need films like that – feel-good, breezy films that families can watch.

Dasaradh also has a keen sense of music. He's a cool, soft guy.

So, what appealed to you about Greeku Veerudu (earlier titled Love Story) when he narrated it to you?

Dasaradh likes romance. When he told me it was a romance I said I can't do it at my age. It's time I moved on. He told me 'This will suit you, it's not a teeny-bopper one. You can even have a few grey streaks.'

I play a shrewd businessman who doesn't believe in emotions. The character is an NRI who has negative shades.


Image: Nagarjuna in Greeku Veerudu


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'Director Dasaradh has grown a lot in the last 10 years'

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Negative shades in what sense?

For his business he will do anything. If he has to bribe someone, he will. If he has to bring down someone, he will. He'll get down to any level – even resort to blackmail. He's self-centred guy. He equates love with pain.   

There is added glitz, glamour, good styling and fantastic locations.

How did you find Dasaradh as a director a decade later?

Like any intelligent person who always grows.

What is your reaction to the title Greeku Veerudu?

I believe it's used a lot in Telugu as a word though I haven't heard it. It's worked positively though, more than Love Story.

It is said Greeku Veerudu is a mature love story...

I play an older man with white streaks. These days I notice quite a few people marry late, when they are in their 40s.


Image: A scene from Greeku Veerudu


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'After Shirdi Sai I wanted a total image makeover'

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You have a total image makeover in terms of your looks...

Actually, this film was to release after Shirdi Sai but Damarukam's release got delayed and it released in between.

After Shirdi Sai I wanted a total image makeover. I was looking to transform myself. I went to Sachin who has been styling my hair for 20 years. He was instrumental in giving me this look.

These days the fashion element predominates in films...

It is due to exposure. The film watching crowd are mainly youngsters, who see fashion on TV, in Hindi films and in magazines.

One shouldn't get carried away by styling as it can be a double-edged sword. The person should have it in him or her to carry it off. Styling also happens because of demand.

How was it working with Nayanthara?

She's a great actress. She's very professional. I'm working with her after Boss, which was about six years ago.

She left us for two-three years. The day she decided to act I called her in the evening to check if she would act and she said she was glad I called and she would do so.


Image: A scene from Greeku Veerudu


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'I don't know how long I can carry on playing lead roles'

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What does Ashish Vidyarthi play in the film?

He plays Nayanthara's brother.

Is there any message in the story?

Dasaradh's films have a message. He always believes in the family.

Do you think this is the right time to release Greeku Veerudu?

Yes, it's coming out in the holidays. Families get together and they travel from one place to another to be with their kin. Greeku Veerudu is a nice film with feel-good emotions.

You have been doing different roles and different genres in your last few films. Was that a deliberate decision?

I don't know how long I can carry on playing lead roles. The younger heroes get more stories and it's the young crowd that sees more films.


Image: A scene from Greeku Veerudu


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'My next film Bhai is a regular commercial film'

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You enacted the part of Chandaludu in the film Adi Sankaracharya recently...

It's only a guest role and a small character. I couldn't refuse Bharavi as he had written Annamayya and Sri Ramadasu for me.

What's your next film Bhai going to be like?

It will be a regular commercial film with comedy, action and songs.

When will the shoot of the film starring your father, you and Chaitanya go on the floors?

We'll do so as soon as the heat comes down. Vikram has done the screenplay and Harshavardhan (actor) has written the dialogues.


Image: A scene from Greeku Veerudu


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