'Key is different but not boring'
Jagapathi Babu is an actor who experiments with different kinds of roles and doesn't restrict himself to playing the hero. He has worked in ensemble films, done character roles and cameos too. Barring Jai Bolo Telangana, his other two releases this year, Chattam and Nagaram Nidrapotunna Vela, fared badly.
Jagapathi Babu is doing a special character in Key that releases on July 16. The handsome star throws light on this experimental film in this exclusive interview with Radhika Rajamani.
It is said Key is a different kind of film. Is that why you did it?
I would say you are going to watch a different film. I told Dil Raju to watch it because it's a different film and in the interval he told me it's not just different, it's damn different. He's distributing it.
I signed because I felt the bunch of youngsters who had began work on the film before they came to me, had talent. I felt they should be encouraged. The film is set in a room. That itself is different. There are about 11 (including me) characters in the room. It's not boring. Things are happening all the time.
If the whole film is shot in one room, wasn't it claustrophobic?
It was not claustrophobic for me as my character is not in the room all the time. My character inspires the film and I am on screen for about 25 minutes.
Image: Jagapathi babu
'The censor board felt that this film should go to international festivals'
So, then, what's your role?
Like I said, they had begun the film before they came to me. They needed a person with stature to play the special character.
What's the film all about?
The film is all about selecting a reputed candidate for an organisation -- the best human being -- and I am the person conducting the test.
The film has TV newsreaders Swapna, Deepti and others. How was it working with them?
There are nine people writing the test and one security guard. They acted well. They were confident, good, and not perturbed by my presence. I'm not sure about this but I think for most of them it was their first appearance in a film.
How was Nagendra Prasad as a director?
He was excellent. He impressed me. If he could make a film like this, he can make anything. This film is shot in one room, on a limited budget, with debutantes mostly, and he has done an excellent job. He has the touch of a good director. The Censor Board and Dil Raju felt the film should go to international festivals.
Image: A still from Key
'My next filmis Kshetram with Priyamani
Were you disappointed that Jai Bolo Telangana and Chattam didn't do very well?
Jai Bolo Telangana did very well and I am happy about that. In Chattam, the climax was good and that was enough for the film. But the film was not promoted well.
Why did you do Nagaram Nidrapotunna Vela, which was not a well-made film, and there was not much you could do with your role either?
In Antahpuram also I had a small part but because it was directed by Krishnavamsi, he elevated the role well. Once I started Nagaram Nidrapotunna Vela I had to finish it. I made a wrong decision. I knew the film would be a flop and told the producer so. Everyone failed -- director, producer and all. One good thing that came out of it was that the producers signed me for another project which is being directed by Eeshwar Reddy.
You seem to be very busy now...
I am doing Kshetram with Priyamani. It will be a memorable film. Priya has got an excellent role. In fact every artiste has a performance-oriented role. The film is a fantasy and the director has excelled. There is another comedy film directed by Eeshwar Reddy with Srihari and others. Both are big-budget projects.
Image: Jagapathi Babu on the sets of Key