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'Disco has nothing to do with dance'

Last updated on: April 19, 2012 13:16 IST

'Disco has nothing to do with dance'

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Telugu actor Nikhil Siddhartha made his debut in Sekhar Kammula's Happy Days in 2007.

The runaway success of that film got him quite a few more movies. While his films Yuvatha and Veedu Theda did reasonably well, others like Om Shanti, Kalavar King, Alasyam Amrutham, Ankit Pallavi and Friends didn't fare too well.

Nikhil is very hopeful about Disco, his latest movie, releasing on April 20. He gives Radhika Rajamani a peek into it.

How did you sign Disco?

Writer Satish narrated the movie. The director Hari and Satish are friends. I loved the script. It was innovative and people are looking for innovation these days. Nobody wants the routine stuff. So I went ahead and signed it.

What's Disco about?

Going by the title, many people think it has to do with dance. The film has nothing to do with dance. It has to do with characterisation. Disco is the name of my character in the film.

Puri Jagannadh, in a voice-over, explains why the character is named Disco -- he was born under flashing lights in the hospital!

The film is about adventure. After Happy Days and Yuvatha, I haven't done a film on friendship. Disco is also about friendship. We do some skydiving in Thailand and land in a jungle when the parachutes don't open on time. So the film is filled with adventure, thrill, romance, comedy.


Image: A scene from Disco


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'New directors who have worked with me have been successful'

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Was the film shot entirely in Thailand?

About forty per cent of the film is shot in Bangkok and Pattaya. We shot in the jungles between Thailand and Malaysia.

The rest is shot here in Hyderabad and one song was shot in Munnar (Kerala).

Disco is directed by a newcomer, Hari K Chanduri. What was it like working with him? You've worked with quite a few new directors...

After the new directors have worked with me, they've been successful. Parasuram, who directed Yuvatha, went on to direct Ravi Teja. Veedu Theda director Chinni Krishna is working with Sunil.

I hope that Hari also becomes successful. Even if directors are new, I go by the script. Hari has worked on 10 movies with Puri Jagannadh. He has shot Disco stylishly and that talks of his calibre.


Image: A scene from Disco


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'My character in Disco is somewhat similar to the one in Happy Days'

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Can one see Puri Jagannadh's style reflected in Hari?

Hari belongs to the same school. Jagan garu had bold dialogues in The Businessman. Similarly, Hari also has hard-hitting dialogues. Like Jagan garu, he finishes his films fast. Disco was shot in 45 days.

What are the highlights of Disco?

The film has comedians M S Narayana and Ali. A parody of The Businessman done by M S Narayana was uploaded on YouTube and it had one lakh viewers on the very day it was put up.

Though this is a small-budget film, it seems like a big budget one thanks to Joshi's beautiful cinematography. The camera is in sync with the comedy. The film has punchy dialogues too.

The heroine Sara Sharma is also a newcomer.

Sara is originally from Chandigarh but now lives in Mumbai. She was perfect for the role. She was overweight when she was cast, but reduced 15 kilos. I like her dedication.

This role required performance also as there's a Tom and Jerry kind of game happening in the film. She will make a mark with this film.


Image: A scene from Disco


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'Kalavar King and Om Shanti were not commercially successful'

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Any interesting incidents/anecdotes on the sets?

I had to fight the Blacks in Thailand. They were over six feet tall and not trained fighters. Initially I got punched badly by them. Later on, I became friendly with them.

Ali has a hilarious role in the film. He wears a wig with long hair and it was non-stop laughter working with him.

Are you happy with your performance?

I am happy. After Happy Days, where I played a subtle character, I got no chance to play one like that. In Disco my character is somewhat similar to the one in Happy Days. I play a Telangana boy who talks Telangana slang. It reminded me of Happy Days.

Were you happy with the performance of your last few films like Alasyam Amrutham, Kalavar King and Veedu Theda?

I was disappointed. Kalavar King and Om Shanti didn't do commercially well. Then I realised that I must do what people want and the script is important.

People felt that Alasyam Amrutham was a family entertainer. I was not right for the roles in Alasyam Amrutham and Om Shanti. I've decided to do good movies.


Image: A scene from Disco


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'I have now decided to do three movies a year'

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What's your notion of a good movie?

One that gets the producer even one rupee more than what he has invested. It has to be profitable. If the content is good, the revenue will be good.

You have done more than half a dozen films. How's the journey been so far?

Disco is my eighth film and I have already signed my ninth and tenth films.

When I did Happy Days, I just wanted to see myself on screen and never thought I would do eight films.

I feel privileged to do so many films. I can't believe I'm living my dream.

What are the new projects you have signed?

I've signed a film with the producer of Veedu Theda for which I may start shooting in a week's time. I'll be doing a film with Satish (writer of Disco who is turning director).

I shall be doing these movies back to back. I have now decided to do three movies a year.


Image: A scene from Disco


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