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'I was lucky to be offered a role in Charminar'

Last updated on: February 7, 2013 10:30 IST

'I was lucky to be offered a role in Charminar'


Srikanth Srinivasa in Bangalore

Kannada actor Prem Kumar, popularly known as Lovely Star Prem or Nenapirali Prem, is back after a one-year sabbatical with two releases, Charminar and Chandra.

Prem Kumar has been unable to shed the lover boy image that he has earned for himself in the industry. He tried, unsuccessfully, to space out his releases. Now, both films release simultaneously, and will mean make or break for his career as an actor.

In this interview, Prem Kumar talks about Charminar, his looks in the film, and how he managed to squeeze in time for Chandra.

Why did it take such a long break of more than a year after your last release?

I didn't want to accept whatever came my way or whatever was offered.

I was waiting for a challenging character, a good story and a good banner to sign another film. In the meantime, I was lucky to be offered this role in Charminar.

Image: Prem Kumar


'Charminar will prove to be a turning point in my career'

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What is Charminar all about?

Charminar is a trip down memory lane. It is everybody's story. It is a flashback for everyone who watches this film to go back to their school days or college days.

It is a wonderful experience to go down memory lane. This film is about the fun days of schooling and college life.

You have gone on record to say that you are starting a second innings with Charminar. Why do you feel so?

There were a few flops before and the one-year gap after my last release. Once a movie flops, a hero has to rediscover himself and come back again as a newcomer with different looks.

The next movie that you do is a new film altogether after a film flops. You have to not only prove to yourself but you have to prove to the audiences that you are different. 

I am hopeful and confident that Charminar will prove to be a turning point in my career and so I consider this movie as the beginning of my second innings.

Image: A scene from Charminar

Tags: Charminar

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'Charminar to is not a sequel to Taj Mahal'

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The film has generated a lot of curiosity?

There is an element of curiosity in the story. We have worked so hard as a team to create curiosity, be it the posters or promotions.

I can assure you that the curiosity is not belied when you walk into the theatre to watch the movie. We have engaged ourselves in the publicity of the film ever since we started the production more than six months back. It is necessary that good publicity should match a good film as otherwise people will not know when a movie came and went.

The team of Charminar has toured the entire state as part of the film's promotional activity. How did you go about it?

Yes, we have been touring the state for a few weeks, holding road shows, visiting malls, colleges, conducting local press conferences and we have engaged in dialogue with college students. It is necessary that we promote our own films and create hype for ourselves.

Once the movie releases, we plan to reach out to audiences by visiting theatres all over the state.

Charminar is being compared to Taj Mahal. Is Charminar a sequel to Taj Mahal and is it justified to compare the two films?

People are expecting Charminar to be a sequel to Taj Mahal, which was also directed by R Chandru. But it is not true. They are two different films.

Image: A scene from Charminar

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'I am getting a lot of appreciation for my schoolboy look'

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How did you prepare yourself to sport four different looks in Charminar?

It meant a lot of hard work. I had to lose about 13 to 15 kilos in a month, which was a difficult task. I had to put myself under a strict diet, do workouts before and after the shoots.

For the love of cinema and given the fact that I do not know anything other than acting, I worked really hard. I am happy that my efforts are there for people to see.

I am getting a lot of appreciation for the schoolboy look that I am sporting in the movie. For the first time I am also sporting the look of a farmer which will surprise audiences.

How did you manage to squeeze in both films Charminar and Chandra in which you have entirely different looks, in such a short span of time?

It is all for the love of cinema. For Chandra I have sported a six- pack that required a different kind of regimen. I had to go for a workout after a shoot even if it got over at 10 pm. Then I had to begin the next day with a workout before I reported for the shoot.

There is talk about Charminar being remade in Tamil and Telugu and Chandra is a bilingual. How do you feel about being launched in Tamil?

Talks are on with people in the Tamil and Telugu industries. Karthi and Naga Chaitanya are keen to do this film in their respective languages.

Let me see how things work out. If they don't, I may step into their shoes. It's early to talk about it. Chandru is likely to direct.

I was waiting for the right platform to get launched in Tamil and I am happy that Roopa Iyer has provided me a good platform for a take-off. I am hopeful of getting a grand opening there with Chandra.

People from other industries have appreciated my performance in Charminar and some of them have expressed their eagerness to meet me.

Image: A scene from Charminar

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