Telugu superstar Vijay Devarakonda is neither exasperated nor flattered by the latest linkup stories with his Dear Comrade co-star Rashmika Mandana. He is plainly amused by these whispered suggestions of romance. Says Vijay, “Every time I do a film, there are link-up stories with my co-star. People seem to forget I am not Arjun Reddy in real life.”
He refers to his over-promiscuous philandering character in Sandeep Vanga’s Arjun Reddy a film which spawned a blockbuster offshoot in Hindi recently in the form of Kabir Singh, starring Shahid Kapoor.
“A lot of people out there still associate me with Arjun’s character. But that was just acting where the time to romance in my life is?” Asks Vijay, not unreasonably as he has been shooting and thereafter promoting Dear Comrade non-stop. “Sometimes I get as little sleep as three hours and sometimes not even that. It’s been a wild rollercoaster ride. But a joyride. I wouldn’t exchange the journey so far for anything in the world.”
Vijay feels Dear Comrade is his most special film to date. “It kind of sums up the journey that I’ve undertaken so far. It is a comprehensive decisive film. And I’m very proud of it.”
The staggering shocking collections of Puri Jagganath’s Ismart Shankar has created an upbeat mood in the Telugu film industry. The week before that the Samantha Akkeneni swap story Oh Baby also did well. “It’s a good time to be an actor. There is no limit to what one can do in Indian cinema today. Which is why I never repeat myself,” says Vijay.