Now that Maharshi is ready for release what are you thoughts on it?
I’m very excited. It’s a film
that we have all worked very hard on. Not that I didn’t work hard on my earlier films (laughs). But this time I feel a rare satisfaction within that I can’t explain. I’m truly hoping this will be a landmark film in my slate.
Why was the trailer released just a week before the film? Isn’t that very unusual?
The theatrical is usually released at the pre-release event which is the norm. I was away with my family for a much-needed holiday. When I returned I rushed for the event, and the trailer
was released as per plan. We had released another trailer earlier. So all was as per plan. No controversies here (laughs).
Speaking of controversies, at the event on Wednesday you forgot to mention Puri Jagannath and Sukumar among the directors you’ve worked with. They have gone into a deep depression?
Have they? You are making that up (laughs). All I can say is it was not deliberate on my part to have missed them out as both have played a special part in shaping my career. I don’t prepare speeches beforehand. I’d rather be spontaneous than perfect in front of my well-wishers. It was not deliberate to have missed both of them. Puri sir has given me Pokiri which was a turning point in my career and I’m always grateful to him for that!!
And the other one?
Sukumar also made Nenokkadine with me which was critically acclaimed even though it didn’t work. But in my opinion it was a film which was truly ahead of its time and was even more special for me as it had my son Gautham in it.
I didn’t know that?!
Yes, Gautham played the childhood version of my character.
So he’s already a star?
Nothing like that. Both my children would have the freedom to decide what they want to do with their career. It isn’t necessary for them to be actors just because their parents are actors.
With every film you look younger and younger. Please tell us the reason for your eternally boyish look.
Hahahaahah!! I try to be fit and I’m very health conscious. I don’t eat anything I shouldn’t. I have no cheat eat moments nor do I have any vices (except obsessing over my films). Above all I think one also has to be settled and at-ease mentally. My happy space comes from my family. They keep me stable and grounded. All I have to do is focus on my work and give it my 100 percent satisfaction and happiness.
Which is going to be your next film?
My next is with director Anil Ravipudi. It’s a great script and one that I embraced without thinking. We will start shooting it in July.
How much of your success do you attribute to your wife Namrata?
She is my strength, my backbone, my life. My success, my sanity is derived from her and my kids. I don’t think I would be the person that I am without my wife.
Any recent Bollywood film that impressed you? And why?
Uri. I loved it. I’d love to work on a war film. And before you ask, no Bollywood plans when you asked last time. No plans now.