Telugu superstar Nagarjuna’s new release Manmadhudu 2 is described by the actor as an experience he has never gone through before. “Enough of those conventional romantic roles for me. I can’t be running around trees with my co-stars anymore. I have two sons who are now leading men in Telugu cinema working with the same heroines that I am,” Nag laughs at the sheer irony of the situation.
His co-star in Manmadhudu is Rakul Preet Singh. “In fact she has done a film with one of my sons. We are not a conventional romantic pair in Manmaddhudu 2. I play a guy lot older than her.”
Nag reveals the film is a remake of the 2006 French comedy Prete-moi Ta Mein about a 40-something unmarried man who is brought up and looked after by a group of fiercely protective women. Says Nag, “When I heard the subject I just loved it. This is the kind of subjects I must do now where I play characters nearer my age. And I just loved the concept of this middle-aged man being looked after by fiercely protective women including his mother and aunts. They are so protective of him that he cannot marry until they approve.”
Enter Rakul Preet Singh who has played a similar role in a Hindi film recently. Avers Nag, “Yes, in De De Pyar De she was much younger than Ajay Devgan. Rakul stood her ground so well with Ajay and Tabu. It’s not easy to stand in the same frame as Tabu.”
Tabu, incidentally, is a very close friend of Nag for years now. Did she like Nag praising Rakul in De De Pyar De? “Oh, Tabu was okay with that. And she had one big scene in which she proved why she is who she is…I’d love to do a Telugu film with Tabu.”
Speaking of Rakul, Nag says she was a terrific co-star in Manmadhudu 2. “This is the first time I’ve worked with her, and that too in a French remake. And by the way, this is my second French remake. I’ve also done Opiri which was a remake of French film The Intouchables. At this stage of my career I want to play characters that I’ve never played before.”
Nag loved the duality of his character in Manmadhudu 2. “At home surrounded by four doting matriarchal women he’s a saint. But once he’s out of the house he’s quite a different person. It was like playing two characters.”