Known for his exceptional acting prowess, popular actor Prakash Raj is directing and acting in his own Telugu production — Mana Oori Ramayanam which is slated for an October release. But what’s grabbing enough eyeballs is the list of stalwarts who have teamed up for the film. With maestro Ilayaraja giving music to the movie, Mana Oori Ramayanam not only features the multiple time National Award winner, but also other recipients of the award like Priyamani, film editor Srikar Prasad, art director Shashidhar Adapa and, of course, Raj himself.
After his Telugu titles including Dhoni and Ulavacharu Biryani, Prakash Raj is making a foray into film direction with another movie and the actor shared that he is not doing this to prove anything.
“Puri Jagannadh, Boyapati Srinu, Bhaskar and Sukumar; I am nothing without all these directors. Though I contributed to their movies, they have contributed a hundred times to that to my film career. I didn’t enter into direction to tell that I know something and I can direct. In fact, I don’t know anything. I worked with nearly 200 directors and more than a thousand actors and somehow I was reaching that comfort zone and was settling down. In need for constant search of some task I took up direction. I am becoming more alive directing films,” Pakash Raj said at the audio launch of the movie on Friday.
Even other Tollywood directors appreciated the bold move taken up by Raj.
“Prakash Raj is starting to compete with us now and unfortunately we can’t compete with him in acting. He is one of those few people who helped me shape into a director that I am now,” said Boyapatu Srinu.
Directors Puri Jagannadh, Sukumar and Bhaskar also echoed similar sentiments. “Be it the story or some shooting aspect of the film, perfection in my movies was possible many times because of Prakash Raj’s help. He is a voracious reader too.” said Bommarillu director Bhaskar.
Akkineni Nagarjuna, who is known in the industry for bringing new talent on board, said Raj is similar top him. He further added that he will try to change the cinematic landscape in the country with this movie.
“Sometimes, I come to audio functions under obligation and sometimes I come for pleasure. This time, it’s the latter. Whether it’s acting, gossiping with friends, fishing, organic farming… Prakash enjoys every moment of his life. I try to be like him and I envy him. I am happy now that Indian cinema is at a turning point where good and intelligent movies are appreciated and I am very happy that his movie is coming at that point. I also wish Prakash will get a National Award as a director too,” said Nagarjuna.
Priyamani, who plays an eccentric and an”unpredictable” female lead role opposite Raj in the movie, was very glad to be associated with the movie. “When Prakash sir called me, I didn’t think twice to take the role. I am very fortunate. Under his direction and acting opposite to him, both the experiences were fun,” Priyamani said.