The audio release function of upcoming Kannada film The Villain on Sunday in Bengaluru turned into a roast of director Prem when actor Sudeep came up on stage. Sudeep was given a rousing welcome by a group of dancers performing to The Villain title track, following which he discussed the film with the show host Anushree Bhatt for more than 40 minutes on stage.
Throughout the session, Sudeep was quite unapologetic about repeatedly poking fun at his director for the delay in the completion of the highly-awaited project.
The Villain was launched amid much hype in 2015 by then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Now, there is a new government and Chief Minister in Karnataka, but the film is yet to make it to the big screens. Sudeep, however, gave the audience a different example to emphasize how much time has passed since the film went on floors.
“When this film shooting began, Shivrajkumar’s daughter got married. He even became a grandfather but the film did not release. Are you (Prem) waiting for my daughter to get married?” questioned Sudeep. He ad-libbed his hit dialogue from the teaser to pull up Prem in a lighter vein.
Sudeep also did not hesitate to indirectly tell the audience that the filmmakers had to sweat a lot to get the call-sheet of British model-actor Amy Jackson. The emcee asked Sudeep to enact the struggles that Prem had to go through every time while briefing scenes to his female lead. He was told that the presenters of the audio release function even managed to fly down Amy for the event. Of course, the Eega star didn’t buy it. “Had Amy Jackson came to shooting whenever he (Prem) called her, he would have completed the film two years ago. It was not possible by the director himself and how could I believe when you say you managed to get Amy to come over here tonight?” he said.
The emcee, however, called on stage a foreign actor and asked Sudeep to pretend that it was Amy and mimic Prem. After initial reluctance, Sudeep agreed to enact Prem’s struggles on set but not before asking Amy’s body double to leave the stage.
At length, Sudeep explained the difficulties on sets due to lack of a common language between Prem and Amy. While Prem is not fluent in English, Kannada is foreign to Amy. “At times Prem used to lose patience and ask me to brief her about the scenes,” Sudeep recalled.
The Villian went into post-production last month after the filmmakers completed the shooting of the final song featuring Amy. “70 days complete!! It’s a wrappppp. Thankyou so much to my sweetheart director Premji and the entire team!!!(sic),” the British actor had tweeted earlier.
Prem assured fans that the film will hit the screens next month. “We will complete the censorship formalities this week and announce the release date soon,” the director said.