Actor Allu Sirish’s upcoming film ABCD is the Telugu remake of the Malayalam film of the same name. The original film had Dulquer Salmaan in the lead role and became a box office hit when it released in 2013. Now, Sirish is hoping to end his dry spell at the box office with its Telugu remake, which is due in cinemas this Friday.
Filmmaker Sanjeev Reddy of Login fame is making his debut in Tollywood with ABCD. The film also stars Rukshar Dhillo, Nagendra Babu, Master Bharath and Kota Srinivasa Rao among others.
Below are excerpts from Allu Sirish’s conversation with indianexpress.com:
Q. You have been exploring different kinds of subjects. As an actor, how will you describe your journey so far?
As an actor, it has been quite nice but mixed also. Films such as Okka Kshanam and Gouravam that I experimented with didn’t work out. When I did simple dramas and entertaining movies like Srirastu Shubhamastu and Kotha Janta, they worked out. I like fun films and I am a lucky person to have done them. Having said that, there is also a side where we want to try something new. So, I wish my experiments work better. On the work front, I wish I were faster while doing films. I am terribly slow at it and I am going to correct the process now and do more films. I am quite content with this particular thing. I had made some mistakes and I have learned (lessons) from them.
Q. Generally, there is a complaint that big actors are not doing more than one film a year.
The film-making process has become more complicated. Unlike in the past, today we are not just making studio-based films. We have to go hunting for outdoor locations, schedule shootings, built huge sets for songs. Making a movie is a complex affair today. That’s why we are not able to do more films.
Q. ABCD is the remake of the Malayalam hit of the same name. So, have you made changes in the Telugu version?
We have only taken the soul of the original version. Like I said earlier, although only 10 to 15 scenes have been taken from it for the Telugu version, we haven’t used them as they were. We have added more drama and increased the dosage of fun. Actually, there was no romance in the Malayalam version. But, we felt it would be so boring for the audience. So, we integrated the romantic track in the Telugu ABCD.
Q. There have already been many Telugu films with a similar theme. What makes ABCD unique?
It is the treatment of the film. I have seen films with similar themes in the past. So, I wouldn’t knowingly repeat the same story. They were in different tangent and zone. I am quite confident that the screenplay of our film will set us apart from other films.
Q. Director Sanjeev Reddy is making his directorial debut in Telugu with a remake. How was it working with Sanjeev?
He (Sanjeev Reddy) was quite confident and he handled the whole project quite well. It is not easy to choose a remake for your debut. On paper, it might sound like he went for a safer option. But, actually, it is not like that. Actually, when he came to me with this his own project, I told him that it has a good story but not suitable for me. And then I suggested him ABCD. He re-worked the script with great detailing. A lot of effort went into re-writing the script and you will know it once the film is released.
Q. What are the lessons you have learned so far in your career?
Of course, with each film, we learn about the craft of acting. And, it is a lifetime process. I have done all my previous films by just hearing the narration not more than 45 minutes. If I liked the story, I jumped on it. Now, I have become choosy when it comes to scripts. Earlier, I never used to think particularly about the commercial elements of my projects. But, now I evaluate several aspects of the project.
Q. Do you have plans to expand your career across down south?
I feel lucky to have got the opportunity to work with Mohanlal sir in 1971: Beyond Borders. I grew up watching a lot of Tamil movies and I know how to write and speak Tamil. So, I am quite excited about exploring acting opportunities in Kollywood. As I grew up in Chennai, I want to entertain the audience there with my films. It is very sad that I had to let go of Kaappaan due to some reasons. Whatever it takes, I will do a film with Suriya in the future and I am a great fan of him. I also want to do a film with director VI Anand.