December 16, 2021 5:01:48 pm
Allu Arjun’s much-hyped Pushpa: The Rise is all set for a worldwide release on December 17 in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, and Kannada in over 3000 theatres. The movie marks Allu’s third collaboration with director Sukumar, and sees him in the avatars of a lorry driver, labourer, and red sandalwood smuggler, as the film chronicles his rise to the top in the crime world. Ahead of the film’s release, the 38-year-old actor interacted with the media in Hyderabad. Here are excerpts from the conversation:
How was your journey for Pushpa: The Rise?
It was a journey of 23 months, with almost 11 months taken up by Covid-19 induced lockdowns. But, Pushpa was always there in our mind space and the director and I often connected via video conferences. I have done a lot of homework related to Chittoor slang in this period.
What was the toughest part for you in the film?
The shooting in the Maredumilli forest was difficult for the whole team. We shot in the tough terrain for the film, and I give credit to the entire production team of Mythri Movie Makers. At a point, we used almost 400 vehicles at the shooting location that had no motorable roads. Our team constructed temporary roads for transportation purposes, but sometimes they washed away due to rains.
Was Pushpa’s story inspired by any person’s life or biography?
Pushpa is purely a fictional character with a red sandalwood smuggling backdrop.
How much impact does the Pushpa character have on you?
The shooting experience for the movie has a lot of impact on me. I learned and unlearned many things related to prosthetic makeup and filmmaking.
As a director and person, how much Sukumar has changed?
We started off our journey with Arya, and the gratitude and love for each other has remained intact. Our bond remains strong. As a filmmaker, his style has not changed, but he has become more mature.
When was the decision to make the project in two parts taken?
The content is so huge. We even had doubts about making it as a single movie. We attempted to do that, but realised that we will have to make it in two parts.
How was the experience of working with Fahadh Faasil in Pushpa?
I wanted someone powerful to play Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat’s character. When we were in discussions, Fahadh’s name popped up. We approached him for the role, and he wanted to listen to the story first. He liked it and gave his best efforts. His performance is just super. He is an admirer of Sukumar’s work. He was also like ‘what pleasure it would be to enter the Telugu film industry with our most beloved Bunny’ (Allu Arjun). We have that Malayalam film industry connection, right! (smiles)
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