Malayalam superstar Mammootty is all set to make a comeback to Tollywood with Yatra. Directed by Mahi V Raghav, the biopic on YS Rajasekhara Reddy will hit the big screen on February 8. Recently, the National Award-winning actor interacted with journalists and shared his thoughts about Yatra.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
Q. Did you have any particular reason to stay away from Tollywood for these many years?
I was offered roles even before Yatra. But I should also be satisfied with scripts and the roles.
Q. What gave you the confidence that Mahi V Raghav could direct a film such as Yatra?
I have introduced more than 70 debut directors in my career. Mahi V Raghav has done two films already. He is better than others. Out of these 70 directors, 90 percent of directors are still working in the Malayalam film industry and two of them are working in the Tamil film industry. They have become big directors now. I think new directors will have something new to tell. I liked the script of Yatra and they (makers) had come to me with the full script, with full confidence in me.
Q. What can you tell us about Yatra?
I agreed to do Yatra because of the script. It may not be based on real history and real incidents. You cannot completely tell a man’s story in just two hours. So, the team has taken some important events of his (YS Rajasekhara Reddy) life. Yatra is an event-wise biopic. You cannot term it as a full biopic.
Q. Did you ever question yourself how a Yatra can actually stir the emotion of the public?
I never did that and I have not experienced it (chuckles)! Yatra is not just about walking. It’s about meeting people, talking to them, sharing their emotions and issues, answering their questions and finding solutions to their problems.
Q. Did you do any research to adopt YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s body language?
Actually, I didn’t try to mimic him. Walking like him, talking like him and looking like him is not possible as it’s an entirely different personality. If at all I try to look like him, it may not be successful and it will look like a poor copy. As far as the research part is concerned, director Mahi V Raghav did it well, I think. He gave me the script and I followed it. It’s as simple as that.
Q. While doing the scenes of padayatra, did you connect with those sequences at all?
People and their emotions are the same. They may be speaking a different language, but poverty has the same colour. There are scenes where I got moved personally.
Q. Are you ready to take a political plunge?
I have spent 38 years in the film industry. Why should I go to politics? This is my politics.
Q. Did you experience any difficulty while dubbing for your role in Yatra?
I have a flavor for languages. I love to speak in many languages. I did the dubbing part as well as I could and I don’t know how it has come out. My director, producer and my co-actors are happy with my Telugu. The language is very similar to Malayalam.
Q. What can you tell us about your upcoming film Madhura Raja?
Presently, we are shooting the film and we plan to release the movie during Vishu festival.