After back-to-back flops, actor Akhil Akkineni is all set to try his luck again with Mr Majnu. In this conversation with indianexpress.com, the actor talks about the Venky directorial and his career so far. Mr Majnu will hit screens on January 25.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. Why is the title Mr Majnu?
The term Majnu has become synonymous with being tragic. My character is a young person who loves girls and wants to be around them. The tagline ‘boys will be boys’ will be justified once you watch the film. We have kept some twists in the film. I am sure the audience will be entertained.
Q. Did you instantly give the nod to Mr Majnu?
Yes and that’s because it was a very character-based story. I believe Mr Majnu is a complete film. The audience will see me in a very different avatar in comparison to my last two films (Akhil and Hello).
Q. You had earlier said you want to do a film like Bachna Ae Haseeno or Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.
Mr Majnu falls in the same category but the treatment is completely different. This film is Venky’s style of direction. Vicky (Akhil’s character name) is close to the character of Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor’s character in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani). My character has originally taken inspiration from the classic Telugu love drama Prem Nagar as Venky is a hardcore Akkineni fan.
Q. Is there pressure on you to score a hit since your last two releases didn’t do well?
Expectations and pressure have been my worst enemies. I think that is the reason why a lot of things haven’t worked for me. I have tried to be something that I am not. Now I am finally in a space where I am not trying to meet those expectations and just trying to do what I think I can do.
The problem is I wanted to score a hit from the beginning itself. I don’t know if I created it or it is someone else’s fault. Mr Majnu is just my way of saying that I am trying to start off from the basics.
Q. How did the realisation happen?
My last two films taught me a lot. Especially, my first movie. To be honest, my first film Akhil was a disaster and to come out of the negativity it brought, it took a lot of time. For me, Hello was more of getting my confidence back and gaining the audience’s trust.
Hello didn’t do well as we thought. I strongly feel that it’s a repercussion of my first film. I strongly believe that if Hello was my first film, it would have performed better. I am convinced that it takes time to gain the audience’s trust back. No matter whose son you are or which family you belong to, you have to bring them to the theaters. Your family name will not help after a point of time.
I failed with my first film. So, I am taking baby steps now.
Q. Did you have to work on your body language for Mr Majnu?
In the pre-release event, Tarak had mentioned a word called soul-changing. In this film, Venky decided to change everything about me. We worked on the body language and diction. He noticed I used to do something with my jaw while being on-screen. He stopped me from doing it.
Q. There were also reports that you had creative differences with director Venky?
That is actually very funny. We maintained a fun ambience on sets. I can be very frank with Venky. If ever I do not like a scene or do not find it convincing, I tell him. Once, he refused to make any changes. So, I think that part of our conversation travelled around and was reported as creative differences but there was no such thing.