Naga Chaitanya Akkineni starrer Venky Mama is releasing this Friday. Helmed by KS Ravindra, it marks Chay’s first collaboration with his uncle Venkatesh Daggubati and Suresh Productions.
The actor, who is quite confident about Venky Mama’s success at the box office, shared how working on the film with Venkatesh has been a learning experience.
Excerpts from a conversation:
How was it working on Venky Mama?
I have learned a lot. As a person, I observed how Venkatesh behaved on the sets. He is so happy and calm. For any actor, it’s important to maintain the calm. Also, he is positive. People say that he has no haters and no negativity around him. I learned about Venkatesh while working with him. So, I learned to be human and positive from him. And for any actor, to work on a film with him is a blessing.
Did your real-life relationship with Venkatesh help you in portraying your character?
Venky mama and I are very quiet and reserved in real life. We do not talk much, but we share a close bond. When it comes to the film, our characters are extremely contrasting to our reality. For me, it took around ten days to become my character in front of him as I have maintained discipline and respect for 30 years of my life. I was a bit tensed.
Also, the childhood memories that I share with Venky mama helped me to create the emotional layer in the film. When the audience sees the film, they will feel the bond.
Is your character in Venky Mama going to be the most massy one in your career?
It is a different kind of massy character. Before this film, I did not attempt a military/army character. It has heroism as well as the commercial elements with a new style. The action sequences are also fresh in the film.
What is going to be the USP of Venky Mama – is it you or the story?
The story became a plus for me. I don’t think I am a plus for this story. If the film turns out to be a hit, I will give my uncles Venkatesh and Suresh Babu, and director Bobby entire credit for it. They designed a new character for me.
What is your favourite part of Venky Mama?
People will get entertained for sure, but I connected more to the emotion of sacrifice between the uncle and nephew. I feel families do share unconditional love, and they make sacrifices for each other. However, it has not been shown well in films that have released lately. So, I think when a real-life uncle-nephew will portray that emotion on screen, the audience will connect to it in a better and deeper way.
Venky Mama trailer promises many layers to the story.
Through the trailer, we have only teased the audience. The film has more in store. Besides the love story and entertainment, Venky Mama has elements such as sacrifice, bonding between the uncle and nephew. Interestingly, the antagonist in this movie is not a person, but a horoscope.
What has been your approach towards script selection in recent years?
I learned from my failures. I observed what went wrong with the decisions I took. Also, social media is a great help in gauging where are you going wrong. A lot of comments you can take as constructive criticism and seriously work on it.
There have been reports saying that you are not keen to work with debutant directors?
I do not have anything against debutant directors. Yes, a few films with a few debutant directors did not do well for me. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like them. I am a director’s actor, and my acting depends on how a director extracts it from me. So, until my career has not settled down, I want to work with the experienced directors because I believe they will bring the best out of me. This is my weakness.
I agree that debutant directors are bringing some good and new concepts to Indian cinema. I might miss those opportunities but let’s say whatever I have in my mind is a planned risk I am taking.
Tell us about your film with director Sekhar Kammula.
The film is very close to my heart in terms of the script. It’s very real. I play a very normal character in the film. We have completed 40 per cent of the shoot so far. The working title for the film is Love Story.