Vijay Deverakonda’s maiden production venture Meeku Mathrame Cheptha hit the screens on Friday. The film has been produced under the actor’s newly launched banner King of the Hill Entertainment. Deverakonda has said that he invested 70 per cent of total earnings that he has made in his career so far in Meeku Mathrame Cheptha.
Directed by Shammeer Sultan, the comedy drama marks the debut of director Tharun Bahscker Dhaassyam as a lead actor.
Below are excerpts from Vijay Deverakonda’s interaction with the media in Hyderabad:
How did Meeku Mathrame Cheptha materialize?
After Pelli Choopulu, Shammeer Sultan and his friend Arjun tried to approach me. Earlier, they had done short-films. Their content and skill of filmmaking impressed me a lot, and I promised to do a film with them. After that, these guys narrated me Meeku Mathrame Cheptha’s script during Taxiwala shooting, and I liked it. Arjun Reddy had not released yet at the time. Later, the scripts I was signing were character-driven (like NOTA and Dear Comrade). So, I realized that Meeku Mathrame Cheptha was not the right subject for me and I told the same to the director. After six months, they came up with another script that I didn’t like much. And that was that. After some time when I enquired about their film project, they told me that nothing was working out. They were struggling to find the producers. And I could understand their feeling because I experienced the same while making Pelli Choopulu. So I told them that I will produce the film with a different star cast.
Why did you choose Tharun Bhascker for the lead role?
The male lead in the movie needed to be an actor with perfect comic timing and I knew that its either Naveen Polisetty or Tharun Bhascker who can pull off this lead role. Tharun used to act and show some scenes to us during the making of Pelli Choopulu. He was so much better than us. I realized he was a superb actor, but he didn’t know that. When I told him to do the lead role in the movie, he was a little hesitant in the beginning. But, I convinced him.
What impressed you the most about Meeku Mathrame Cheptha?
A bunch of different things made me take the decision (to produce this film). The first thing is I know how difficult it is to get a producer to invest in an idea. There are a bunch of short-film makers who were making good content, but they were not able to catch a break. So, I along with some friends thought of producing movies on small budgets when we became successful. I wanted to create a platform for new talent. I am at this stage today because some people helped me on my journey by giving me a platform. Because of opportunities like Yevade Subrahmanyam and Pelli Choopulu, my life changed. So, now, I am in a position to effect some change. I have access and now I need to make use of it to get more people like me to come into the industry.
What was your involvement in the project?
My only job was to be there when my team needed me. If they come to me with something, I used to give my feedback. But they completely handled the project by themselves and they did it so well. This is how we did Pelli Choopulu and Arjun Reddy. As an actor, I prefer minimal monitoring from a producer on the sets.