Tollywood star Vishnu Manchu is currently going through a phase of reckoning in his film career. He wants to quit making run-of-the-mill commercial films and aspires to play characters that leave a deep mark on the memories of the film audience. “This year, I’m keeping my fingers crossed to redefine my career,” Vishnu said in a telephonic interview with indianexpress.com.
As an actor-producer Vishnu feels the biggest change that has badly affected the Telugu film industry in the past decade is the decline in the number of good writers. “We are in need of good scriptwriters. We do not have the kind of writers what we had 10 years ago. There is a dearth of good writers,” rues Vishnu, who made his debut as a lead actor in 2003 with Vishnu.
“Let’s say there are about 200 films releasing in Telugu. You’d say five or 10 films are really out of the box. And what about the remaining 190? We are looking at 60 writers and on an average, say if a writer writes two movies. But, only five or 10 of writers’ names come to your head. There is a huge vacuum here. I’d like to see it get filled,” Vishnu.
Vishnu aspires to earn more than a successful ‘action hero’ badge in his acting career. He wants to be part of different films. But, the big challenge he faces seems to be convincing others to support him in his endeavour. “The character I played in Gayatri is only about 15 minutes long. When I heard the narration, I really liked it and I told I want to play that character. But, the director and the writers did a double take on it,” he recalled.
Vishnu plays an extended cameo, which is the younger version of his father Dr Mohan Babu’s character in the film. The filmmakers advised him against playing such brief role at this stage of his career, he said. “I told them, see if I leave a lasting impact in that 15 minutes, that means I’m a good actor.”
Vishnu said he and his crew were very happy the way things have panned out stressing that his cameo is an important character for the film and for him as an actor.
Gayatri, which is releasing this Friday, is entirely Mohan Babu’s show, in which he has played a double role. While one is a good-hearted person, another character is cold-blooded criminal, Gayatri.
“For any actor, it is a career suicide to play a younger version of the legendary actor like my dad. It is a career suicide if you don’t pull off well. So that’s the reason I’m saying whether I will be regarded as a good actor or not that 15-20 minutes will decide,” he noted.
Vishnu also said that his star father’s villain role will be the highpoint of the film, which is directed by Madan. “It has been quite some time since he (Mohan Babu) played a ferocious villain,” he said. “He’s known to play such characters.”
The new year also kicked off on a very good note for Vishnu as he and his wife Viranica Reddy were blessed with a son, Avram Manchu, on January 1. “It’s a brilliant start. I can’t ask for a better start,” he added. He also has a few interesting movies that are waiting to hit the screens this year and a few more in the making.
After Gayatri, Vishnu will next be seen in comedy film Achari America Yatra and political actioner Voter. He will also be playing the lead role in a cross-country romance, which is penned by blockbuster screenwriter Vijayendra Prasad.