'Sarkaru Vaari Paata' is heading to theatres on May 12. In this interview, Mahesh Babu talks about the film, why he has been mentioning 'Pokiri' in the context of the mass entertainer, the songs in 'SVP', what makes the film special, the upcoming film with Trivikram Srinivas, and more.
It has been a tough journey doing 'SVP' during the pandemic. Thanks to the entire team, we could hold on to the project and see through it. Full credit goes to the direction and production teams. Mythri Movie Makers are experienced. They could ensure visas and all were on time.
Parasuram Petla has designed my character to entertain the audience. I really enjoyed working on 'SVP'.
The reason I have referred to 'Pokiri' in the context of 'SVP' is very simple. The mass euphoria is similar. The 'meter' of the character is somewhat similar. Like in 'Pokiri', my body language, modulation and dialogue delivery are going to be striking. The whole thing emerges from the characterization. The character has no boundaries and I could be free.
As an actor, I always follow the story. I don't sidestep from the character design and the story. 'SVP' excited me vastly even at the narration level. The story has defined my performance in every way possible.
As an actor, I feel I have evolved in terms of picking the stories. My experience has come to have a bearing on my choices. And I am lucky in terms of being offered good stories.
Despite the pandemic, we made no changes to the original script. The only challenge was in terms of managing to hold on to the energy. Sometimes, there would be breaks for months due to the lockdown.
I have been lauding Parasuram because I see a brilliant spark in his writing. 'Geetha Govindam' was really awesome. There are no two ways about it.
'SVP' is set in the US for most of the first half. The scene shifts to Vizag in the second half. An action sequence was shot for 15 days in Goa in scorching heat. Without physical exertion, you can't win the audience's hearts.
We couldn't have made 'SVP' a pan-India film. It took us so much time just to do it in Telugu.
'Ma Ma Mahesha' is a song to watch out for. The director wanted to infuse a massy song. Thaman's composition is extraordinary. By the time the song was shot, I was done with the entire shoot and even dubbing. Listening to this song revved me up. It's a never-seen-before mass song in my career. I felt energized doing it. The set was readied in a matter of 10 days.
'Murari Bava' song hasn't been included in the film. It will be released on YouTube later.
For me to do a film, the script has to excite me. Coming to doing insensitive scenes pertaining to the female gender, I stay away from them if they are too insensitive. You need to behave like the character you are playing. If the character demands something, I don't mind saying some type of lines.
The title 'Sarkaru Vaari Paata' was not locked at the beginning. Suddenly, the title got leaked and widely reported by the media. Our team panicked and the director pitched the title to me. I instantly okayed it because it is rooted in the story.
I have said that Bollywood can't afford me. I will always do Telugu movies only. I am happy that pan-India movies are happening. It's a dream come true for me. The reason our movies are becoming hits in other languages is that we have stuck to emotions. We are making brilliant movies.
Keerthy Suresh's characterization in 'SVP' is going to surprise you. The love track involving us both is going to attract a repeat audience. This happened for 'Dookudu' as well.
When SS Thaman gave us 'Kalaavathi' tune, we liked it. But we were not sure how big it might become. We expressed our doubts, but Thaman assured us that it will become a massive hit. It is one of the biggest songs of my career. Coming to background music, Thaman has nailed it!
I am excited about shooting for Trivikram's movie. His dialogues always excite me. When I am working with him, it doesn't feel like I am acting. Just listening to his narration gives me a lot of satisfaction.
If Sitara wants to become an actor, it is her own decision. Neither I nor Namrata have influenced her in this regard. During the pandemic, I got to spend time with her. I have seen her grow up fast. Gautam wants to study abroad. Nowadays, kids are making their own decisions.
The scene in 'SVP' where I say that it's so difficult to maintain young looks was developed spontaneously. Parasuram wanted it to be a teaser. I wanted it to be included in the trailer.
There are a couple of dialogues in the film that are in the Uttarandhra slang. The Ram-Lakshman duo are comfortable to work with. They take all necessary safety precautions.
During the pandemic and post pandemic, I see no major new trends emerging as far as commercial cinema is concerned.
The character played by Samuthirakani is terrific. We were tensed as to which one to pick up. We mooted a couple of big names. After 2-3 schedules, I suggested to Parasuram that Samuthirakani should be selected.