Siddharth awaits the theatrical release of 'Takkar' on June 9 in Telugu and Tamil. Directed by Karthik G Krish, the up-and-coming movie is produced by TG Vishwa Prasad, Abhishek Agarwal and Passion Studios.
In this interview, the actor takes stock of his career and talks about his beliefs. He also throws light on some of the most important projects he is going to do next.
'Takkar' carries a number of meanings and connotations. In the context of this film, it means a clash between two individuals. It doesn't mean cunning. The poster might suggest that the clash is between the protagonist and antagonist. But there is also a 'takkar' between the hero and heroine. There are emotional clashes between them. You could call them gendered and ego clashes. There is an age-based, economic status-based clash as well.
I have dubbed for my character in both Telugu and Tamil. 'Takkar' is a multi-lingual release.
Director Karthik Krish is sorted about what he wants to show. He is a protege of Shankar. He knows how to make the hero look unique and stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Many migrate to the city with the dream of making money. The hero in 'Takkar' shares the aspirations of today's youths. His mother has this fear that he might cross moral boundaries in search of money. The hero doesn't commit financial frauds, etc. He sets out to do something but he can't. Frustrations and setbacks in the city lead him to take certain steps. He has to put up a bold front and bash up his opponents. His journey is emotional.
There was a time when the earnings of public personalities were kept under wraps. These days, we know how much cricketers, for example, earn per year. The current generation is influenced by all the info around them. I was brought up by my mother to listen to music and enjoy other aesthetic things in life. I was encouraged to appreciate the beauty around me. My father, too, was like that. He asked me to find a job that can give me comfort. My parents didn't push me to mint money. When I was an Assistant Director, I used to make Rs 2000 per month. I had to submit bills to get fuel costs reimbursed. If I didn't show the bills, I would be suspected of dishonesty. I still remember those middle-class days. I still remember the days when my fuel budget was Rs 160.
I would say that many pleasures that I am enjoying are valuable. I am blessed to be able to sleep peacefully. There is HRA and DA but there is no allowance that can bring peace of mind to you. You can't buy peace with money. I don't hanker after creature comforts. In my cupboard, you will find clothes that I bought 20 years ago. My peace doesn't depend on money. In contrast, my character in 'Takkar' believes that money is everything.
The film industry is witnessing drastic changes. There was a time when the likes of Kodi Ramakrishna did many movies a year. These days, a film takes about 4 years to be made.
There was a time when, if the writer didn't submit his work, the director didn't know what to shoot. The biggest building in Hollywood was the writers' building, the most powerful union was the writers' union.
People ask me why I don't do many movies in Telugu when my fan following is impressive here. I have never said no to good scripts here. Those who are making good movies are not making offers to me.
The Telugu audience love films the most. Here, the family audience are ready to watch the same movie twice in a theatre! Nowhere else in India do you find such an audience.
It is the Telugu audience who first accepted me. I am their child. I am sure that people will gather to see me no matter which centre we go to in the Telugu States. I don't agree that I have had a disconnect with the audience. When I appear in a TV show for promotions, that episode amasses very good TRP. There is no gap between me and the Telugu audience. I have no problem with anybody in Tollywood. Others might have a problem with me, but I don't have any with them.
My dreams are humble. I have no dream to make a billion-rupee movie. I want to enjoy what I do. I have been able to do it in Tamil. I have produced five movies in Tamil.
Doing love stories is an emotionally draining experience. It's a conventional belief that an actor who does a love story must do similar movies throughout his career. I don't agree with it. I want to try something different every time. My films 'Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana' and 'Bommarillu' were so good that, if I continued to do love stories, people would have compared my works with those movies. I didn't want that to happen. I have stayed away from love stories deliberately. If a love story becomes a blockbuster, I would be tied down to do the same thing again and again.
I am a highly sensitive person who doesn't prefer violent movies. If I have to do a fight scene, the action needs to be meaningful. After 'Takkar', I am sure I am going to be offered action movies. I won't accept them just because of the genre. I want every fight scene, every kick, and every combat scene to be meaningful.
I enjoyed doing 'Maha Samudram' a great deal. I respect its director (Ajay Bhupathi) and producer (Anil Sunkara). It's because of that project that people like Aditi Rao Hydari have entered my life. The project was made on a very controlled budget and it was a safe one for the producer. But the response was not up to the mark. The audience couldn't connect with its content. Cinema is a subjective medium. 'Maha Samudram' was a relationship drama. Many audience members didn't like one male lead marrying his friend's lover. I don't agree with the take but it is what it is.
Someone recently told me 'Chukkallo Chandrudu' is her favourite movie. At that time, reviewers wrote that it was ahead of its time. My character falls in love with three women and he is not unkind to anybody of them. He doesn't want to hurt anybody. Had that movie minted Rs 10 Cr, probably, things would have been different today.
As a producer, I am encouraging young writers with no background. New technicians and artists have been introduced. I am a writing supervisor and script doctor there.
Live your life. Only then will your awareness grow. I live my own life. If I don't, my acting personality will not be versatile. I want to try something new every day as an actor, a writer, a producer, and as a future director. I have been waiting to wield the megaphone. If destiny wants it, I will become a director. Directing is a dream. Marriage is my parents' dream.
Some films are event films. 'Bommarillu' is one such film. to this day, it is seen as a documentary. Just as Rajamouli's films feature the pinnacle of hero elevation, 'Bommarillu' featured the zenith of some love story emotions. It's a difficult film to cross. Its impact has changed our careers once and for all. If and when I and 'Bommarillu' Bhaskar reunite, we will have to be very, very careful. If we make a 'Bommarillu 2', it will have to be superlative.
I am next doing a film titled 'Chittha' ('Chinna'). I am its producer. 'Indian 2' is getting ready. Shankar sir will announce its release date soon. I am doing a film with Madhavan and Nayanthara. A first-timer is directing it. 'Test' is its title. I am also going to team up with the 'Takkar' director again. All my next six films will be totally different from one another. I will be doing an out-and-out love story. 'Chinna' is a film so close to my heart. I can talk about it over and over. It's a film that I am making for myself and yet it is universal. It will go beyond boundaries. 'Test' is again going to be very different. This is my first collaboration with Madhavan since 'Rang De Basanti' and 'Yuva'.