I play modern Narada: MG Srinivas

Old Monk Movie

I play modern Narada: MG Srinivas


MG Srinivas, the director and lead actor of the upcoming film ‘Old Monk’, is back to shooting after six months

Bengaluru: MG Srinivas, the director and lead actor of the upcoming film 'Old Monk', is back to shooting after six months. RJ-turned-director Srinivas started his directorial career with 'Topiwala' starring Upendra, followed by Srinivasa Kalyana and Birbal Trilogy: Case No 1 has now come up with a story based on the mythological character Bal Brahmachari. 'Old Monk', a family entertainment with love story of a bachelor and gossipmonger, featuring Aditi Prabhudeva in the female lead, also marks the debut of Malayalam actor Sudev Nair. In an interview with The Hans India, the actor-director MG Srinivas shares more details about the film and his future plan in the industry.

You resumed shooting after a long break, how do you feel?

It had been more than six months since we last shot for 'Old Monk'. The entire crew was missing all the lights, camera and action! Having said that, this time around, I had to ensure that my cast and crew shot in a clean and sanitised atmosphere. So, all safety measures were in place and after the first couple of days, everyone eased into the shooting schedule with confidence as safety measures were in check. We just completed the second schedule and are really glad that all went as planned.

Theatres are allowed to open with 50% audience. Your view on this?

This is a positive move as the employment of several industry workers are depended on it. However, all measures need to be taken to maintain health standards. We need to wait and watch how open film goers will be with regards to coming to theatres and this can be gauged only after star studded films are released.

Are you planning for OTT or theatrical release? Which platform do you prefer? Why?

I look forward to a theatrical release as films ideally are made for the theatres. That experience is of course unparalleled. Following that, I wish to release it on an OTT. However, everything depends on how the situation turns out in the future and how receptive the audience are to theatre screenings.

How is Old Monk different from other movies which you directed?

This is the first family entertainment that I am directing. While Srinivasa Kalyana was a romantic comedy that appealed to the youth, Birbal was well received by audiences across age groups. I hope for Old Monk also to create some effect.

What made you choose the title Old Monk?

The film centres around Narada, whom we consider as one of the oldest 'sanyasis'. And when translated into English, that becomes Old Monk. Narada Muni was known as a 'fitting master' and in the film we have created an imaginary situation where Narada himself will be put in a spot for a change. The story revolves around the question, what if modern day Narada comes to earth and falls in love, but is faced with several obstacles?

Title, cast and story are three major points for any movie. As a director, which was the first one you finalised?

The story is the first thing I finalise and then the process of remaining. I feel that only when we have the story in place, we can cast accordingly.

Tell us a little about your character in Old Monk?

I play the role of the modern version of Narada, who comes to earth after being cursed by Krishna, following a small misunderstanding he had with Radha, thanks to Narada!

How do you feel directing a noted director and an actor S Narayan?

Very simply put, your job becomes easier when you get to work with experienced director-actors like Narayan Sir. He is a livewire. Not only did he ensure that there was a disciplined approach on sets but also lifted the mood and spirit of every scene in which he appeared. His on the spot improvisations and inputs have added value to the scenes. The film also has actors like Sihi Kahi Chandru, Aruna Balraj, R T Rama and Aditi Prabhudeva and each of them have helped me take the film a notch higher. Old Monk is a complete team effort.

Who do you look up to - an actor or director?

I feel any actor or director should have his/her own approach to the craft. I believe we should be updated in terms of storytelling and technology. And I feel in this regard, Shankar Nag, Puttana Kanagal, Upendra, Prashanth Neel, Singeetham Srinivas Rao, Akshay Kumar, Vetrimaran, Rajmouli, Sandeep Reddy Vanga, Guy Richie, l and Alex Pina are trendsetting story tellers.

Your future projects?

There are 4 films in the pipeline. However, I wish to talk about them only after the release of Old Monk. This apart, Birbal is being remade in Telugu and Tamil.

Plans of directing any other stars from Sandalwood?

I most definitely look forward to that. There is so much content to be explored and executed and I wish to collaborate with Sandalwood stars for that. The future looks bright.

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