Close encounter : Will campaign if dad wants me to

Close encounter : Will campaign  if dad wants  me to

He not only proved his mettle with a string of hits and recognition from all quarters, his maiden Bollywood entry takes him a step ahead of his...

He not only proved his mettle with a string of hits and recognition from all quarters, his maiden Bollywood entry takes him a step ahead of his father. Ram Charan was in a candid mood as he shares interesting things about his film, 'Zanjeer', wife Upasna, politics and much more...


Nagaraj Goud

It's an action scene and the director, Vamsi Paidipally, shouts at his troops to get things in order for the right shot. And as the scene was about to begin, one of the fighters politely asks the group of journalists to move to some other place, fearing that they may be in the frame. Vacating the place to a much calm atmosphere, away from the action choreographer's megaphone, a call, saying that Charan is ready, gets the scribes to go about their job. His birthday is round the corner and the actor who often avoids public dos and private parties, appears relaxed except for the slight niggle in his thumb which he injured during the current shoot.When the actor took some time out from the group interaction to speak exclusively to Sunday Hans, it was icing on the cake .

Having a megastar dad is not an easy task for the young actor who is constantly under pressure to live up to his dad's image. He is set to test new waters with the remake of Amitabh Bachchan-starrer 'Zanjeer'.

cha2The offer came during the initial stages of 'Naayak' shoot, says Charan who took eight months to give a nod to the new age version of 'Zanjeer', a cult that made Amitabh Bachchan an overnight star. "For eight months I've questioned myself whether to foray into Bollywood or not? It's a big ocean with superstars like Shah Rukh, Salman, Aamir and Akshay and do they need me? I listened to the line at first, not the complete story. My dilemma led me to dad who pointed out that I was thinking a wrong direction. A film should be treated as a film and language should never be a barrier, he said. Eventually I listened to the complete narration from director Apoorva Lakhia and was captivated with my character."

He adds, "It was a tailor-made role for me which led to further introspection. Many people questioned me on opting for a B-town debut since I was still new to Tollywood? But if I take them into consideration, I know I'll remain static. Finally, I decided to take the plunge."

However, Charan says that if it wasn't for 'Magadheera', 'Zanjeer' wouldn't have come his way. "Many noted producers after watching 'Magadheera' asked me to star in the Hindi remake, but I was hell-bent on working with the same team. If Rajamouli garu was ready, the remake would have been my North launch pad," he admits.

Amitabh Bachchan, who Chiranjeevi considers his idol, was a pillar of strength for Charan, making it easier for him to get into those seven-inch long boots for 'Zanjeer'. "I met Big B on the first day of the shoot in Mumbai, as he was shooting right next to us. I said that I liked the story of the film, but was unaware of the responsibilities. To which he replied by saying that he liked the re-work and it's a perfect vehicle for a younger generation actor. He also suggested I treat it as a new film altogether. His words energised me."

Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan established themselves in Bollywood before starring in the remakes of 'Don' and 'Agneepath'. Is there any pressure on Charan, a relatively nouveau to B-town? "I took it as a positive pressure since the original was a mega box-office success. I've given it my own makeover by 're-imagining it' without losing the core essence and elements of the original," replies Charan.

Confirming reports that Big B will be seen in the remake, Charan says, "He is set to do a small role. At present his dates are being worked out. Before April-end he will be shooting, that's for sure," assures Cherry as he's fondly called in T-town.

Selective when it comes to promoting his films in Tollywood considering his immense popularity, Charan knows that it works the other way in Bollywood. "I'm prepared to participate in publicity campaigns. I know it's going to be crazy out there. I've spaced out 10 days for 'Zanjeer' promotions," an optimistic Charan informs.

Not the one to steer away from commenting on the death of an NTR fan at the audio launch of 'Baadshah' recently, Charan finds faults with the event management firm. He minces no words in his criticism, "I am game for large scale audio launches albeit with strict security measures in place. Audio releases of 'Racha', 'Naayak' and my own wedding, which witnessed 15,000 people in attendance, were grand affairs without any untoward incidents to speak about. In 'Baadshah's case, the firm missed a trick in the execution. How big is the venue? How many passes should be issued? They should have taken all these into account. I don't find lapses with police and fans. As far as I'm concerned, I ensure that excess passes are not issued for any of my filmi events."

Experimenting with 'Orange', which released after the mammoth show of 'Magadheera', Charan is in no mood to abstain from trying different cinema just because his earlier experiment failed to click. "It was a learning curve and if I get a love story in future I'm more than willing to do it or for that matter any other genre. My wife, Upasna, is a big fan of Yash Chopra movies and if not for anybody, I should be doing a love story for her," he says armed with a smile and adds, "I'm open to cut down my remuneration for experimentation."

It's been close to a year since his marriage, but his jam packed calendar has hardly given him any time to be with his wife. "I am yet to feel like I am married. I've been working round the clock for the past one year. I hardly stayed for five days continuously at home as I had to shuffle between Mumbai and Hyderabad on a regular basis. Pellainattu naaku inka theliyatledhu. Upasna shares the feeling. If I had devoted more time to home, maybe I would have come to terms that I'm married guy. We are having our share of problems like any working couple (smiles). After wrapping up 'Zanjeer' and 'Yevadu', I have a layoff in June. We are planning to go abroad," he shares his plans.

However, the suave star is not to be left behind when it comes to facing friendly banter from his close pals � that, he has changed after marriage. "Among others, Rana, especially, calls Upasna and complains that I'm not giving the time that I used to give him earlier," he smiles.

With birthday round the corner, the actor already has an advance gift from his wife; Jack Rusell, a rare breed of dog brought especially from Thailand. "We exchange animals. On her birthday last year, I gifted a horse, a Pony." A proud son he is with the way his dad is operating as the Union Tourism Minister, Charan feels that the Ministry has been taken to a new level.

"Whatever he resorts to, he does it with seriousness and conviction. Most people were unaware of who the Tourism Minister was earlier, but dad's work in a limited span of time made headlines."

With the state elections slated to take place next year, all eyes are on Charan � Will he be campaigning for his dad and will he go a step further and join politics? "He never disturbs the space of an individual, but if he wants me, then I will not hesitate to campaign for him. I've opted acting as a career as of now. Things like entering into politics can never be planned. It was the same way around with dad," he maintains.

Having shared the screen space with dad Chiranjeevi and uncle Naga Babu earlier, the actor who will be rubbing shoulders with Arjun too for 'Yevadu' in days to come is yet to be seen with babai Pawan Kalyan. "Dad's participation in 'Magadheera' and Arjun's in 'Yevadu', prevailed because of the directors, Rajamouli and Vamsi Paidipally. I believe in destiny. If it's bound to happen it will happen," he signs off.

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