Dec 7, 2009

Exclusive Interview: Jagapathi Babu

Jagapathi Babu looks fitter than ever now. Praise comes for his looks not just from girls but also from established filmmakers. Probably that is the reason why he accepted to play the role of a student as well as a lecturer in Madan`s Pravarkyudu. He speaks at length about Pravarkyudu and Gaayam 2 and much more in this exclusive interview...
Tell us about Pravarkyudu

Basically it is a love story about a couple who falls in love when they are students and are separated from each other. Ten years later they meet again. The heroine turns out to be a college principal while the hero joins the same college as lecturer. The conflict here is that of a girl searching for emotional security in a relationship and of a boy seeking physical pleasure.
Looks like Pravarkyudu has a bold concept!

Yes, indeed, it is a bold concept. Director Madan has also dealt with issues of sexual games in the film. Girls always mature faster than boys. They know that emotional bonding is important than mere sexual attraction but boys look for the latter first. It takes time for them to realise the value of an emotional bonding. This is the underlying theme of the film but, overall, Pravarkyudu is a good romantic drama with lots of fun, entertainment and good songs.
Any link with 'Pravarkyudu', the character created by Allasani Peddana?

No, but 'Pravarkyudu' in this film attracts women. At the same time, he is also honest in his love towards Priyamani in the true spirit of the original Pravarkyudu. It is also true that I had my own apprehensions about the title initially as I was skeptical about its acceptance with mass audiences. On my birthday, Madan requested me to accept the title as his birthday gift. So I could not refuse. Now, the title has been accepted by everyone.
You seem to share a sizzling chemistry with Priyamani.

We are good friends. We have a love and hate relationship between us. I like to be very natural on screen and she is also a natural actress. So it reflects when we act together and the onscreen romance seems very natural. Regarding Priyamani appearing in sexy outfits in a couple of songs, I would say that I insisted on director Madan shooting it that way. We ourselves took the liberty and did a sensual number in the film as it attracts the audiences and also helps the movie.
This is said to be the movie with the biggest budget.

It is true that Pravarkyudu was shot on a lavish scale and made with a much bigger budget than my normal films. All of us, including director Madan, Producer Ganesh Indukuri, music director Keeravani and the cameraman, wanted to make this as a visual feast.

Everything in the film looks grand and beautiful. That is why, today it has sold out completely. If we put in the best, the product really comes out well and if we believe in our film, it attracts the buyers. Pravarkyudu is a huge film in my career both in terms of budget and also the business that it did. I hope it also brings in huge profits.
Are you happy with the producers?

Tolly2Holly is going to be a big banner. They are sensible and know everything about the industry. They didn't step into filmmaking as just novices. Tolly2Holly is a reputed distribution company in the US and they distributed my movie Pellaina Kotthalo. So they approached Madan and me, to repeat the magic. They are also going to be happy with this film.
What differences did you notice in Madan - from Pellaina Kottalo to Pravarkyudu?

He has always been a mature person. His strength is in writing and he is clear about his ideas. He has made this film with good aesthetic values.
You are playing a college student in one scene of the movie. How did you achieve this younthful look?

Right from the beginning, Madan told me that I had to look younger and so I worked on it. I can confidently say now that I don`t look awkward in the student`s role in the film. The best compliment that I got for my looks is from the master director RGV. He said me that I am look very good in Pravarkyudu. He is not a filmmaker who compliments just any one and he does not give his opinion only to please others.
What is the secret of your fitness?

I am happy and content with life. It reflects on your face.
Can you name 5 films that turned your career?

Peddarikam, Gayam, Shuba Lagnam, Anthapuram, and hopefully Pravarkyudu
You have just announced a sequel to Gayam. Can you tell us about it?

Yes, the sequel to Gayam is finally taking place. Praveen, a former associate of Ram Gopal Varma, is directing it. It is the first sequel in Telugu in the truest sense. I mean, the movie really starts off with the 15 years of where Gayam ended. 15 years later, the protagonist Durga is coming back. Revathy has agreed to play the same role. We brought Kota Srinivas Rao`s role alive in the sequel. I am yet to speak to Urmila, though.
Why is RGV not directing Gayam 2?

Praveen developed this idea and script. When RGV heard it, he said it sounds good and asked me to go ahead with his protege. 'I don't want to snatch his baby,' he said. But RGV has offered to help me and the director whenever required.