Charan's recent Interview
I was born to handle pressure: Ram Charan
Actor Ram Charan is back on screen playing a double role. In a freewheeling chat with Hyderabad Times, the actor speaks about movies, constant media scrutiny and much more.
The 'Naayak' is ready to treat his fans to a brand new offering. Yes, after a gap of almost eight months, Ram Charan is back on the big screen, this time playing a double role in the film, Naayak. But playing a double role is never easy, "Especially with two heroines around," says the actor. According to Charan, the toughest part of doing the film was "matching costumes with the ladies".
"I don't think I've ever changed so many costumes for a movie, especially when shooting for the songs. I had to change my clothes every hour. We'd first shoot a sequence with Amala Paul and then change costumes for a sequence with Kajal. Then my director would say, 'can we re-shoot that bit with Amala again?' I don't think I am acting in a two-heroine film again in the near
future," quips the actor, in good humour.
However, Charan remains non-committal when quizzed about who he thinks is the better actor — Amala or Kajal. "Oh! They are both fabulous actors and I get along very well with both of them. Kajal is a seasoned actress and we all know what a performer she is. But I was honestly surprised with Amala, as I had never worked with her before and was a little unsure as to how she would be. But as it turns out, she is very good," he remarks.
While on the topic of leading ladies, one can't help but bring up the 'real' leading lady in Charan's life, Upasna Kamineni. With Naayak being Charan's first release post his high profile marriage to Upasna, does it make him nervous? "Upsi too asked me the same question recently. But what is the point of me getting nervous or excited about the outcome of my film? We have no control over it anyway. I've given my best in the movie and can only wait for the audience's verdict. So far, I've been getting great reviews. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed," he says.
But it's the "fear of living up to expectations" that made the actor push himself that extra mile. Sharing an anecdote on shooting the Laila Laila song, Charan says, "It was a week before my wedding and I had just returned from my bachelor's party. I landed directly in Dubai to shoot the song. I had to wear shades to hide the fatigue!" Elaborating on it, he says, "I was told that I wouldn't need much rehearsals, but was zapped when I saw the choreographer take me through the routine. I was like 'can we please slow the beat or something?' But then it was the first time I was shooting with VV Vinayak who made Tagore with my father. I couldn't settle for anything less than the best and went ahead and completed the song in seven days. I think it was the fear that got the best out of me," he admits. However, the actor was disappointed as the song was leaked 15 days prior to the release of the film.
Meanwhile, Charan denies any competition with Allu Arjun in the dancing department. "Bunny is a better dancer than me, any day. He becomes a different person when the music starts to play. In fact, my dad would tell him to take me along with him when he went dancing. But to no avail, I'd just sit and watch. I had never danced all my life until I shot for my first song in Chirutha," admits Charan.
Speaking of his dad, don't be surprised if you find shades of Chiranjeevi in the characterization of the new film. "VV Vinayak had made it clear that he had written the script envisaging a younger Chiranjeevi." And that is something Charan admits to have made peace with — recreating his dad onscreen. "Initially it would bother me when filmmakers, script writers, dialogue writers and choreographers tried to recreate a bit of my dad though me. At the end of the day, I am not my dad and have my own journey to make. But then I realized that everybody loves dad so much and perhaps haven't had enough of him. So, if that's what people want, then so be it. It's like paying homage to dad by remixing old songs of his. Of course, there is no logic to it, but this is commercial cinem. Drama starts where logic ends," he reasons.
But recreating his dad on screen is perhaps the easier part, when compared to reprising the role of the original "angry young man" Amitabh Bachchan, in his Bollywood debut, Zanjeer. "A 'big star' in Bollywood recently told me, "Do you know what you've gotten yourself into? Zanjeer is a movie every Indian has in his personal library. His own son doesn't want to attempt it because it's too much of a burden. Why do you want to do it?'. I just said, 'Sir, let me tell you I was born to handle pressure. I've had people coming to me and saying I have to fill my dad's shoes.' But with Mr Bachchan's film, the shoes just got bigger!" says Charan.
And it looks like playing the angry young man is getting to him. The actor recently showed his angry side at the audio launch of Naayak where he had a go at the media. The move surprised everyone, including him. "I never knew I could talk like that! I was surprised myself. But I was sick of clarifying to all my fans about concocted media reports on rifts in my family. I guess the situation got the better of me. Of course, I don't regret saying those things," defends Charan, while admitting to having 'a bit of a temper'. "My wife and mom always keep reminding me about my temper. I am working on it. I'm not angry, but a little emotional," he says, before signing off.