Rajendra Prasad, star of “Quick Gun Murugun” that hit theatres this Friday, shares the experience of working in the Hindi cowboy comedy. A Telugu guy doing a Tamil role in Hindi film, made by a Bengali director.
“I am a Telugu guy, doing a Tamil role in a Hindi film, with a Bengali director, a Marathi make-up man and with the ethos and stiffness of an English man,” says Rajendra Prasad describing his role of the comic character Quick Gun Murugun.
The character, originally created for the launch of Channel V in 1994, became an all-time hit with people and the media. Quick Gun Murugan, who indulges in epic battles on different issues, wears a white cowboy hat, leopard yellow shirt and orange pants.
He sports a gun, a pink wallet and speaks mainly one-liners translated from Hindi to English in a typical South Indian accent. He believes in two things in his life: protecting cows (that’s why he is called a cowboy) and damsels in distress. This character has been portrayed in bits and pieces by Tamil Superstar Rajnikanth many times to bring an element of humour in his films, while advertisements and cartoons have often conveyed their points through him.
But a full length feature film on the character is a first time venture, directed by Shashank Ghosh. A veteran of 32 years in the Telugu film industry and seven times National Award winner, Prasad takes the role as a privilege.
“I took only five minutes to listen to the story and agreed. Earlier Kamal Hasan was approached for it but he had problems with the dates. This film takes up the issue of vegetarians versus non-vegetarians. Quick Gun Murugun endorses vegetarianism.”
Prasad feels it is a “major difference” from the earlier “quick guns”. “Shashank has tied my hands in this film. He hasn’t let me speak. I don’t even smile in the whole film. I remain stiff as an English man, say the funniest things in the most serious manner and keep my look innocent — something that will have you in splits.” To look stiff, 52-year-old Prasad practiced “by standing eight to nine hours every day”.
Shot over 70 days in Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad, this film, originally in Telugu but dubbed into Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and English, had a worldwide release this Friday.
Prasad, known as the comedy king in Hyderabad with over 200 Telugu films to his credit, has dubbed in all these languages himself.
“I wanted to experience the comic timings of all the languages together,” he says. He notes that comic timing in each language is different, and for him it was most enriching to study that of English.
“We tend to ‘over do’ our funny expressions. If we have to say something hilarious, we first twitch eyebrows, slant the lips, make faces and then deliver the dialogue. In English you time it quickly, say it without expressions and still make people laugh.”
In order to sustain the popularity of the 15-year-old character, Prasad informs, Fox is going to produce a sequel to this film titled The good, bad and the idli.