Allu Arjun wants to entertain and be exceptionally good at that. He talks about his new film, and why he owes his dancing skills to his training in gymnastics
The first look official promo trailer of Iddarammayilatho has garnered more than 1,180,950 views. The sneak peak promises a slick entertainer. A couple of days ahead of the film’s release (May 31), Allu Arjun is a picture of composure in his office. “This film befits my title ‘stylish star’,” he tells us. Director Puri Jagannadh and the team have pulled all stops, eager to outdo the success of the actor’s previous film, Julayi. Allu Arjun himself is clear he wants to be a star, a crowd puller, than an actor.
We’ll prod him on that later, but first he gets talking about catering to box office diktats and why, after all these years, he feels the need to train in dancing.
2012 was a landmark year for his family with three hits in a row — Racha, Gabbar Singh and Julayi. This year, the onus is on him to start on a winning streak. He doesn’t use the term ‘pressure’ but says he wants to grow, push his limits like a runner wanting to better his track record. “With each film, I try to outdo my previous films. Iddarammayilatho has the same music director (Devi Sri Prasad) and cinematographer (Kamal Rathod, though he has shot only some portions of the film) as that of Julayi,” says Arjun.
Iddarammayilatho has Allu Arjun as a street performer in Europe. In Julayi, he was this young rebel who wanted to make easy money and in Arya 2, his role had streaks of negativity. “I am a variety machine; I look for variety in my characters and an extra edge in the characterisation helps in bringing out a better performance,” he says.
Arjun has no qualms in admitting Iddarammayilatho is a formulaic entertainer. “This film will have a good introduction, memorable songs, amazing stunts and dances, an ‘interval bang’ and so on. There is a lot of freshness in the presentation,” he says.
In another fortnight, he will begin working on his next film, Race Gurram, directed by Surender Reddy. It’s another commercial entertainer, he tells us. “I look for a number of things when I choose a film — script, director, music, stunts and choreography. In my initial films, I made the mistake of not looking into all these aspects. When I look back, some portions of those films look like my personal showreel. I want my films to offer wholesome entertainment and not be my personal showreels,” he says.
Before he signs off, he says he wants to be remembered for his films.
“I want to be remembered as a star. I have great respect for actors like Kamal Haasan and Al Pacino, but I’ve always been star struck. My favourites are stars like Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi and Tom Cruise.” He adds with a smile, “It goes without saying that a star also needs to be a good actor to succeed.”
A gymnast, therefore he can dance
His cool dance moves in the promos of Iddarammayilatho have proved, once again, that he’s one of the best in the business. He is not a trained dancer but credits his flexibility to his decade-long training in gymnastics. “I was six or seven when I started learning. More than the moves, gymnastics inculcates discipline. You have to start early and be consistent. A good gymnast can do just about anything, applying its principles to dancing, fighting and other sports,” says Arjun. He might outshine his contemporaries in dancing, but Arjun feels the need to train. “I want to change my form of dancing. I want to take classes,” he says. In this film, he has experimented with hip-hop and rock moves. “I chose a different choreographer for each song to ensure variety. I can’t say I’ve raised the bar for dancing, but I’ve tried to do something edgy,” he says.