Telugu superstar Vishnu Manchu is all set to make his Malayalam debut with Enthinum Ready

Vishnu Manchu believes in the hypnotic power of films. With all that colour, song and dance, who can resist being transported into a world, which is so far removed from reality? he asks. “That is the undying appeal of cinema,” says the 31-year-old actor and producer.

Dressed in an olive green shirt, his hair made to look fashionably unkempt, Vishnu says despite being legendary Telugu actor Mohan Babu’s son, he was never slated to be an actor. “My father wanted me to be an IPS officer. I even gave my civil services examination preliminaries, but the lure of cinema was impossible to ignore. I always believed I was born to act,” he says.

His latest action-comedy Dhenikaina Ready will hit theatres on October 24 in India and abroad and it will be simultaneously released in Malayalam, as Enthinum Ready (on October 26). This is the first of his films to be dubbed in Malayalam. Vishnu, who completes nine films with Dhenikaina Ready, says he is a bit late in the game. “Telugu films are a hit in Kerala and I am not going to waste any more time. Next year, at least five of my films will be dubbed in Malayalam.”

The Rs 17.5 crore film, produced by his company 24 Frames Factory, is a thorough entertainer and tells the story of a young man of Hindu-Muslim parentage, who tries to bring the two warring families together. Hansika Motwani plays his love interest. And the music is by Yuvan Shankar Raja. “There is a lot of action and, of course, comedy,” he says. He was in Kochi for the audio launch of the film.

Vishnu feels it is not quantity that matters, but quality, when it comes to choosing roles. “As an actor, one has to feel that special satisfaction essaying a particular role,” he says. Though he debuted at the age of four, Vishnu’s proper entry into acting was in 2003 with Vishnu, directed by Shaji Kailas. But it was his Dhee with Genelia D’Souza in 2007 that turned out to be a super hit. “Before I proved my mettle, the people loved me because of their love and respect for my father,” says Vishnu. Today, he’d get mobbed in Andhra Pradesh. “In certain areas, people would just tear my shirt off,” he says, flashing his dimpled smile.

Telugu film industry’s superlative budgets and technological extravaganza apart, Vishnu says, the success of a movie depends on its director. “The director is the king. The film is in his hands. Actors merely follow directions,” says Vishnu, who is working on a mega-budget film based on the Ramayana. “It is Ramayana told from Ravana’s perspective.” And who will play Ravana? “My father, of course,” Vishnu says. The Rs 110-crore project, which will be made along the lines of Lord Of The Rings, will be directed by Raghavendra Rao and will have actors from Bollywood and other film industries.

An actor has to acquire the skills needed to survive in the industry. “If you want to make it big in mainstream Indian cinema, you better learn how to dance and fight,” says Vishnu, who has trained in Hip Hop. He loves choreographing stunts, too. It is important to remain fit, too. Work outs are a given. “An actor’s is a 24-hour-game. If you slack off, you are going to be obsolete,” he adds.

The CEO of ThinkSmart, a special effects studio in Hyderabad, Vishnu is also deeply involved in the activities of his production house, 24 Frames Factory. A fan of Malayalam cinema, Vishnu says he would love to act in a Malayalam film even if it were a ten-minute role, even without remuneration. “It is not remuneration. It is only about passion,” he signs off.