Mohan Babu to play reel Yama

BACK WITH A BANG Mohan Babu   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: P.V. SIVAKUMAR

Mohan Babu is back in front of the arclights for `Yamadonga'

There's the glow that only an exciting assignment can bring to an actor's face. There is no additional poundage, it may be a sign of bliss, but it's also flattering indicator of an actor who still sees every film as a challenge. "It's not that I haven't faced the camera for a long, long spell. It's just that I have stopped acting in films other than those made by my production house. It's been seven years and Annamayya was the last one," says Mohan Babu whose Yamadonga marks the return of the antagonist after a career spanning 32 years.About his role and how he bagged it he says, "Rajamouli told me a line and said if I'm interested he would develop it further. He came back with the complete story and I liked it. I've heard of him before and my decision was based on instinct. I've seen the sets at the Film City and I was impressed, the film will definitely become a hit not just because the director has given it a comic touch but also because he has underlined the importance of Yama, son of Surya, who is known for his commitment to neeti and nyayam (morals and justice). This project will add another feather in Tarak's hat."Ask him if he has put his career behind for his sons' future, he says, "As a father I have certain responsibilities. My daughter got married recently and once my sons settle down, I will not have to think about them as seriously as I do now. I am aware that I have travelled from a village to Chennai to become an artiste and I will not confine myself to the four walls any more." The man has been keeping his entry into the political arena in abeyance for a long time nods in affirmation. "I agree I'm putting off my decision too often but very soon I will speak my mind. My stance reminds me of Dante's quote: `The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality'. This dialogue is present in Yamadonga. I have friends in all political parties but that doesn't mean I have aligned with them. As I said I will spell out my plans soon."Mohan Babu laments the current trend of giving the directors too much importance for the success of a film. He says, "Success and failure is in God's hands and no one can predict a film's future. The food we all eat is the same but the way it's cooked makes the difference. The screenplay is important and I always believe that the story is the hero of the film. Writers and good actors are important and then comes the director on whose onus the steering of the ship depends. The actor adds, "My father still teaches at our institutions. Hedoesn't need to at this age, he's my inspiration. God has given me a gift and I will not abuse it. I am back on the stage, I won't disappoint my audience and I'll be here for a very long time."With his trademark stylehe signs off, "the world will know a fine performance when they see one... "Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY

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