A dozen endorsements for top brands and a score of Telugu films have firmly placed him at the top. This has landed him about two dozen awards, three of them being the prestigious Nandi. He has also found a place in a list of celebrities in the Forbes list, ranked 31 with only five Telugu heroes for company.
As ‘Pandu’ in ‘Pokiri’ (2006), G. Ajay Kumar in ‘Dookudu’ (2011) and as Surya bhai in ‘Businessman’ (2012), this suave star has raised the bar like no other has ever before in Telugu cinema.
And with ‘Seetamma Vakitlo …’ giving him a stupendous start to the new year, Ghattamaneni Mahesh ‘Prince’ Babu surely has no cause for complaint. “I am definitely going through the best phase of my career. Feels great,” he said on Sunday, in what was one of those rare occasions when he talks about himself.
Ask him what the formula for success is and he says, “a good movie means a good subject and story - meaningful and sensible.”Did he think ‘Seetamma Vakitlo ..’ would scale the heights it did, given the fact the fact that it collected a whopping Rs. 64 crore globally in just three weeks, surpassing his own ‘Dookudu’ which did Rs. 53 crore ?
“No. The range of a film’s success I admit, could not be imagined. But yes, the entire team slogged. We put in out best and were pretty confident that it would be a success,” he says, with his familiar grin. While he is currently busy with work on an untitled project directed by Sukumar, projects with Srinu Vytla, Krish Jagarlamudi and Puri Jagannath are in the pipelinein whichever order the schedules get firmed up.
On whatever became of the long-intended movie with director S.S. Rajamouli, the ‘superstar’ said it would ‘happen when it happens’.
He may be one of the most successful of stars, but ask him about what would give him the biggest satisfaction as an actor and he quips, “Nothing can beat an appreciative, contented smile on my dad’s face after he sees my movie.”