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Leading the pack

CLASS ACT Balakrishna says he aims to satisfy producers and buyers

CLASS ACT Balakrishna says he aims to satisfy producers and buyers  

Balakrishna says acting for him is the essence of magic

A single factor places Balakrishna ahead of his contemporaries. He has evolved into a different person with every film and grown beyond his celebrity status to become the character he portrays. He is an actor whom you can trust to be different and a star who sticks around longest. In an informal chat with Metroplus, Balakrishna says acting for him "is an art in which every nuance of emotion has meaning and can touch people on the most visceral of levels. When performed masterfully it is the pure essence of magic."

The actor's major transition as a big-hero of commercial cinema and as an intense performer occurred when he worked for Mangamma Gari Manavadu. "That was my first major success. Our combination was fresh and there was the great Bhanumati garu. It was a remake of a Tamil film. We had seen the film and when it came to the selection of characters, none could take Bhanumati garu's place. We also had to keep in mind that the public wouldn't accept any other artiste other than her addressing the hero in an informal manner. The cast was perfect."

As an actor was there a lot of pressure on him because he was a `star son'? "I have always enjoyed my work and there was never any pressure. If you have something weighing at the back of your mind, you can never perform. I lead a principled life and am very punctual. There is a lack of discipline these days and that's the reason I don't work with certain directors. I don't like to invite problems with someone I don't gel. It is very important to have a rapport with the director. The unit runs according to his instructions," says the actor.

And what about his performances... have they always depended on the quality of the director? "A film is a hit because of collective effort. I am not new to the industry and am just telling the director not to change my performance. I have my style, my body language and people are paying to see all that. So don't try to involve that aspect. If I overact, ask me to calm down, if I am underplaying, tell me to react a bit. My producer and buyers are first on my mind. The producer should be aware of the expenses involved. My life and style of work is disciplined. My discipline commands others and its not Balakrishna who commands. I am there on the dot of seven and if I don't find the unit I pack up and go home. I give them a grace period of 15 to 20 minutes. It is they who give me the time," says Balakrishna emphasising that the fault lies not with him.

Ask him about his blow-hot blow-cold relationship with the media and the actor says there was never any animosity. "It's just that the more I talk I lose my power and energy levels. They keep asking me about the great NTR again and again. Chevulu tuppu pattipoyayi. Instead of just talking about a person why don't you emulate him. Then come my films and people from the industry. During the opening of my film, they tell the media `Balakrishna jeevitham lo idhi oka vilakshanamaina paatra.'

They speak about the film's success even before it has commenced. Lets first do our work sincerely. It's so easy to gauge a person if he is being honest or trying to praise you to the skies."

So does he have plans to revive Narthanasala? "Definitely, but this time I am not taking any risks. That doesn't mean I am going to rub my interests or personal preferences. I have done a couple of mythological movies before and they crashed. Narthanasala is a film with all the ingredients and is a right project," stresses the actor with aplomb.

Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY

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