Jai Lava Kusa director KS Ravindra says he wouldn’t have made the film without Jr NTR

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Sep 18, 2017 11:18:43 IST

Writer-director K.S Ravindra, popularly known as Bobby, is eagerly looking forward to the release of Jr. NTR’s Jai Lava Kusa, which marks his third directorial outing after Ravi Teja’s Power and Pawan Kalyan-starrer Sardaar Gabbar Singh.

One wonders if Bobby, who has had a good track record as a screenwriter with hits such as Don Seenu and Mr. Perfect to his credit, is extremely blessed or highly networked to be working with the stars so early on in his career.

“I believe my scripts have landed me opportunities to work with these stars. As a writer, my focus is always on the script. Even after a film like Sardar Gabbar Singh (which was a box-office dud), if I managed to convince a star like Tarak (NTR) to work with me, it’s purely because of my script and his faith in it. If a script can give an actor the conviction to sign the project, they’ll do it,” Bobby told Firstpost in an exclusive chat.

Jai Lava Kusa director KS Ravindra says he wouldn’t have made the film without Jr NTR

KS Ravindra with Junior NTR. Image courtesy: Haricharan Puddipedi

Jai Lava Kusa, in which NTR plays a triple role, comes after the debacle of the highly anticipated Sardaar Gabbar Singh, and Bobby says the failure of the latter didn’t have any impact on this film.

“When I was writing Jai Lava Kusa, I was under tremendous pressure because I wanted to get this project made at any cost. When Tarak came on board, I breathed a sigh of relief because I knew he’d own the project and I don’t have to worry anymore," added Bobby.

With the film slated for wide release on September 21, Bobby is proud of the pace at which they wrapped up the project. “It’s not easy to handle a star in three diverse avatars and still manage to complete the film in record time with best output. With someone else, this script would have easily taken about two years to complete. In fact, I wouldn’t have made this film without NTR, simply because you can’t risk this project with any other actor,” he said, brushing aside rumours that he didn’t plan this film with Ravi Teja.

Produced by NTR’s brother Kalyanram under the banner NTR Arts, the film also stars Raashi Khanna, Nivetha Thomas and Ronit Roy. Quiz Bobby about how the project got materialized, and he said, “After Sardaar Gabbar Singh, I met Koratala Siva (director) and I learnt from him that Tarak is on the lookout for scripts for his next project. I told him if given an opportunity, I’d like to narrate a story. I met the executive producer of NTR Arts and pitched the story. Later, I pitched it to Tarak, and he immediately gave his nod but he wanted a week’s time to convince himself if he can pull off Jai’s character which he really liked.”

In the film, Jai’s character has shades of grey and he speaks with a stutter. This character’s look was handled by Hollywood make-up artist Vance Hartwell, popular for his work in films such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Shutter Island. Bobby believes all  the three roles will satisfy the fans desire to see Tarak in diverse characters. “When you see Jai, you don’t even know we used prosthetic on him. We wanted the look to be as realistic as possible because it’s important that audiences still see Tarak in the character but still accept he’s Jai," said Bobby.

Junior NTR on set on Jai Lava Kusa. Image courtesy: Haricharan Puddipedi

He said he didn’t find it challenging to write the three characters and set aside ample screen space for each one to hog their share of limelight.

“All the three characters have equal screen space to shine on screen. Their actions are well justified and the characters are interlinked. We also decided the correct time for each character’s entry," added the director. Bobby can’t stop raving about Tarak’s commitment in essaying all the three characters: “Very few actors can even bring the kind of energy Tarak brings to his performance. He can effortlessly bring variations to a character. You don’t even have to tell him. He understood each character thoroughly in the narration stage and that was enough for him to essay the character. For instance, I told him in the narration stage that Jai speaks with a stutter, so even before we went on the sets, he was prepared to play the character. When as an actor he has such clarity, the work of a director becomes so easy. The pace with which he works is amazing. The entire credit for finishing the film in record time goes to him."

On the experience of working with Tarak, Bobby said it was a delight to watch him work from close quarters. “He’s someone with immense focus. Once he is done reading the script, he literally transforms into the character. He performs with so much focus and that’s why all his characters are so memorable. He believes in the script a lot. He’s a born artist. You change a scene the way you want on the sets, he will easily mould into the character and still deliver what’s required. One wrong shot meant we had to shoot the scenes involving all the three characters again. But he ensured we didn’t make any mistake," he said.

Bobby is confident that he will leave a mark in the commercial league with Jai Lava Kusa: “When Tarak came on board, he said this project will earn respect for the entire team. The other person who believed in the film even before we started shooting was composer Devi Sri Prasad, and his faith was a confidence booster.”

Updated Date: Sep 18, 2017 11:18:43 IST

Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.