Sammohanam is Indraganti Mohan Krishna’s most romantic film so far, says actor Sudheer Babu
In 2017, soon after Samanthakamani released, Sudheer Babu had set his eyes solely on the much-awaited biopic of Pullela Gopichand. It’s been his dream project, so to speak, for a while now, and the actor had been working closely with filmmaker Praveen Sattaru on the film. Having bulked up for Baaghi, in which he played a negative role, Sudheer was already in the process of sporting a lean physique for Gopichand’s biopic, when he received an unexpected call from Indraganti Mohan Krishna. And when the latter pitched the story of his next romantic drama, Sammohanam, to Sudheer Babu, he just didn’t want to let go.
“So far, most of the films I’ve done have all been directed by either newcomers or those who have done 1-2 films. It was a no-brainer for me to say yes to Indraganti Mohan Krishna, who has tons of experience behind him when he pitched the story of Sammohanam. I was zapped when I heard the story and told him that it’s his best script, and most romantic film, so far,” Sudheer Babu recalls.
Although Sudheer Babu has been part of romantic films in the past, he avers that Sammohanam is closer to reality. “The romance in most of my films has been very dramatic and exaggerated. But Indraganti kept it very real in Sammohanam. The banter within the family highlights what an amazing writer he is. His command over Telugu is impeccable and there’s a separate set of audience who love his work because it feels so different compared to a lot of films these days. In fact, there’s also a film happening within Sammohanam, which has a love story. The contrast between the two love stories couldn’t be more different. I guess it’s also Mohan Krishna Indraganti’s way of saying that we can do so much better in terms of how we portray romance,” he says.
Talking about romance, there’s a conversation, featuring Sudheer Babu and Aditi Rao Hydari, that’s set up on the terrace under the moonlight, which Sudheer ranks as one of the best scenes in the film. “Towards the end of the conversation, I lean forward to kiss Aditi; however, it doesn’t happen. Apparently, our editor Marthand K Venkatesh got so hooked on to the scene that he felt that Indraganti should have ended it differently and let the couple kiss. I took his comments as a big compliment because you wouldn’t say it unless you felt that the performance was completely honest.”
In Sammohanam, Sudheer plays an illustrator for children’s books and has an idealistic approach in his life. He doesn’t have a high opinion on films or people who are part of it. He believes it’s all a sham, until, one fine day, he meets an actress who changes his perspective. Sudheer is all praise for his co-star Aditi Rao Hydari and by his own admission, he had no idea that she would dub her own voice. “It’s a big deal for anyone to dub their own voice in their debut film and Aditi has done a phenomenal job at it, that too in an Indraganti’s film (laughs). She’s extremely professional and used to rehearse all her lines and scenes well in advance so much that I had to come prepared as well. No wonder, people on the sets were surprised when we used to get our shots right within 1-2 takes. We used to wait for Indraganti to yell ‘Shut up and get out’ at us. That was his way of saying that we got the shot right and don’t have to do one more take (laughs).”
As a matter of fact, dubbing for Sammohanam was no mean task for Sudheer either. He reveals that it took him 19 days to complete the film! “Usually, I get done in 4 days,” he says, adding, “When it’s an action drama or any other masala entertainer, they follow a separate pattern and once you get a hang of it, it gets easier. But Indraganti’s films aren’t like that. His love for the language is evident in his writing. Sometimes, I used to wonder if anyone would notice the nuances of how we say certain words in Telugu; however, much to my surprise, people actually pointed out that we had gotten the diction and pronunciation right. All that effort in the dubbing studio was totally worth it (laughs).”
Ask him if he has figured out what type of films suit him best and pat comes the reply, “I don’t think I’ll know that until the last days of my acting career, and I don’t want to know either. I believe in the theory of ‘shopping for life’, where you experience different facets of life over an extended period of time. My job as an actor is to play someone else each time and convince you that it’s real. I would prefer to draw inspiration from my own experiences rather than emulating someone else. That’s the goal.”
Meanwhile, the actor has already launched his own production house and his first production is slated to release later this year. For now, he’s playing the cards close to his chest about what wants to do in future, but the latter half of 2018 looks quite action-packed for Sudheer. “The biopic on Pullela Gopichand is going to start in September. The script has come out really well. I can’t wait to start shooting for that,” he signs off.
Updated Date: Jun 17, 2018 13:11 PM