Director K.S Ravindra aka Bobby, best known for helming Ravi Teja’s Power and Pawan Kalyan’s Sardaar Gabbar Singh, is gung ho about the release of his next film Jai Lava Kusa, which features Jr. NTR in, hold your breath, trip role and the star’s fans are waiting with bated breath to see him on screen. Ahead of the release on September 21, we caught up with the direct for an exclusive chat.
Excerpts from the interview:
Not many directors so early on in their career aspire to make such a big film. What gave you the confidence?
It has to be the script. In the scripting stage, I admit, I was quite nervous about how I was going to pull off this project, but it all changed when Tarak (NTR) agreed to come on board. He was also kicked about the project because of the script. When I pitched the story, he told me he hadn’t come across such a script in a long time and that was a big confidence booster. It takes a lot for a star to shower such praise but I believe he was genuinely interested in the script and wanted to do this project. His interest towards the project and his faith in the script really motivated me.
Your last film Sardaar Gabbar Singh sank without a trace. Nevertheless, you still managed to sign a star for Jai Lava Kusa…
I didn’t write Jai Lava Kusa keeping Tarak in mind. But when I decided to pitch the story to him, I had told myself that I won’t do this project if I can’t get him on board. This script needed a performer and Tarak being a star was an added bonus. The failure of Sardaar Gabbar Singh didn’t bother me because it will always remain a special film. Kalyan (Pawan Kalyan) sir believed in me and gave me the opportunity to direct the film and I’d be ever indebted to him for that. Tarak only agreed to work on this project because he realized its potential when he heard the script. He felt the three characters will challenge and push him out of his comfort zone.
Out of three characters NTR essays, Jai as Raavan has already garnered enough attention. Do you think audiences might get partial towards one character?
I have given ample scope for all the three characters to shine on screen. I can’t be the judge of which character audiences will like the most. Agreed, Jai has been unanimously appreciated so far and I’m pleased because Tarak’s effort for this role is unmatchable. He wore prosthetic and spoke with a stutter. It’s not a run-of-the-mill character; it has layers to it. It’s a character with negative shades and Tarak has made it very special with his performance. As long as audiences love Tarak on screen, we as a team wouldn’t mind which character is liked the most.
You spoke of NTR using prosthetic for Jai’s character. Could you talk about the process behind the character’s look?
When we decided this character will require prosthetic make-up, we wanted to hire the best in the business. We brought Hollywood make-up artist Vance Hartwell, who had worked on films such The Lord of the Rings trilogy, to handle the look of Jai’s character. We didn’t want audiences to realize we’ve used prosthetic, so the goal was to keep the look as realistic as possible. Going by the response to Jai’s look, I think we succeeded in achieving what he had planned from the beginning. But what audiences have seen so far is just glimpses of Jai, and there’s so much more they’ll get to see in the film.
Do you have a favorite among the three characters? Which character was challenging to write?
I wrote all the three characters with same amount of passion and I enjoyed the process. The three lead characters are equally important from the story’s perspective. There’s no way I would give more limelight to one character and ignore the other two. As I said before, I can’t be the judge of which character will be liked more by audiences. I can talk more about which character was challenging to write post the film’s release. If I explain why it was challenging, I’ll have to get into the scenes which will ruin the experience of watching it on screen.
How was working with NTR, with whom you have collaborated for the first time?
The whole experience was very memorable, and it was for the entire unit. When you’re working with Tarak, you can be assured that the film will shape the way you want. He’s an amazing actor and audiences will see what more he’s capable of doing in Jai Lava Kusa, which I believe will be a landmark film in his career. When he gave his nod, he said that this film will be a milestone in the careers of everybody involved in the project.