From The Archives: Tc.com's Interview with Uday Kiran
Uday Kiran passed away two years ago. In his short span of career, he became heart throb of many. This is one of his earliest interviews. We are reproducing it.
Uday kiran a young hero who started his acting career as a lover boy, tried to attain an action hero image at one time, but suddenly found his very existence in the industry in doldrums. TeluguCinema.Com present the excerpts of an exclusive interview with Uday Kiran, marking the occasion of his birthday (June 26).
When I heard that Uday Kiran was signed by the director Eleti Chandrasekhar who made aitE...!, I was thrilled that he will do a different sort of film. Later, I heard his film got shelved, and another film with him playing a dual role was also nowhere in the news. Much expected Love Today was a disaster at the box-office too! Then, one day, I heard there was this film with Teja and his old team – R.P. Patnaik and Kulasekhar, with Sada as female lead. I tried to reach him since Eleti Chandrasekhar’s film was announced, but was unable to get in touch with him. Meanwhile, one of his fans from Bangalore also started sending me mails to get Uday’s interview. Finally, with the help of a director friend, I was able to get his father on the phone and after a couple of missing appointments, I could finally catch him around 11 p.m. (he just returned from a friends marriage) on the phone. After a brief “Hi!”-“Hello!” session and other formal chat, we started the interview.
Sri: I first want to get your version about various projects of yours that did not go the way they should have gone. What went wrong with the Eleti project? We were all glad that you were doing a young army officer role in the film.
Uday Kiran: I was also very excited about it, anDi! For that film, we needed to get permission from the Army as it required shooting in the nation’s borders. This was not possible, and the project also went a little over budget. It’ll take some time before all this can be sorted out, and so the project is now stopped. We cannot help it. (Laughs)
Sri: What was the problem with the Prathani Ramakrishna Goud’s film jODi No.1? He gave all sorts of statements that you went to his home and begged him for the role.
Uday Kiran: See, most of the times when people accused me, I maintained silence. But, then, that doesn’t necessarily mean what they said was true. No, I have not done anything like that. The film was originally named as Mysterious Girl. They started the film after they saw the success of Nagesh Kuknoor’s Hyderabad Blues. They shot the movie in episodes like a TV serial. All this was much before chitram-The Picture happened. They shot the film in a very low cost, but didn’t get any buyers for that film. Once chitram was a big hit, they were behind me again. I was not paid anything for the film. I received my first payment with chitram. They came to me and asked they will sell the film and asked me not to give any statements. As they requested me, I maintained my silence. The film was expected flop in spite of their gimmicks. If a film has stuff it will work, anDi. If not, it will not!
Sri: What about the film hOli? nidhi Prasad said you intervened with the script and wanted to make a lot of changes, and thus it flopped.
Uday Kiran: You know about the film industry, anDi (laughs). If the film is a hit, they are happy to claim credit for themselves; if it’s a flop, they will try to throw mud on others. Cinema aaDitE pooladanDalu vaaLLaki, flop ayitE burada pakka vaaLLaki! It is natural. While making that film I had my own doubts. I see a film from the audience point of view, and so I expressed how it would work out. But they said the subject was to suit my image. And as I am not a person who argues much, I want ahead and did what they wanted. And, you know the end result.
Sri: As you said you’d see a film from the audience point of view, can you say why the much-talked Love Today failed? You said very nice things about that film, but eventually it was a disaster at the box-office!
Uday Kiran: Yes, the film was a flop. There are several reasons for that. The film took a long time in making. See, why I feel it is a good film because it reflects the attitude of today’s youth towards love. They love and roam and then get separated due to differences in opinions and marry someone else. That’s why, it was titled Love Today. But, I think the audience is not ready to accept the change. Also, a similar type of film was released at the same time; this also affected the film, I guess. But, I still think it is somewhat a natural film than the others. See, after the super success of manasantaa nuvvE, I got many offers. Most of the stories were similar to that movie – childhood friends gets separated, hero sacrifices for a family member or a friend… – everything was so routine, and so when Love Today director came with this subject, I readily accepted.
Sri: Now, for a routine question. It is your choice to answer, of course, but I ask this because readers expect me to ask this. Shall I ask!
Uday Kiran: (Laughs) I was just thinking why you have not reached that question yet. I’m so bored answering that. Anyway, go ahead and ask.
Sri: What was the attitude of the people around you once the engagement broke?
Uday Kiran: (Laughs) Yes, it changed dramatically! I am not anymore an apple in their eyes. They wanted to maintain a distance, naturally.
Sri: “So, what went wrong?” is the obvious question which every one, by now, asked?
Uday Kiran: See, things didn’t work out. Our thoughts were different and so the best thing was to part in a friendly way. Both our families sat together and took a good decision and both our families are still in good contacts. There are no bad waters between us. It is the media which made most of the things. And, as always, my silence added spice to it! (Laughs)
Sri: But, according to the news and media, your love with Nivedita upset Chiranjeevi and that this was the reason for the marriage being called off?
Uday Kiran: As I told already, these are the concoctions by media. They want to write something and they wrote – to be sensational in their own way. How do they know all these things, anDi? Is there any camera showing a live telecast of events, like in a World Cup Series?
Sri: Then, what about your marriage with Nivedita?
Uday Kiran: (Laughs) Yeah, media made it happen too, anDi! They fixed the marriage date and have done my marriage. At that time, I used to get a lot of calls from other press people asking me to give them my marriage photos. “peLLi ayindi kadaa, sir! enduku daastaaru? Photos ivvanDi, publish chEstaam!” they said. I used to direct them to the papers which published that news saying, “aa paper vaaLLanE aDaganDi. vaaLLu naa peLLiki vacchaarugaa!”. So, according to them, I will be celebrating my first anniversary next month (laughs).
Sri: Is there a girl by name Nivedita at all?
Uday Kiran: Yes, there is one. But we are neither married nor were in love. It’s all the media which made much ado over nothing. See, being a film actor has it own disadvantages – we cannot have any private life. How many times weren’t marriages called off before they happened? It’s only because we are film actors that we’re seen through a magnifying lens.
Sri: True. But, what happened to the offers that poured over you when your engaged and dried up when it got cancelled?
Uday Kiran: (Laughs) That’s a part of life, anDi! It’s all quite natural in the film industry. I have no complaints about it, whatsoever. Everyone will be with you if you succeed, but there’ll no around to share your failure. To my bad luck, I got a couple of flops at the same time, and so they had a reason for rejecting me. It’s very natural.
Sri: Looks like you’ve grown above all such things?
Uday Kiran: What else can I do? It is a good thing, anDi… We cannot sit and drool over the past; we need to get on with life. Whatever happened has happened; it’s past! There are always ups and downs; no one will have all hits in one’s career.
Sri: Are you working in Suresh productions project now?
Uday Kiran: Do you mean to ask about Suresh gaaru or Ramanaidu gaaru?
Sri: Recently, Ramanaidu gaaru announced a film with you and Tarun in the lead under Muppalaneni Siva’s direction...
Uday Kiran: I read that also in the papers, anDi. Surely, I am not doing a multi-starrer films at this time. You can publish that. Actually I read that news that I am doing a film in Suresh banner. No one from the production house talked to me so far. There was neither a story discussion nor a call from them. So I don’t yet think that I am doing their film.
Sri: What about the film you are doing now? I heard that Purnachandra Rao gaaru asked you to select your own director?
Uday Kiran: His film has been long due, anDi. Long back, we thought of working together, and he called me once and I went and met him. He left the choice to me and asked to check if Teja gaaru was free. As Teja gaaru also committed to him a long time back, we thought that it would be an ideal project to do, and so we started working on that. It is a real reunion – R.P. Patnaik gaaru and Kulasekhar gaaru are also working for the film.
Sri: But, Teja is free only because his project with Venkatesh was postponed...
Uday Kiran: I heard about that, but I am not aware of the details.
Sri: When is this film scheduled for a theatrical release?
Uday Kiran: The shooting just started. As Teja gaaru is busy with another film too, he’ll work on both these projects in parallel. This one will be done by the end of the year.
Sri: Don’t you think it will be competing with Teja’s another film dhairyam?
Uday Kiran: Though both films will release around the same time, there will be definitely some gap, and so, that should not be a problem.
Sri: How do you feel, working with Sada in this film?
Uday Kiran: Very happy, anDi. She is a proven actress kadaa, so it will be easy working with her. She is a very natural actress and has a lot of ease. It will be a great challenge to work with her.
Sri: Other then your body, did your dancing skills improve since your first film?
Uday Kiran: You have to tell that to me, anDi – whether I improved or not (laughs). Also, most of the time, when did I have a chance to show my dancing skills? Mostly, I am a soft guy who walks around the girl with a song. Give me a chance and I will show.
Sri: But, you did have some songs with steps, like in hOli?
Uday Kiran: Actually, I had good songs [requiring dances] in kalusukOvaalani...! And, it was hit too!
Sri: What about the film nartanaSaala?
Uday Kiran: It is not happening at this time, and so why talk about that?
Sri: Did you meet Balakrishna?
Uday Kiran: Yes, I met him before the incident happened. He called me for the role of Abhimanyu. I was scared to do the role as I never did that sort of a role. But, he convinced me to do that. He gave me confidence. He is a very down to earth personality – you never think you are talking to a star when you are talking to him. He puts you at ease. You think you are talking to someone very close to you. I am still shocked at all these events that happened. I still cannot believe that he did it; I don’t think he did!
Sri: Before I conclude this interview, I have a question about fans. There’s a complaint that you do not reply to them. One fan from Bangalore whined that you have not conveyed greetings to him when he sent you a wedding card...
Uday Kiran: I try my level best to communicate with fans, anDi. See, in the industry, usually the family members of the celebrity take care of fan mail, dates, and other things about the celebrity. But, in my case, I am doing everything myself and so it sometimes happens that some things get overlooked or delayed. But, I definitely love my fans and I want to be in touch with them always.
Sri: By the way, do you check film-related websites?
Uday Kiran: I used to. But, when I found that they were writing whatever they pleased - without checking the facts - I stopped seeing them. I am not referring to your website though, it’s about some other website. But, yeah, I used to browse film-related websites. Convey my best wishes to your visitors and my fans.
TeluguCinema.Com, while appreciating Uday Kiran’s maturity and outlook, wishes the birthday boy a better future; let’s hope that he comes out of troubled times soon and caters hits for the pleasure of Telugu Cinema audience.
By Sri Atluri