Surendar Reddy: Ram Charan is a gentleman
Surendar Reddy was never so relaxed before the release of his movie. Confident about his current movie Dhruva's success, the director talks about a range of issues in this interview. 'Dhruva' stars Ram Charan and it is remake of Tamil hit 'Thani Oruvan'. Surender Reddy directed hits like 'Atanokkade' and 'Kick'.
'Thani Oruvan' being such a big hit, are there any changes which you made?
'Dhruva' is not a hero or villain based movie, but a script-oriented movie. When I watched 'Thani Oruvan', I felt that it is a minimum guarantee script. The content is largely as it is, with the exception of some changes that would be apt for Telugu nativity. For example, we have shot in new locations.
When I was brought on board, I took some time to digest the original. The most difficult thing ever is to do a remake. The reason is that you can't afford to overstep your brief. It's like staying within the confines of four walls. Moreover, there is the problem of comparisons. Not just for me, it was difficult for Arvind Swamy garu as well to adjust. After the first day's shoot, he came to me and said, 'What is this, man?' He too couldn't have got out of his own role in the original.
Arvind Swamy's role in the original is so important that some even felt he overshadowed the hero. Did you make any changes to his role?
We haven't tinkered with his role. If anything, his role has been enhanced. He only asked about the changes being made to his character and was very happy about it.
Ravi Teja had a change in his look for 'Kick2'. Ram Charan has gone macho. Do your heroes voluntarily suggest to do this or is it your decision?
Whether it's 'Kick2' or this film, it was my call to have the hero go for a look makeover. It was my call that Charan should sport that moustache. Even Charan decided about looking fit for the role. The way he worked hard, I think nobody else should ever have to go through that regimen. Sometimes, he would work out for 24 hours at a stretch to get what he wanted. It was an all-out effort for days and nights on end.
How was it teaming up with Charan?
Charan is the best gentleman I have come across. I had read different things about him, but when I started working with him, I found that his nature is in total contrast to what people said about him. He is very honest and the level of his commitment is great.
What is the idea behind the number '8' in the title? Is it because it's your 8th movie?
Is Charan a small hero that I can say 8 should be there because it's my 8th movie? The number has high importance to the script. That's why it's there in the logo. This element is not there in the original.
Are you going to do remakes in future?
This would be my last remake unless I get to do a remake where I can reimagine it. 'Thani Oruvan' is a kind of film which can't be redone because everything is interlinked.
Why did you rope in Hiphop Tamizha?
Many did comment that for a star hero like Charan, roping in newcomers Hiphop Tamizha (the Jeeva-Aadhi duo) is not good. But, they have given the best output.
After 'Athanokkade', you haven't penned your stories. Why so?
Do you think it's easy to direct a film once someone else is giving the story? I may not sit on writing a script for 6 months to one year. Content-wise, 'Oosaravelli' is my best film ever.
Grapevine has it that you may do a film with Chiranjeevi in the same Geetha Arts camp. What is the truth?
I may do a film with Chiranjeevi garu. It will be a great opportunity. Whenever I do it, it will be a stylish action entertainer like 'Kick'.