Telugu actor Mahesh Babu in conversation with Subhash K Jha as he awaits the release of Sarileru Neekevvaru. 

I would rather be deprived of a challenging role than set the wrong example: Telugu Star Mahesh Babu

Mahesh Babu the prolific lead actor in Telugu cinema gears up for the release of his 26th film with Sarileru Neekevaaru.

Here he takes time off to speak to Subhash K Jha

Sarileru Neekevvaru (SLN) is your 26th release. Do you still get as nervous and anxious as you did when your first film released?

No matter how many films I do, I treat every film as my first one. More than nervous we are all quite excited for the release.

Tell me about your role this time. What should your fans expect from you?

SLN is a different space altogether. Something I haven’t done in a long time. It’s an out and out family mass entertainer. I’m sure the audience will thoroughly enjoy it. As my director rightly calls SLN a Sankranti Sankranti Feast for all my fans.

Mahesh, we are living in very difficult times. As a role model would you be willing to play a negative character like a serial murderer?

Today, as a responsible actor I think about the story and the character when I choose a script. By playing a negative character if the film is conveying a wrong message, then its debatable. So I’d rather be deprived of a challenging role than set the wrong example

Do your avid watchers wonder when you would take that plunge into active politics? Do you see yourself getting into active politics at some point in your career?

Haha, not in this life. I’ve said this before as well, I’m an actor and will always be one. Politics is not for me.

You recently did an ad with your daughter? How would you feel if one day she decided to become an actor like you?

It was truly a fun and memorable experience working with my kids. They are very smart and talented. It’s totally their choice as to what they want to do. I’ll always have their back. They still have a long time before they take these decisions !!

Some of your critics think you are not using your stardom to get experimental with your roles and characters. Please comment

When you are in a position to influence the society you ought to be cautious in a way that you choose ur films and roles. Even if my prime prerogative is to choose a great script and entertain the audience, I am also morally responsible for my work. I am doing just that.

What are you working on next? And when do we see you get together with the awesome Rajamouli?

I am listening to a couple of scripts at the moment. My project with Rajamouli sir will start soon after he’s done with his current film.

The horizon for actors has expanded into the digital domain. Are you considering going into that area or do you think a matinee idol like you belongs only on the big screen in movie theatres?

I have my plate full with films at the moment. But if some interesting scripts come my way then you never know.

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