What was NTR’s response when you first narrated him the script?
I narrated him the script for about half an hour. He did not speak a word and just said: “Can we meet after a week”. I was very confident that he would surely call me back as I had seen the positive reaction in his eyes. As expected, he called me after a week and the project was on right away.
Weren’t you apprehensive showcasing NTR in a negative way?
Not even one percent. The negative character and stammering act were always there in the script. Also, as the other two good characters were done by NTR himself, showing him as the bad guy was never risky.
Jai character dies in the end. How is the response for this angle in the film?
I am getting a huge response for this ending. Till now, no one said that Jai should not have died and all three brothers should have lived happily ever after. Jai’s death was the correct ending and if that would not have happened things would have become quite routine.
Don’t you think you should have introduced Jai at the beginning itself?
No! not all. Things would have become quite monotonous and boring if Jai was brought in from the start. In fact, the film goes to another level once NTR is introduced as the bad guy.
How was it working with NTR?
I have never seen a more dedicated actor like NTR. Initially, we thought that we would use prosthetics in scenes which demanded three characters. But NTR took this challenge and give the smallest of the expressions in all the three roles surprising many. It was only because of him such a complex role was executed swiftly.
What was the best compliment you received for the film?
The response is huge and I have never been so happy. Post the film’s release, I met Rajamouli at NTR’s home and he spoke very highly about the film. He especially congratulated me for the way I showcased the story of three brothers during their childhood days.
What has JLK’s success taught you?
The only thing I learned from the film’s success is that if your content is good, even the biggest of the stars will say yes to a relative newcomer like me. Now, I can dream big and can approach various stars with good scripts.
Finally, how was it working with Kalyan Ram as a producer?
He was the one person who was quite confident about the film’s result even before anybody else. After seeing a rough cut of the film without the re-recording, he happily said that JLK would become the biggest hit in his banner. Now that the film has been declared a hit, he always says with a smile that he predicted this victory long back.