While most star sons and daughters you come across are busy getting away from the shadows of their parents and leave no stone unturned to refrain from being typecast mega star NTR Jr, the grandson of NTR, is the opposite.
Indeed, he candidly confesses that being born in a star family helped him kick start his career enormously. “It (being a megastar’s grandson) helped me largely in the first movie itself because people believe that you have the same aura and capabilities as your grandfather. But after that an actor can only bank upon his acting skills. I love being called NTR’s grandson. I never moved away from his shadow may be because I didn’t try enough or may be because I like it this way,” says NTR Jr, who is currently shooting in Jaipur for his upcoming mega-budget film Sakthi.
Needless to say, making the most of the opportunity, NTR explored Rajasthan as much as “his hectic schedule allowed” him. “I went to Ajmer just after coming to Jaipur as my mom wanted me to pay obeisance at the dargah. I have also been to Pushkar and will now get to see Jodhpur when we go there for the shoot. This place has loads of beauty and when you shoot here, it gives you a royal feel. In fact when audience knows that the film is being shot in Rajasthan, they also have expectations of relishing the majestic locales on screen.”
And contrary to his perception – that he is not well-known in North India – the star finds his fan following where ever he goes. “I think some of my films like Kantri have been dubbed in Hindi because I had thought who would know me here? But at Pushkar people recognised me and were shouting my film’s name. Isn’t that fabulous? South comprises of a mixed community but in North there are fewer South Indians and there’s a vast difference between both. I was like wow people do recognise you here?”
Down south the star is treated as a demigod with his fans bathing the actor’s cutout with milk before his film’s release, will he ever take a plunge in Bollywood? “Never,” pat comes the reply and he adds, “I am happy being king down south. It’s my world and I am destined to be here (Telugu film industry) I don’t even want to try my luck in Tamil films, but I might think of Bollywood at some later stage.”
Indeed NTR doesn’t even want to change his image of a commercial hero and is not upbeat about being too experimental. “I am a commercial hero and I will never leave that genre. And having an image of a mass hero I will spoil the whole script in the wake of being too experimental. Then there are boundaries around a mass stirrer like me – audience buy the tickets of NTR Junior’s film with a larger-than-life image of his in their mind, who would give them an action-packed performance. So, I can’t flout the boundaries and disappoint them.” Point taken!
But would he ever take to direction or writing? “I believe in doing what I am best at. I don’t want to waste my energy in other things instead I would put all that in reaching the next level in a craft that I love the most.” As he once campaigned for TDP, do we see him donning the hat of a politician in the near future? “It is a different chapter of my life and I am not ready to open it now. Movies are my life and politics is a responsibility. I think I am too young for that.” However, it is surely the right age to tie the knot, so why the delay? But the shy actor makes a clean sweep from giving the reply, as he says, “I am a very shy person, who is just close to himself. So I would refrain from talking about my personal life.”(TNN)