The Iconic Star – Allu Arjunby OPINIONEXPRESS.IN April 2, 2018 0 comments
The style icon of the South is a prolific dancer and rated among the best in the Indian film industry
Allu Arjun is one actor who shot right up the ladder since his debut in Tollywood. Allu Arjun soon began riding the wave of success and landed blockbuster films such as ‘Arya’, ‘Bunny’, ‘Happy’, ‘Arya 2’, ‘Race Gurram’, ‘S/O Satyamurthy’, ‘Sarrainodu’, ‘DJ’ and many others. On the surface, his road to superstardom has been enviably easy marking to be the next superstar in the industry. He burns up the screen with his energy that spikes out in all direction, sweeping you up with its force even in casual encounter.
He is the only South Indian actor whose movies have reached the 100 crore club thrice. His Hindi dubbed movies have collectively surpassed 530 million views on YouTube and has a huge crossover appeal across India especially in Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and among other states.
Today, his fan following is increasing by every minute and so is the number of filmmakers wanting to sign him. What’s more he has hit a beautiful equation in his personal life as well. Riding the crest of his huge fans
followers of 12.7 million in Facebook alone making him the highest among any South Indian actor and many Bollywood stars too. Apart from these Allu Arjun’s interest in the beverage as investor/partner for B-dubs and Hylife Brewery(India) has taken a turn that is both altruistic and entrepreneurial. Ms Nithya Ramesh Bureau Chief spoke to Superstar Arjun exclusively for Opinion Express readers.
As an actor what keeps you motivated and so grounded?
Motivation and being grounded are two different aspects. I always aspire to give and be the best in whatever I do which in itself is what keeps me motivated. To do better than before each time, I do and undo myself and improve on my skills is what motivates me. Being grounded is to never lose sight of ourselves as a normal human being however successful one is in life. On a very fundamental level my family, close circle friends, my staff and the people I work and interact with are the ones to help and keep me grounded as much as possible.
As an established actor how are you able to measure success and build on this ?
The world generally rates your success by quantifying the amount of business you make and currently our business is in the order of three digit crore. This is an objective approach of measuring success. Seeing through the lens of subjectivity which is a harder way of measuring success, success is living a happy and satisfied life. I am happy with what I am doing. I am in a profession that I enjoy and feel the best when I am at work and I get highly involved with it. Simply put, rather than basking in the numbers as measured by the market, success should be more about how satisfied you are with your achievements and your work. To build on this, I would strive for more and get a lot more name, fame and recognition to the South Indian film industry.
Filmmakers have imagined you in different ways over the years. What excites you any more in a script?
There are lot of genres that haven’t been touched in Indian films and a quite a lot of new genre which we haven’t explored should be created in the future. Unlike before, people nowadays are opening up and embracing creativity and originality. A lot of novelty is seen in almost every genre because people are appreciating originality more than anything else and especially here in this industry. Audiences expect that you give the best to your role. I am looking forward to original ideas and scripts that would be coming up in the future with lesser western and eastern touch to the films. Another interesting thing is that a lot of these scripts have a very realistic approach in the commercial cinema which makes it even more appealing. And this is what is exciting to me in the current script as well – a mix of originality and realism.
If you could be one person from history, who it would be?
(Laughs) I am not much into history but I would be Narendra Modi. It is quite an achievement from where he had started and till becoming the Prime Minister of our nation.
you have achieved many milestones in your career as an actor and entrepreneur. is there anything that you still want to achieve?
There are lot of things I still have to achieve as an actor and I would say that entrepreneurship is just a byproduct of being an actor. Innately, I have an interest in entrepreneurship but what’s fundamental is that at the end of the day I am an actor. Being in the field of acting and as an actor there is so much more to explore and achieve. I feel that this is a new epoch and a golden era in cinema worldwide and especially in India because cinema is opening up to many a new horizon. Audience are nowadays more open to accepting different genres and different kinds of films. I would like to make the best out of this golden era and try to make a unique mark for myself.
Apart from acting or being an entrepreneur, I am very actively involved in social service activities and charity. I like to do my part to make our society a better place to live and also do my part in bringing happiness to others lives. It gives me immense happiness if I can bring smile to others.
Are you overwhelmed with the kind of support you get from your fans globally?
Oh yes! It’s very nice because now that the cinema has opened up and especially South Indian films are being bought over or being dubbed by Bollywood and other languages in India. The viewership of Telugu cinema is no longer just the Telugu audience as the dubbing of Telugu cinemas to other languages is increasing at an unprecedented pace. The Telugu films are highly watched in Kerala, Karnataka, and are also going places to Tamil Nadu and in belts of Maharashtra. The online reach of Telugu films is really huge. There are lot of people from Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries who watch and appreciate this kind of cinema. So it’s very overwhelming that our original films are being appreciated by people across different cultures. What entices them about our films is the uniqueness and they feel this uniqueness more than we feel about it in our films. That is quite a commendable achievement for all of us.
How did ‘Naa Peru Surya’ happen? What attracted you to the script?
I as a person have the highest respect for soldiers, farmers and teachers. When I heard the script that had a story about a soldier, I immediately got connected to the film with no second thought. ‘Naa Peru Surya’ is a great story of a young soldier who has a dream of being posted at the border and how he achieves that dream come true. It is as simple as that. It’s very contemporary film and at the same time very real.
How tough was it playing the role in ‘Naa Peru Surya’ considering you’re always stocked with energy?
(Smiles) Playing this role was very different as it was not like my any other previous roles and it required different skills from what I usually play. I had to go through a basic physical fitness regime to get that look and I had to go through a lot of look tests to transform myself to get it right. The toughest part was the shoot schedule of the film because we had to shoot in multiple geographical regions with varying landscapes and a lot of change over in the film entailing a lot of tough travel. That was one of the most challenging part to play the role in ‘Naa Peru Surya’.
You have got to work with the finest directors since the beginning of your career. one director in mind that you always wanted to work with?
(Smiles) yes it is very true and I have been lucky enough that from the beginning of my career I got to work with the best directors. My debut film ‘Gangotri’ was directed by K.Raghavendra Rao which also happened to be his 100th film and I started with an excellent guidance. Honestly, there are many good directors and one of my favourite directors with whom I always wanted to work with is K.Balachander. But this is no longer a possibility as he is no more. I really wish I were acting in the era in which he was directing films and we did a film together.
You are a man of many roles. you are an actor, an entrepreneur, a husband and a father. how do you balance both a professional and personal lifestyle equally?
I am trying to balance it well. Everybody has to go through this little struggle of striking a balance. The trick is that when I am professionally working I don’t think about my personal life and when I am in my personal space I don’t think about my professional life. Be in that moment. That’s how one can achieve and balance being a man of many roles. It’s a very simple thing to follow but it will bring a huge change and that’s my mantra.
Can you talk about your upcoming projects?
Honestly I haven’t zeroed down on any films for now though I have heard a couple of scripts. My upcoming film ‘Naa Peru Surya’ will be widely released in May in seven languages. Till date I have been working only in Telugu film industry. I have been getting offers from Tamil film industry, and also from Bollywood. Now the options are plenty in Bollywood than what it used to be. Apart from Telugu films, my next plan is to venture out to either Tamil or Hindi films and give it a shot.
Do you have any final words for the readers of OPINION EXPRESS magazine and your fans across the globe?
I love the word “Opinion” in itself because having an opinion is a very strong trait in a personality and being able to express that will define your character. It’s a very strong word for something that I fundamentally connect with and something that I believe in. To the readers of Opinion Express and fans across the globe, thank you very much for watching South Indian cinema. I thank you all for continued support and love. We hope to do better work and to impress you more and more. I hope the reach of South Indian cinema grows worldwide.
Readers can download free e copy of April 2018 issue from the website directly.