Mega Star Chiranjeevi who is set to show his power as freedom fighter Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy in Sye Raa speaking to scribes turned candid and shared many secrets.
On his ever youthful looks: If we do precautions in our food and exercise regularly, one can defy age. Exercise is a part of my daily routine. After entering politics, I lost control on self for eight years.
However after making a comeback with Khaidi No 150, I regained control on self. Recently I made few more changes regarding my diet. I went to Pema Wellness Centre in Visakhapatnam and spent 20 days under Dr Murthy's guidance and shed more weight.
Difficulty in losing weight and diet control: I can change my habits easily. I never think if this or that is not there in diet. I can do away with rice and stay just with soups and salads. Charan gives me advices on diet. Recently he told me about a diet designed in Europe. This can reduce 2-3 kgs in just three days.
In the olden days there used to be no such food restrictions: Except exercise we never heard of other method. We were under the impression that more food consumption would give more strength. Recently I understood that Food makes all difference. I get my meals to sets from house. I am following all diet and workout regime precisely. For Sye Raa shoot if the shooting is at 7AM, I used to get up at 4AM and do workouts from 5-6AM and then go to sets.
About Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy: I had plans to do this film before Shankar Dada Zindabad. The budget crossed limits after readying the script. During that time the market suited for 25-30 crs budget films. Our budget came to Rs 50-60crs. Had we compromised we couldn't have come with quality output of war scenes etc. To the top of it, technology was limited. So we postponed the project. It got delayed after I entered politics. Many advised me to do this project when I planned a reentry. But generation changed and I had doubts whether viewers will accept me in this role. That was testing time for me. So I backed off and so decided to do a commercial pot boiler with a message and if my image is intact, planned to do Sye Raa.
Sentiments on cars and car numbers: Not exactly sentiment but I used to have fasciation for cars. Now I lost everything. I now think to travel from one place to another, any car would do. I bought Honda Accord out of love. That was my first foreign car. Now in my house, I have all brands of cars and came to a feeling that traveling in any car gives the same experience.
How Big B agreed for the role: I and Amitabh Bachchan more than films share good family bonding. He specially invited me for his 70th birthday. He came the moment I invited for Charan's marriage. He was supposed to come for my 60th birthday but he couldn't due to his ill health but Jaya Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan came. When I did Pratibandh, I took the advices of Amitabh Bachchan.
Surender Reddy suggested Amitabh will be apt for a role in Sye Raa. He sent me a message saying, 'Sir ilaa anukuntunnam. This is Pan India film. meeru cheste baguntundi'. He did not think twice and at once sent 'yes' message. When he said he will enquire about his role, I sent director, my daughter Sushmita and few others. Later he himself underwent look test and showed us and asked whether such look would be apt.
How Sye Raa happened: I travelled with people after entering politics. So I had a doubt whether people will watch me with the same craze and if so in what stage. However all my doubts got erased with Khaidi No 150 prerelease event? We proceeded ahead with Sye Raa after the sensation of Baahubali. I worked hard training in horse riding and sword fight.
When did you realize mass power: Only after Khaidi. From then on I worked hard selecting stories which brought something new from me.
You are a devotee of Hanuman. Did anyone in your family inherited that: Charan has similar qualities. He is also a devotee of Hanuman. Both of us follow Ayyappa deeksha. All members of my family perform poojas in a traditional manner.
After Janasena defeat and despite losing in two constituencies, Pawan Kalyan is still going out in public. What do you feel: It is a life time battle? One shouldn't get scared by small defeats. He is a fighter. He always keeps fighting. Victory will come to a person in future if he keeps fighting. Pawan is fully qualified for it.
About a biopic on you: I have plans to come with a book on my life. We are thinking whether video documentary is better.
What was your brothers’ reaction when they saw you first time on screen: They felt very happy. Though father did two films, they did not know any of them. So when they saw me on screen they got excited. Even now I am the hero for them. Though Kalyan is a big hero he says, “Annayya.. naaku natudannaa, hero annaa nuvve. Inkevvaru kanipincharu.
Are you a strict father: No. I am very friendly. There are no scenes like getting scared or hiding behind. Children love my company. I used to celebrate their birthdays in a grand manner in a star hotel. I was the one who bought party culture to the industry. I used to call all film celebrities and give them treat after the film launch, 100 days function etc. Balakrishna and venkatesh too used to come. Nagarjuna already shifted to Hyderabad. Our parties used to happen at Honey House in Hyderabad. Even Tamil stars like Satyaraj, Suhasini, Radhika and big batch used to attend.
When did you become proud of Charan: I had confidence on him in his first film. I never had doubts on his talent. He could do any role. He grew a lot with his second film Magadheera. He did the role which I did not get in my career. With Rangasthalam, he showed his power at the national level. Had Rangasthalam story came to me, I would have scared to do so. But Charan readily did it. After seeing the film rushes I couldn't control myself. That was the reason why I said 'I am proud of Charan as a father and jealous of him as an actor. 'Everyone got shocked but after watching the film, everyone agreed with me.’
It seems you directed few scenes in your films: When directors were not available, or when I felt that actors call sheets may not be available, I used to do after getting permission from the directors.
Raghavendra Rao used to leave the sets after 6 PM for other works regarding his films. He used to hand over the direction to me saying 'babai.. ee sannivesam neeku telusu kadha'. Even Vijaya Bapineedu had same relation with me. B Gopal too had lot of confidence.
During Indra time, Gopal used to concentrate for Allari Ramudu. So I directed few scenes. Few say I can direct myself. But we cannot do justice to both acting and directing. If I have to direct, I should quit acting or else should compromise on both things.
About Upasana: She came from an affluent family but gives value to family and relations. She takes lot of care of all family members. I see the same qualities which I see in my wife Surekha. She is the able daughter in law in our family.