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Home > Updates > Articles > The Hindu Article on Chiru 25 years career

 

CHIRANJEEVI has seen it all in the last 25 years - the ups and downs in tinseldom, the grueling hours in make-up rooms, attained mega stardom... Reams have been written on this man yet his feet are firmly on terra firma. In the office room of his plush house (where there is just a portrait of Mother Teresa) one gets a glimpse of the man behind the persona.

"When somebody says it's 25 years, I say Oh, really? "Yes there have been ups and downs - that's true. I don't remember any bitter moments. My attitude has been to remember the good. I think positive. I attempt to wash and brush off the bitterness and the wrong."

Chiranjeevi has had his share of flops too out of the 130-odd films, with more than 25 hits, and working with top directors and a variety of roles. "Flops make you think, help you to correct and reform yourself. The failure of Mrugaraju taught me a lot." What are the films close to his heart? "Every film is a sweet memory. It's difficult to pinpoint. I liked Tagore as it had a social message and gave me immense satisfaction. It was like a cleansing process for me. The movie was commercially viable too. And coincidentally it was released in my 25th year."

Chiranjeevi is now acting in Shankardada M.B.B.S., a remake of Munnabhai M.B.B.S. "After a hit, expectations go up and an image is built. Getting stories becomes difficult. I wanted to do a full-fledged comedy - a mass entertainer. When I was asked to see the movie, I felt this is the subject I'm looking for. A social message is woven as the undercurrent."

Early on in his career he did roles which gave him scope to perform as an artiste. "I worked with good directors to get a good name. My commitment is to give 100 per cent entertainment. I look at the audience point of view besides the business aspect while signing a film. My interest is relegated to the third spot. If there is a social message woven into an entertaining story, then it is the best."

His next project will be for a Gita Arts Production. "I will be essaying a dual role - father and son. The story is by Bhupathi Raja. We had zeroed down on Puri Jagannath to direct but because of his prior commitments and the clash of dates he may not direct and another director may step in. We are thinking of other projects with Naga Babu and Vijayabhaskar." Chiranjeevi's simplicity and unpretentiousness strikes one. How does he look at name and fame?

"I joined films because I was interested in acting and not because I will get name and fame. I don't know why people like me. When I sit to think I feel one must take up the opportunities and do it sincerely and wholeheartedly. I think name, fame, money and love are automatic byproducts." He believes in interaction. Even when there is near frenzy and he is mobbed, he enjoys being amidst people. "You have to be in touch with the masses. If you are acting in cinema and don't interact you are losing a lot. " Is it difficult to be natural in real life too because there seems to be thin line between the real and the reel? (Laughs). "Acting is important on screen. It is not necessary outside it. Both worlds are separate. My family too plays a role in this. When I come home, I am a family man. I was born in an average family. My wife too comes from a simple family even though she hails from a film family. I always remember where I came from. I teach my children also to be so. They should be mentally prepared for everything. For instance, my daughter Sushmita is a rich girl. She does not need to work. But she does a part-time job in a store and works at her design studio. She feels happy when she earns money."

"More than money this gives them the confidence to live and face life. My son is interested in acting but I want him to complete his studies before joining films. Moreover, in my house there is nothing remotely connected to films. It does not look like a filmstar's house replete with photographs, mementos etc. One should be connected to the roots."

Chiranjeevi has `evolved' and `matured' over the years . "I do a lot of self-analysis whenever I get time. This is a kind of meditation. I believe in meditation because it gives you a tranquil feeling and mental balance. One won't take hasty decisions. A positive approach, talking to others and welcoming other's views helps." As an artiste, Chiranjeevi feels he has a social responsibility too. Mother Teresa (he regrets his bad luck in not meeting her) has a direct influence on him "She was born somewhere and she worked somewhere. What made her do that? We are born here and shouldn't we should do something here?" he asks. Other than acting he can't think of anything but extending social service. "In cinema there are hits and flops. In service there is no question of flop. Feedback is a wonderful feeling and I have experienced that so I would want to turn towards it more." On the trend of celebrity endorsements he feels nothing wrong if the products are good. "I was asked to endorse Bagpiper and cigarettes but I refrained from doing so. I don't endorse what is harmful for kids."

There has been much speculation about his entering politics but he refutes saying he is not inclined to do so.

At the moment he is happy and contented with what he is doing.

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