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Ram Charan speaks on Acharya, upcoming movies, pan-Indian cinema:

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Ram Charan is waiting for the release of 'Acharya' on April 29. In this interview, he talks about his character in the movie, working with Koratala Siva, what makes the collaboration with his father special, Southern films reviving their glory, his upcoming movies with directors Shankar and Gowtam Tinnanuri, and more.

Initially, my character was a mere 15-minute cameo. I don't know how it evolved into a 40-minute character in due course of time. I have to first thank Rajamouli garu for letting me do 'Acharya' during the making of 'RRR'.

I had been wanting to work with Koratala Siva garu for many years. Due to our respective commitments, I couldn't collaborate with him. Getting to work alongside Nanna garu came as a bonus.

I and Siva garu had been in talks since the making of 'Rangasthalam' although no story was finalized. It was gracious on the part of Siva garu to let me first complete 'RRR'. He wanted it to happen as a fan of cinema. He preferred 'Acharya' to happen at a leisurely pace since it's a big collaboration. It was a beautiful occasion to work alongside my father.

I never even dreamt that I would find time to do 'Acharya' in the middle of 'RRR'. I could find dates and I am glad. As for Mahesh Babu garu being considered for the character, I have no idea about it really.

It's true that I and Siva garu had to collaborate years ago. For some reason, the script didn't go through. I asked him to take up another project so that he doesn't remain idle. What is great about our bonding is that, whether or not we were doing a film, our relationship only grew from strength to strength.

Coming to 'Acharya', Siddha (Charan) practices Ahima. Acharya (Chiranjeevi) believes in rebellion to restore Dharma. Siddha never becomes enraged except when Dharma is endangered. I and Sonu Sood are mates in Hanuman Vyayam Shala in Dharmasthali. A fight between us happens because of a line said by Sonu Sood.

It was definitely a challenge. Doing 'RRR' and 'Acharya' simultaneously was not easy. But the effective and precise writing took care of my pains to a great extent. I just had to go to set and do my part the way my directors wanted.

The Nanna garu I have known for 35 years is on one side. And the Nanna garu I got to spend time with during the making of 'Acharya' is on another side. I could spend time with him non-stop for 20 days in Meredumilli as an actor. Even when I couldn't give the take right, he would let me do mistakes and learn.

'Acharya' is not a father-son, senior-junior story. The stories involving Acharya and Siddha run as separate tracks and collide at some point. Our father-son relationship in real life is a mere bonus for the film. It has nothing to do with the story of 'Acharya'. Even the father-son 'chirutha' shot in the teaser is organic. It's not forced. If a similar shot is placed in an urbane story, people would definitely mock it.

I just surrendered to Siva garu's vision. He took care of 90% of what I had to do in front of the camera. The character is strongly written. I had to understand the character and give the takes.

My character is not full-fledged in 'Acharya'. It's there for a very good part of the second half. I and my father doing a full-fledged film has to happen naturally. It can't be planned.

There won't be an immediate release of 'Acharya' in Hindi. The director wanted it to be a South Indian movie from the beginning. Dubbing works and all are difficult to be completed in a short time. I want to dub my character in Hindi. Now that 'RRR' became a hit in Hindi, we can plan a Hindi release of 'Acharya' after some time.

Niranjan Reddy has been a great producer. My line producers have been of great help. It's because of their support that I could complete 'RRR' and 'Acharya' simultaneously. Initially, 'Acharya' was supposed to be produced exclusively by me. But it was not possible due to time constraints. I have had to focus on acting assignments as well. That's why Niranjan Reddy joined us.

I and my father haven't charged a single rupee to do 'Acharya'. The budget has to be spent on the film. That's our aim. I have no time to do exclusive productions due to my acting commitments. Pawan Kalyan garu has the intention to be a producer if he finds someone who can execute the project for him.

Pooja Hegde did a special song in 'Rangasthalam'. She is paired up with me in 'Acharya'. She is one of the busiest actors. I haven't watched the final edit of 'Acharya'. I don't know about Kajal Aggarwal's character's length in the movie.

On his 15th movie: Shankar garu is full of josh. We have shot RC15 for 60 days. Three looks have come out due to leaks already.

On his 16th movie: Gowtam Tinnanuri's film will happen after Shankar garu's movie. I didn't give him any genre. I asked him not to give me options. I left it to him. 'Jersey' was a gripping drama although it was an emotional story that revolves around three characters (father, mother, son). I gave Gowtam the freedom to do what he wants.

I have no plans to do a straight Bollywood film. If something exciting comes, I will go for it. I don't believe in doing things by design. When a director comes to me, I ask him to go by his conviction. I don't ask him to give me a love story, or an action film. Till date, 'Orange' is among my most favourites. I didn't do a light-hearted film after an actioner like 'Magadheera'.

The appreciation that 'RRR' has received is overwhelming. Till now, I am just happy that the movie was completed successfully despite the pandemic and got released in theatres.

It's a proud feeling that we are actively doing films at a time when southern films are doing great across the country. For decades, southern industries were looked down upon in Mumbai and primacy was accorded to Bollywood stars.

I undertake Ayyappa mala twice a year. It's usually in March and at the end of the year. This time, I have done it after the release of 'RRR'. I haven't influenced Tarak in any manner (to undertake Hanuman Deeksha). He had been planning to do so for many years.

Updated on April 24, 2022
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