Model-turned-actor Dino Morea, who is in his late 40s, comes from a mixed ethnic background. His father and mother, respectively, come from Italian and Indian national backgrounds. It was in the year 2002 that Dino shot to fame with the Hindi-language horror film 'Raaz'. Since then, he has held his ground in the challenging Hindi film industry.
This Friday (April 28), Dino will be seen in his first prominent South Indian release in several years. The macho actor will lock horns with Akhil Akkineni's Rikki in the spy actioner produced on a lavish scale.
Although there are three spies (played by Dino, Akhil and Mammootty) in the movie, 'Agent' is completely different from 'Pathaan' (Hindi), says Dino, adding that the cat-and-mouse chase in 'Agent' is thrilling.
In 'Agent', I play a spy who works for RAW. He goes rogue and rails against the system because it betrays him. He wants to avenge the betrayal. He is highly trained and comes with vast experience. Mahadev (Mammootty) is his former guru. He is strong, tough, evil. And my look reflects his insanity and madness. Director Surender Reddy came up with some really crazy ideas. I left everything to him. He knows the Telugu film audience best.
While I had my understanding of the character, the director wanted me to heighten the drama and emotion. When I listened to the script for the first time, I knew it was a negative role. The story was really interesting. He (my character) is not a regular villain because he is a formerly well-meaning agent who goes rogue. He calls himself God and is unhinged. That's why the director wanted me to be loud and maximalist.
It was a challenge because I had to share screen space with Mammootty, who is a fantastic actor. He hasn't aged at all. His skin, hair are so fresh. He is 65+ and yet looks so damn cool. He takes care of himself. Cinema is a visual medium. An actor has to maintain good looks.
We shot in Budapest as well as in Hyderabad. Shooting for action scenes in the deserts of Muscat was crazy. The temperature was 40 degrees. I had to wear a leather jacket and another layer of costume. I was sweating horribly and yet had to look good and calm and composed! Then, you have to give retakes and wait for 20 minutes before each fresh shot. At the end of the day, after all the sweat and toil, 'Agent' is ready as a superb product.
I don't have any scenes with Sakshi Vaidya, but I sense that she has got the face of a star. She will go a long way.
We have pre-release promotional events in Hindi, but the degree of fan loyalty and crowd enthusiasm is something in Telugu. Nagarjuna sir's fans attend Akhil's events. You have fan clubs. In Bollywood, there is nothing of that sort. The love for cinema is crazy in Telugu.
This is my Telugu debut. I have to catch up with the language so I enjoy doing more and more films in Telugu. I only look at the story. Then, my character has to be interesting. The project must look fantastic besides the story. Sometimes, the story is good but the director/production house is not exciting.
I have done movies as a romantic hero, a negative role, action movies, so on and so forth. It has been a great journey. Sometime in the early 2010s, I started saying no to a number of movies. The scripts that were coming to me were not gratifying. For 3-4 years, it became very tough as offers dried up. I kept working on myself, as I knew someday I would land a nice offer. Then, good films started coming my way. I was no more sweet-looking on the big screen. I know how to judge a script today. If a script is bad, I call it rubbish.
I am good friends with Ram Charan. He was too young when I first met him many years ago. He has become fitter and big. He feels I am looking fantastic.
I am going to debut in Malayalam in a film titled 'Bandra'. I am unreasonable and ruthless in it. I can speak Tamil and a bit of Malayalam. Even though I grew up in Bengaluru, my Kannada is weak. After 'Agent', I hope offers are going to come my way from Tollywood. I had no offers from Telugu cinema till 'Agent'.
We in Bollywood don't discuss Nepotism. It's an irrelevant issue. It's others who make an issue of it. It's unnecessary. Talent will speak for itself. It's not a big deal. I have no film background. I come from nothing. I took a train from Bengaluru to Mumbai. Am I complaining? I never complained about those star kids landing offers. If my kid wants to act, I will help him. Look at the greatest examples like Amitabh Bachchan, Chiranjeevi, SRK, and Rajinikanth. Why are we having this discussion? The audience will decide it.
I don't want big awards. I just want to do good films that the audience would like to watch across languages.