Bellamkonda Sreenivas, who is already an established superstar in the South Indian film industry, is all set to make his Bollywood debut in the film Chatrapathi. Directed by VV Vinayak, it also stars Nushrratt Bharuccha, Sharad Kelkar and Bhagyashree in pivotal roles. The film will hit the silver screens on May 12. The Free Press Journal caught up with Bellamkonda for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
How do you see the change within the regional industries?
It’s a great time for all of us. Audiences have become very smart these days. The Hindi film industry looks up to our industries in a certain way and vice versa. We are in the art form and it’s about making great cinema. Nowadays, food and beverages are much more expensive than movie tickets so the movie should be worth their time and money. I feel, cinema is still on a cheaper side than OTT subscriptions but exhibitors have to slash down the prices.
Being a producer’s son and a fan of single screen theatres, do you believe that OTT has killed the charm of the big screen?
It’s like whenever you are bored eating at home, you go out to the restaurants. I am curious about politics, cricket and cinema. A film should now give audiences a theatrical experience then only people will come to the theatres.
Does SS Rajamouli’s big win at the global platform motivate you as an actor?
The Telugu industry never tried to make a mark somewhere else, we are making our own films. SS Rajamouli sir definitely opened new doors for us. Also, Prashanth Neel with KGF and Sukumar sir with Pushpa: The Rise also contributed a lot too. They paved their own way. With Baahubali, the intention was to cater the whole nation. When I watched Chatrapathi in 2005, it was like euphoria.
Do you believe that South superstars like you are more of satellite TV stars, especially in the northern part of India?
Satellite TV is a big part of our galaxy. There are 80 percent of people who watch films on satellite, whether you accept it or not. Only 20 per cent have other means to watch cinema.
Are you nervous about taking the legacy of Chatrapathi forward?
I should thank my genes and parents that I am blessed with 6.1” of height because of which I think I can take any challenges. I love facing them and believe in making memories to live. For me, success is only limited to Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I have to get up and go to work anyhow. I don’t waste my time competing with others.
How was your experience with the people of Mumbai while promoting Chatrapathi?
Whenever I come to Mumbai, I see so much love. I always wonder how should I pay them back. The only way is to give them a great and entertaining film. My Telugu films that are dubbed in Hindi have done massive business on television.