Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad
Varun Sandesh has had a pretty good going in films post his debut film Happy Days.
Barely out of his teens, the actor from the US got to star in the recently released Maro Charitra -- a remake of the original Telugu film Maro Charitra directed by K Balachander starring Kamal Haasan and Sarita.
The new version is directed by Ravi Yadav and produced by Dil Raju. Varun talks about the film and stepping into Kamal Haasan's shoes. Excerpts:
Why did you want to do Maro Charitra?
I heard the story and was impressed with the narration. A movie like Maro Charitra doesn't come often. I thought if I let the opportunity go, it might not come again.
It was a Dil Raju production. I have worked with him before. This film had Ravi Yadav handling the camera and direction and it was an interesting project set in the United States.
'I can't even compare myself with Kamal sir'
The original was such a hit and a classic. Kamal Haasan is such a versatile actor. Weren't you scared of the inevitable comparisons?
The original Maro Charitra is a cult film, a legendary one. People are inspired to see the new one because of the old one. We took the old one and made it contemporary. I can't even compare myself with Kamal sir in terms of performance.
Mine is a different character from what Kamal sir played. My role was about a guy born and brought up in the US who doesn't want to complete his education. He's got a rebel side.
You played a cool NRI in the film. Was it easy or difficult to essay the role?
First of all, I showed the director how the character would be like, his body language etc. I gave him some options and he agreed. There are two variations to the character -- in the first half, he is laid back and chilled out while in the second, he's more subtle. Sketching initially was difficult. After that, I tried my best to stay in the character.
'I love being in front of the camera'
How was Anita as a co-star?
She was good. This is her first film. She is born and brought up in the US and is a good performer.
You must have felt at home during showing as the movie was shot in the US...
I don't mind shooting anywhere. I love being in front of the camera. We shot in different parts of the US -- Las Vegas, Buffalo, New York, Kansas and a bit in Canada too. In all the days we shot I could go home for about a day.
'My dad who is my biggest critic liked my performance'
How do you feel after acting in Maro Charitra?
I am very happy. People have enjoyed the second half. My dad who is my biggest critic liked my performance.
What are your future projects?
I'm doing a film under the Ocean Films banner directed by Sharan with actress Vega. Mani Sharma is scoring the music. It's a youthful, entertaining feel-good film shot against a Vizag backdrop. The film is slated for release in June.