'My name is a brand in itself'
Just Math Mathalli (While talking) is Sudeep's fourth Kannada directorial venture (after My Autograph, No 73 Shanthinivasa and Veera Madhakari). 'Kichha' Sudeep also plays the lead in the film.
There are talks of remaking the film in Hindi as well.
JMM, that releases this Friday, has been in news for both the right and wrong reasons.
The highs are the soundtracks, Sudeep's directorial capacities, his on screen chemistry with Ramya and an original script. The lows come in the form of a tiff that involved actress Ramya, choreographer of the film and the dancing troupe.
Following this incident, the dance association declared that they would not work with "arrogant" Ramya in any of her projects. The matter was solved only after the actress apologised. However, the last schedule of JMM was shot without her.
Sudeep, who is not bogged down by these incidents, gives a sneak-peak into the romantic film that has been shot in Sakleshpur and Germany among other scenic locales.
How did you come up with the catchy title -- Just Math Mathalli?
It suits the film aptly as I unfold my love story through a conversation that I have with a friend. I play Siddarth in the film. The film progresses after I meet Adi, played by Rajesh, and start narrating my love story.
Tell us more about your character and the film
At this point, I don't want to talk too much about my role. But as the story progresses, it is revealed that I am a singer. JMM is a romantic flick is all I can say. There is a lot of 'feel' factor in the film.
'Munjaane Manjalli is my favourite song in the film'
Songs are a high point in your films and some have gone on to become chart toppers. What do you have to say about Raghu Dixit's music in the movie?
Raghu Dixit is a mind blowing creator. He has understood my concept very well. Though the songs have turned out well, the background scores are the real assets. Raghu may have tasted success with Psycho, but he came sans the Psycho baggage. He was just like a newcomer; he had the same amount of passion that a newcomer would have.
Which is your favourite song from the film?
It has to be Munjaane Manjalli... I connect with the lyrics and love its feel.
You have both directed and acted in the film. How did you manage?
For a director or actor clarity, conviction and passion are the key words. Also when an actor is directing, it becomes necessary to forget that you are an actor and keep aside your ego. It will help to love the film more than yourself!
Image: Ramya and Sudeep
'Actors must realise that the script is bigger than them'
JMM is your first original subject as a director, what were the challenges?
Original films are less difficult. There are always references in the case of remakes. So comparisons are bound to arise. Also there is the question of budget. There are possibilities that we may not be able to match the vast budgets of the originals.
While on the subject, there have been talks suggesting that JMM is inspired by a few other movies, what's your reaction?
Yes, I also heard that some feel it is on the lines of Jab We Met. I'll let the movie do the talking and like always, I will have the last laugh!
Do you miss the leading lady in the promotions?
I can't force anyone to promote my film. Moreover my name is a brand in itself. Also I'm not going to sit and break my head over one particular person. There are lots of people who believe in me as an actor and director. All I'll say is that for some people script and the director don't matter! However, actors must realise that the script is bigger than them.
What are your other Kannada projects?
I'm doing a few films now like Kichha Huccha and a remake of Telugu film Kick.