By Team Bollyy
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Says VISHNU MANCHU to senior journalist JYOTHI VENKATESH in this exclusive interview to bollyy.com and Mayapuri


Around 30 years ago, I had the good fortune of flying down all the way from Mumbai to Chennai to meet and interview the Telugu super star Mohan Babu on the sets of his Telugu film. Hence when the pr person Naseembhai invited me to interview Mohan Babu’s son Vishnu Manchu at SOBO House in Juhu, I grabbed the opportunity with both my hands. Over a sumptuous lunch, I spoke to Vishnu at length though I had to wait for almost an hour for him to call me, apparently because there was a communication gap.

Over to Vishnu Manchu

In what way do you think that you are different from your father Mohan Babu?

You ought to know because you had interviewed my father in Chennai 30years ago but let me tell you frankly that I am just a poor cut of a great superstar like my father, probably just about 10 percent of what he actually is stature-wise and my ardent request to you is to please not compare me with him.

Okay. Right at the outset, let me ask you what the film Ginnabhai is all about?

The film Ginnabhai is all about a guy who is called Gaali Nagehswara Rao and the film has absolutely nothing to do with Jinnah of Pakistan. Ginna is just a kind of a nickname of some Telugu boys in general. I am a prankster in my real life and I play a character in Ginnabhai which is very near to me in real life

How have you set out to interpret your character in the film?
Every character, I feel, is different and has its own individual mannerisms. I have spoken in a different slang in Telugu to get my accent right.

What is the strength of the film?
My strength has always been action comedies till date. The film Ginnabhai is in the genre of films like Chandramukhi minus its horror elements, though it is not at all a horror or a thriller movie.

What made you get into films as an actor in the first place? In what way was your dad Mohan Babu instrumental?

Yes. It is 100 percent true that it was dad’s influence that prodded me to try my hands at acting like him. In my childhood, I have seen his fans in thousands coming forward to meet him in our house just because they were considering him as their matinee idol. For me the kin of fame and adulation that my dad received was more than anything else in life. I wanted to get the same kind of high with people when they come to me to seek to click a selfie with me too as an actor.

Was it very easy for you to get an entry in films since your father is a star as well as a producer?

Whatever I am today in the film industry is entirely due to my dad. Respecting a woman and enforcing discipline are what I have learned from my dad. I was the ugly duckling in the family and I am well aware of the fact that there are far more handsome actors in the industry. I used to make it a point to observe my dad at work on the sets of his films in Hyderabad.

Is it true that you had also gone to New York to learn acting as such?

Yes. I did go to New York to learn all about acting but frankly, more than acting, I wanted to be able to discover what I was as an actor at that point of time.

What did you learn as an actor?
In our family, besides our dad, my brother Manoj Babu and my sister Lakshmi Manchu are also into acting. I learnt that you come to see me as an actor only when you are ready to believe my lies as an actor.

How many films do you have to your credit as an actor? Are you frankly happy with the way your career has progressed as an actor till date?

I have acted till date in 19 films. In fact, after I made my debut as an actor with the film Vishnu, Ginnabhai is my 19th film in my career. To tell you the truth, I consider myself just a player in the film industry and my quest is to be at least in the first five players in the field, though right now, I am not.

In what way do you think you have grown over the years as an actor?

In my career, I have always experimented with the kind of roles that I have played till date. My dad’s strength was entirely different. The audiences have changed over the years. I’d rather work on my strengths as an actor not weaknesses.

OK. What exactly is your weakness as an actor?

My weakness is to go far away from what my strength is actually. I realize that I should play to the gallery and give my audiences what they want. I believe that I got the talent to work in 20:20 matches.

What is the reason that unlike Vijay Devarakonda or for that matter Allu Arjun, you are yet to act in a Hindi film?

Why would I want to try my hand at acting in a straight Hindi film when I am very comfortable in Telugu films as of now? Why should I think of moving away from my own comfort zone? And In any case, I do not think that till date both Vijay and Allu have acted in a straight Hindi film. I also am making my debut with the dubbed Hindi version of my Telugu film Ginnabhai

In what way is the scenario different after the film Baahubali was released?

Probably, before Baahubali, no one wanted to experiment with a subject that would be palatable to the PAN India audiences. Ginnabhai is a subject that would appeal to audiences all over the world.

How confident are you that Ginnabhai will be a super duper hit?

Frankly, each and every actor worth his salt will always believe that his film will be a superhot, whether it is Vijay Devarakonda or for that matter me. If only an actor says that he is not tense before the release of his film, he is lying through his teeth.

Do you also have plans to become a director?
Every actor thinks that he can be a good director but I do not think that I know the ABC of direction. I feel that the director is actually the captain of the shop and knows how to make an ordinary script into an extraordinary one

Which are your five personal favorites from among your films till date?
Anukshanam directed by Ramgopal Verma reinforced my name as a respectable actor while Rowdy also directed by Ramgopal Verma with my dad and I was a favorite film of mine. Also D, Denikaina Ready and Doosukeltha are my favorites.

Who is in your list of favorite filmmakers?
Rajkumar Hirani, Madhur Bhandarkar and Rohit Shetty are among my favorite filmmakers.

Finally, do you feel threatened by any actor?
Every Friday, a new movie can be a big threat to an actor. We actors are like phoenixes and our fate changes every Friday with a new release.

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