'Idhe Maa Katha' will head to theatres on October 2. In this interview, actor Srikanth talks about the film, its premise, why he was enthusiastic about doing it, his role in 'Akhanda', Sai Dharam Tej's accident, his son Roshan's upcoming movie 'Pelli SandaD', and more.
When writer-director Guru Pawan came to me, he said that the film is his dream project. He has travelled widely on a bike. So, he has drawn from his real-life experiences as well. The film is about the journey of four characters from Hyderabad to Ladakh for 3240 km.
My character's name in the film is Mahendra. I seek to meet my old girlfriend, with whom I was in love 25 years ago. There is a reason why I travel to Ladakh only by bike. Bhumika Chawla, who plays a housewife, too, travels by bike for a strong reason. He wants to meet someone and has an unfinished agenda. She wants to fulfil a task for her late father. As for Sumanth Ashwin, he is a free-spirited bike racer who wants to win a race. He doesn't want to be subdued by his parents. Thanya Hope joins them mid way.
'Idhe Maa Katha' is not an easy subject to write. It's a thought-provoking film that can inspire youngsters. It says that you have to show self-determination in life.
It helped that both I and Sumanth Ashwin know bike racing. Fifteen real-life bike racers are part of the cast. It's not easy to ride a bike in terrain like Kulu Manali. We followed the instructions given by trained racers.
The project needed a gutsy producer. It's not an easy thing to shoot a movie in places like Manali with 120 people. Our film explores the challenges faced by racers.
When I was new to the film industry, I used to travel by bike. I had no car and there were days when I rode all the way to Hyderabad from Chennai by bike. I enjoy riding a bike a lot. While shooting for 'Idhe Maa Katha', I got to relive those old days.
More than challenging, doing 'IMK' was an exciting thing. The visuals by C Ram Prasad garu are great. He is working on 'Akhanda', too. The BGM was very important to keep the audience engaged. Director Guru Pawan knows how to portray emotions.
My son Roshan Meka has been busy with 'Pelli SandaD'. I was not planning to launch him as a hero so soon. He has completed a diploma course in acting. He also worked as an assistant under Prabhu Deva. I got a call from K Raghavendra Rao garu, who asked me to take my son to him. He told me he wants to make a 'Pelli Sandadi'-like movie. A lot of new actors have been introduced by him. He is a jovial director. My son is lucky to have landed an opportunity to work with him for his very first movie. There are going to be comparisons between Roshan and me. I think he looks more handsome than me. I believe that his hardworking nature is going to take him places. 'Pelli SandaD' is refreshing and is quite different from the kind of movies that are being made. Women are going to watch it big-time. Many have commented that my son is debuting with an old-style movie. But I don't agree. Raghavendra Rao garu's movies are all-comprehensive. It's difficult to find various commercial ingredients in a single movie.
I have played a villainous role in 'Akhanda'. Its shoot is completed. You will see a new Srikanth in the Balakrishna-starrer. I have never sported a look of the sort you will see in it. Boyapati Srinu garu worked on the look extensively to bring out my menacing, tyrannical characterization. So much so, female audiences might find me disgusting. My look has been kept under the wraps. Balakrishna garu has asked me not to do negative roles after this movie because he doesn't want me to play an underwhelming role. He asked me to be careful with negative roles after 'Akhanda'.
By God's grace, Sai Dharam Tej is safe after the road accident. I have had bike accidents. Sometimes, factors that are not in our control cause a bike accident. I pray that he recovers fast and his film 'Republic' becomes a big hit.