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Nani talks about Ante Sundaraniki, future films and more

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'Ante Sundaraniki', the June 10th release, is touted to be a unique Vivek Athreya film. Natural Star Nani throws light on the film, the nature of the subject, and more. Catch him also talk about the controversy over his comments on cinema ticket rates, whether he is really working with Mahesh Babu, and more.

I have done entertainers before, but they didn't have the plot points that 'AS' boasts of. Peculiar characters and situations are turned into loud ones in our films. We stereotype characters. But 'AS' doesn't do that. Moreover, it is a light-hearted film with no similarities with films like 'Seethakoka Chilaka'. There is an enjoyable element that we have kept under the wraps for now.

Innocence comes comfortably to me. I don't have to put much effort. Above all, the script needs to have an aura of innocence and simplicity.

Sundar (Nani) is not an ideal guy. He is the worst fellow but we adore his innocence. Even the statutory warning at the start of 'AS' says that the only thing you need to learn from him is his teetotaller habits.

The combination scenes between me and Naresh garu are the best-ever that we have done in our career. They are hilarious! My pairing with Nazirya is also going to be a highlight.

There is a surprise element in the film that I can't talk about. The inter-faith aspect has been revealed but the other component can't be revealed now. You have to watch it on the big screen.

The film is as much Leela Thomas' (Nazriya) story as it is about Sundar. That's why the heroine's name is prominently placed on the film's posters. Nazriya was not our first choice. We wanted someone like her to be cast. After a while, we felt not someone like her but she herself should be cast! She wouldn't have done this film had she not believed that 'AS' gives her the best. Actor Fahadh Faasil, her husband, is excited about the release. He is eagerly waiting to watch the film.

'AS' doesn't stereotype Brahmins. The comedy doesn't mock anybody. Director Vivek himself is a Brahmin. He has depicted the traditions that he has seen since childhood in an authentic, relatable manner.

I like to be a part of future big directors than the present big directors' journeys. I like Vivek's writing and cinematic touch. Gowtam Tinnanuri and Vivek are going to be top directors in the future. I have enjoyed them being a part of my filmography. Vivek has got a voice of his own. He has an originality that is rare.

In 'AS', my character is desperate to migrate to the US. In real life, I never had such desires. I have seen the craze for migrating to the US up close and personal. In 'AS', the element is quirky. Sundar wants to migrate to America even as a child.

Our film has no similarities with the fictional character Barrister Parvatheesam. The logic behind his appearance and behaviour are different. But our film does pay a small tribute to the character.

'AS' is not going to appear on any OTT platform within three weeks of its theatrical release. The reports that have appeared in the media are false.

On tickets pricing issue: Last year, I only opposed sub-par ticket prices and not the logic of too high prices where it is required. Exceptional films like 'RRR' alone deserve high pricing. I am not in favour of surge pricing for all films. I am against extremely low prices, too.

A film is a pan-India flick only if the audience members call it one. It doesn't become one if I call it one. 'Pushpa', both story-wise and nativity-wise, is not relatable to the Bollywood audience. Yet, it became a blockbuster in Hindi because of its content. The status pan-India has to be given to a film by the audience.

When I watched 'Jai Bhim', I felt that my filmography would have done well with such a film. If not me, some thought-provoking Telugu film of that kind should be made by someone.

There is no truth in the rumours that I am part of Superstar Mahesh Babu's 28th film or in Thalapathy Vijay's 66th movie. Neither has Prashanth Neel approached me for any film.

Upcoming movie as an actor: About 20-25% of the production works of 'Dasara' have been completed. Nothing has been finalized with regards to my 30th film.

Upcoming movie as a producer: My sister's directorial 'Meet Cute' will be an OTT release. Adivi Sesh's 'HIT 2' will be released in theatres on July 29.  

Updated on June 6, 2022