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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ram Charan Mumbai Mirror Interview

Zanjeer re-imagined, not remade: Ram Charan

Despite the controversies dogging it, Ram Charan pins his hopes on his ambitious Hindi debut
Roshmila Bhattacharya (MUMBAI MIRROR; February 18, 2013)

With just five films to his credit, he has established himself as one
of the most keenly followed stars of Telugu cinema. Ram Charan, son of
actor-politician Chiranjeevi, is now all set to make his presence felt
in Hindi cinema. Even as he gears up for Apoorva Lakhia’s remake of
Amitabh Bachchan’s Zanjeer, he has been inadvertently drawn into the
controversy over royalty due to the original scriptwriters, Salim Khan
and Javed Akhtar. However, the 27-year-old is confident the new Zanjeer
will keep its date with the slated May 10 release. Excerpts from an
The Zanjeer remake is scheduled to hit theatres on May 10. But with all the issues around it, will it keep the deadline?Hopefully yes.
But the scriptwriters of the 1973
film, Salim-Javed, have said they won’t allow the remake to release till
they get paid Rs 6crore as compensation.
Yes. This is an issue. Salim Saab and Javed Saab have been in the
film industry for a long time and they both know what they’re doing. The
good news is the shooting hasn’t stopped. We’ve been filming in Mumbai
peacefully, and I’m sure they will soon sit down with producers Amit
Mehra and Reliance Entertainment and resolve the issue. We are on
schedule and both the Hindi and Telugu versions will open on the same
What was your reaction to Lakhia’s offer to play the iconic Inspector Vijay in his remake?My first reaction was, “Apoorva, are you mad? You want me to step
into Amitabh Bachchan’s shoes?” Later, I heard the script and realised
it wasn’t a Zanjeer remake, but Zanjeer re-imagined. Any actor after
hearing the script would have given his nod. Apoorva is a great action
director and currently, action fever is on.
If this works, will it be adieu to Telugu films?No way. Telugu films will always come first.
Will we see you in a Hindi remake of your recent Telugu film Nayak?I will never act in a remake of my own film. I want to move on and not revisit the past.
Have you seen the original Zanjeer?Yes, long ago. I remember it brought the ‘angry young man’ to the Hindi screen, one Amit-ji portrayed so well.
Is there any scene in particular that comes to your mind?When Sher Khan, played by Pran, visits the police station and Amit-ji kicks the chair.
Is there a similar scene in the remake?I don’t know if I’m allowed to reveal any details. Let me just say
that a few scenes have been maintained as a tribute to the original film
but the rest of the film has its own charm.
Bachchan Sr gave you his blessings. Did he also give you any advice on how to portray Inspector Vijay?Amit-ji met me during the first schedule and told me he was really
happy I am playing Inspector Vijay. But he never gives any tips. He
likes actors to reprise characters in their own way.
Are you an ‘angry young man’ in real life?(Smiles) I have a short temper, but it’s not scary.
What makes Zanjeer unforgettable for you?The police uniform makes you feel responsible and patriotic. I would never fool around when in uniform. You have to respect it.
Sanjay Dutt, who was to play Sher
Khan initially, later dropped out. Next, Arjun Rampal stepped in and
walked out with Sanjay eventually
returning to the fold. Hasn’t all this been unnerving for you?No. Sanjay Dutt was convinced about the role from day one but it was
difficult to work things out logistically. But he was destined to do
the role and has taken it to another level. Our scenes are amazing.
There’s no match for Dutt Saab.
Co-star Priyanka Chopra is also now a pop star. Has she been giving you singing lessons?Priyanka is a really good, professional actress, who complements me
on screen. I’m not a singer, so no lessons. We’re both struggling with
alien tongues: she – with Telugu, and me – with Hindi though I can speak
a little in Hindi.
Your dad, Telugu superstar
Chiranjeevi, is the Union Minister of State (independent charge),
Ministry of Tourism. Do you have plans to get into politics as well?
No. No politics for me.


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