Sarath Babu is a veteran of south Indian films with over 220 films in his career. He is the only actor busy with films but still finds time to dabble in mega serials on small screen. The actor is busy shuttling between Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and now Mumbai and London for film shoots.In this interview the all rounder of cinema speaks
Tell us about your debut in Hindi?
The entire process of selecting the stars for the movie happened accidentally. To my knowledge the producers Siddhi Vinayaka Films planned the films with Amithabh Bachchan and Salman Khan playing father and son. May be the budget constraints or date hassle made the producers to look out for other actors who can do justice to the story. It is about two generations. Since Suresh Krishna is the director he thought I can fit into the father’s character. Sanjay Khan’s son Zayed Khan plays the title role of “Rocky.’ I and Smitha Jayakar play his parents. The theme is very interesting. It is not one of those NRI love stories. Due to a problem we face our family is forced to leave India and settle in London. The theme oscillates between Mumbai and London.
Are you going to dub in your voice for the film?
I have acted earlier in a Telugu-Hindi bilingual, Criminal directed by Mahesh Bhatt. It was a rewarding and learning experience working with a genius like Mahesh Bhatt but Rocky is my first straight film in Hindi. I would like to dub my dialogues in Hindi if the producers are willing. Be it in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada or Malayalam I dub myself. I strongly feel that cent per cent justification to the character can be achieved only when an actor dubs his dialogue himself.
Looking back, what do you feel?
I am one of the happiest actors in India as I worked with some of the great directors – K. Balachander, K. Viswanath, Bharathiraja, Balu Mahendra, Bapu and Mahendran at an early stage in my career. I felt I am on the right track. Thanks to these veterans I could
portray offbeat roles too. Fortunately the Tamil and Kannada audience too owned me. When I look back I have the satisfaction of at least 40 good films to my credit. It is a big treasure. Tell me which other actor could dance with the heroine, frighten her with
his villainy, or act as a comic-villain, play an understanding dad in so many language films and be around for so many years?
You have also acted with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalithaa. Please comment
I was her hero in her last movie, Nadiye Thedia Kadal which was a hit.
Tell us about your inimitable acting style?
I believe that natural performance is better than over acting. On screen the character should be present and not the artiste. If I say ‘look I am acting,’ then I am not justifying the role. Initially I had to face some problem as some directors asked me to pump in a little bit of ‘over’ acting. Once the audience started accepting my style, then the directors too adjusted to it and supported me.
What is your next film in Telugu?
In Telugu I have completed work on the offbeat film Vuri with the Malayalam actor Thilakan for company and also as Bhadrudu in K. Raghavendra Rao’s mythological Sri Ramadasu.
And this year I may be making my Hollywood debut too. If everything materializes as per plans, I will be flying from London (after completing work for Rocky) to Texas
for an English film to be co-produced by D. Ramanaidu. I am the only Indian actor in it.
How do you find time to do serials on small screen?
I do an occasional serial as the popularity that an actor gets from small screen is seen to be believed. I had even produced and directed a serial, Gandharva Malatheeyam that won the Nandi award for the best director. Currently I am working on a script based on a real incident. Call it a cross over film. It will be my debut as a director. Once I complete my present assignments, I will launch the movie.