Exclusive : Naresh Interview

Actor Naresh Vijaya Krishna has always been in good space. Right from being a child artiste to being a television actor to a hero and his gradual and smooth transition to being a character artiste is a notable aspect of his film career. There was never a stumbling block in his journey; there have been many talented and distinguished character artists but Naresh had his own films, there were characters that only he could do justice to. He has never been a man in a hurry, grabbing everything that came his way. He always chose roles that excited him, be it a small budget film or some tiny role that would create a great impact. Naresh had never been behind money too which is why he is a filmmakers favourite. Right now, he is in the news for his endearing act in Ante Sundariniki.

He speaks to Klapboardpost.com about his meeting with Vijayendra Saraswathi and also about his work in the just released Vivek Athreya’s Ante Sundaraniki. Excerpts from the conversation:

On Hindu culture: It has always been there in our Hindu culture that certain conditions have to be followed for crossing the seven seas by traditional Brahmin families. Let us take it as a story and a concept that covers the entire subject. There are inter religion marriages happening everywhere, we are in a transformation stage. We are in a progressive society now and such practices are extinct. It was a great honour that I got to visit Vijayendra Saraswathi, Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and spoke my mind to him. He listened to me patiently for forty minutes. Purohits in the country are dwindling and we spoke about restoration and protection of ancient temples and structures and establishing more veda patasalas. Purohits are not getting married. What they do in the temples is not a permanent job, they are like us..actors. They don’t have a standard lifestyle. Brahmins is an intellectual race, their attire is different and girls are refusing to marry them. I have adopted a temple in Rajahmundry, we are in need of 35 purohits but not more than 10 are available which speaks about the sorry state of affairs in the State and the country.

I suddenly realised a lot of people were waiting to talk to Jagadguru but he extended my time for some more minutes. I was also talking of adopting temples in dalitwadas where major conversions are taking place. I suggested that women can and should be invited to purohit pathshalas and veda patasalas so the culture connects. The decisions have to be taken by elders.

Temples should be weaned away from government control: The craze in Hyderabad for purohityam is going away and there is a possibility in the future that temples might be shut. The temples should come out of government control and should go to private parties. All the funds coming from these temples are spent by the respective governments countrywide and are being spent for other religions and other welfare purposes. This has to be removed. A purohit has to be given a good life, the government should encourage our culture. The temples have their own lands, and the kings previously would take care and maintain and later on the lands were grabbed. This is a Hindu country and day by day we are becoming a minority and the central government has to pass a resolution that the temples should be removed from the control of the governments because of misuse of funds. Take this film as any other film, this is just a point to tell a nice love story. Even now the tongue being scarred with an incense stick is being practised by certain Brahmin families for crossing the seas. The credit goes to Vivek Athreya..the canvas is created by writer director. This is part of the script and has been narrated beautifully.

Laudable pont in the story: “There is a good point here, many people are hiding and getting married. Today family courts are growing, divorce too and the concept of having separate bedrooms for wife and husband is growing. Living relationships are legal and slowly marriages will dwindle. This film is an honest depiction of marriages in Indian society. We are growing in a broader perspective and have legalised same sex marriages. There is space for respecting personal freedom. In this story, the elder sister says she is considered a delivery wagon and that she is not respected if she is not pregnant. The hero of the story says it is okay if his love interest is not pregnant. I attribute the success of the story to Vivek. After Jandhyala, Trivikram… we have Vivek Athreya. We are all so thrilled to be part of a film where there is just not entertainment but also values. This also opens a page in ancient hindu culture.

A modern Srivariki Premalekha: After A Aa, I have got a great fan following from girls as a father. The highlight of Antey is that he created a new screenplay. It is like a sangeetha vibhavari, the entire music is composed so well that you can’t enjoy the songs separately. Also on the father-son relationships, ..twenty years back, fathers were institutions of fear and respect. In my childhood I rebelled like Nani. It was a time of patriarchy and now the entire concept is changed. The thrill about it is, I saw the film in Prasads and none knew that myself, Nani and Nazriya were watching the film silently from behind. After the show, the people gave a standing ovation, they have absorbed the film, they loved the complicated screenplay, the music, the characters all got connected. It is like a Sreevariki Premalekha of modern times. There are so many good scenes but there is one in which my mother gives me a cheque to buy a car for my son. I didn’t use glycerine, I cried naturally. These things connect to a larger audience. Many people wouldn’t know of Tadasthu Devathalu, my granny believed in it. Veivek Athreya is a treasure chest of creativity and this is Nani’s and mine best performance to date.

My favourite scenes: The society through theatre, through dramas, have projected man as the head of the house but we had many women in that place.The wife and hubby’s intimacy could be different through different periods in the society but a woman has a power in the bedroom which hasn’t been told or dealt here. I am a method actor which is why people are not bored with me. Another favourite scene is wherein when the families meet in the restaurant..the conversation and confusion happens. Two people are thinking two different things..mee ammayi chala goppa pani chesindhi one says and the other is baffled, perplexed. Generally actors don’t laugh when doing the scene, it took me several takes for me to control my laughter and come into my character. It was very difficult to perform, because I couldn’t control my emotions. After the MAA elections, this was the only moment I have been getting so many calls worldwide. The content driven films have come into vogue after Corona. Certain big films didn’t have collections on the first day but small content driven films are having a field day at the theatres. ..Y.Sunita Chowdhary

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