Sreenu Vaitla's road to recovery
With the release of Amar Akbar Anthony (AAA) around the corner, the director gets candid about the film, his Bollywood plans and more
The last three films of director Sreenu Vaitla's career didn't do as well as expected, but the failure hasn't deterred him. Instead, he says he has introspected and penned a script keeping his past mistakes in mind. “I analysed and tried to understand my merits and demerits. I took an eight-month sabbatical after Mister, roped in newer talent and wrote the script of Amar Akbar Anthony (AAA) right down to the last detail, before narrating it to Ravi Teja. I gave my everything to make AAA an exciting project and I’m confident of hitting the right note this time around,” says Vaitla.
The director insists that AAA is a tailor-made script for Ravi Teja. “He is a close friend of mine and has always been my trouble-shooter. He came to my rescue on two occasions when I was low on confidence and was delivering flops. His role in this film was written keeping him in mind. The moment he listened to the story, he instantly gave his nod. I have tapped into his full potential and it's going to be a feast to see him in action.”
Vaitla says he has taken special care for the film. “It was predominantly shot in the US and we braved extreme weather conditions during the process. People expect a certain kind of entertainment from my films, and it's not easy to blend comedy into a story that is completely different from what I've done so far. It’s a script that had me integrating every commercial aspect of filmmaking. I believe the audience will be thrilled to bits seeing how this drama unfolds,” explains the director.
How did Ileana came on board? “After completing the scripting process, I thought Ileana would be apt to play the female lead’s part. But my producers and several others said she has moved away from Telugu cinema. So we had another actor as part of the film. But at the last minute, she had to back out of the project due to some reasons. We then approached Ileana, and without any hesitation, she instantly agreed to work in the film.”
About the title, Vaitla elaborates, “The title of the film is meant to be powerful, simple and should reflect the story. As the film shows Ravi Teja in three different characters, we have chosen Amar Akbar Anthony, since he likes Amitabh Bachchan. And as expected, it has received a positive feedback from everyone.”
On his Bollywood plans, the director says, “I have been longing to direct a Hindi film for a while now. After Dhee, Shatrughan Sinha came forward with a lucrative offer and gave the token advance, but things never worked out. I have retained the remake rights of AAA with me and if the film turns out to be successful, I will remake it in Hindi.”