Glance at Sudheer Babu’s Twitter handle these days and you will notice his workout videos and an array of weapons on display. His director Mohana Krishna Indraganti says the actor has always been working out and has been fit but for his new film titled V, Sudheer is playing a police officer for which he required a certain look.
Indraganti had written the story some time back and had been waiting for the right combination of actors and producer; when things fell in place he announced the film. “Gentleman (2016) had shades of an action film but V is a proper action thriller. Cop stories are generally dramatic but here I took very few aesthetic liberties and kept the film as realistic as possible. Be it the inter-departmental discussions, certain protocols that are followed… all have been shot and shown to a few cops and they were happy with it. They never had a problem as there was hardly any filmi interpretations. There is an elaborate action sequence for which Sudheer has been putting extra effort,” says the director.
Sudheer reluctantly reveals, “I play a super cop, I get a lot of medals and all of a sudden I come across a man who challenges me. He is Nani, playing the negative lead. I portrayed a cop character in Mosagallaki Mosagadu, but in that film I was a thief who dresses up as a cop. There was a small scene in Veerabhoga Vasantarayulu. It didn’t work for me. V has a very interesting character that I am working on. Nani was already a part of the film before I was signed. Even if they had given me an option, I would have done this role; it suits me better.”
Having worked with both Nani and Sudheer earlier, Indraganti says he gets comfortable working with his artistes and doesn’t mind repeating them. He has done that umpteen times before. The intention behind the title V will be released through a teaser later this month. The director recently lost his father, acclaimed Telugu writer Indraganti Srikanth Sharma and the shooting of the film was kept on hold for a brief period.
Indraganti never wanted Sudheer to bulk up like he did for his maiden Hindi movie, Baaghi. He showed him the picture of Brad Pitt in a particular film and wanted such a lean and agile look. The fight scenes should look credible and for that he shed some weight. The climax scene had to be shot in Thailand and the team worked for 25 days, for a few other scenes as well.
Prod him to say something about Nani’s role in V, and Sudheer says Nani will surprise the viewers. He says, “When I did Baaghi, Nani messaged me on Twitter that he would like to try a villain’s role some day. I said it won’t suit him and he should continue doing soft hero kind of roles. It was a lighthearted banter but Nani did it with V and has pulled it off.”
After this film, Sudheer will move to work on the Pullela Gopichand biopic from Novemeber 1. He has also been fine-tuning his badminton practise. The bigger challenge he says, “is capturing the soul of Gopichand, as a person and as a player in the past 20 years.”
The buzz around the biopic will help make the film bigger, feels Sudheer. The badminton portions will be shot later and mostly in Hyderabad. Right now Sudheer is focusing on getting leaner. He wraps up the chat saying, “It’s easier to lose weight than gain muscle. Sometimes even if you look lean, you don’t look correct. If you follow the sport, you can spot the difference. The lower body should be bigger and I have to be on a different diet. Badminton players have bigger calf muscles and quadriceps. They have leaner upper body.”