Netflix’s first original Telugu Pitta Kathalu makes a lot of noise. The anthology is ready for premieres on February 19. Meanwhile, the team of one of the stories in this anthology ‘Ramula’ had a chill session with Akkineni Naga Chaitanya at a video conference.
Chay watched the stories and is excited enough to ask all the curious questions about how it happened as the team of Manchu Lakshmi, Tharun Bhascker, Abhay Bethaganti (Naveen Kumar) and Saanve released their fun experiences and behind-the-scenes secrets. Watch the exclusive video from Gulte.com and here’s the clip of the conversation.
Chay: Tharun, how did it happen? The ‘Pelli Choopulu, Ee Nagaraniki, and then this whole genre shift, where did that inspiration come from?
Tharun: No sir, even we discussed a few things so I deliberately wanted to change the genre, Chay. Since it’s the start of my career, I wanted to do as many experiments as possible and see if we can get better at different things. So for me my main thing was to just escape from comedy and explore dark humor and probably something more serious too and see where it leads me. Otherwise, I knew I would put myself in a box and say only romcoms or comedy and this thing will really tire me out later I felt.
So if OTTs fail, where else? I thought this was a great platform
Chay: So it was a challenge, did you have to write differently for OTT? Is it different from writing in front of a big screen?
Tharun: 100 percent, I mean, it’s very different because for a two-hour movie, we have these formats, right? (Manchu Lakshmi prompts) Interval bang, second half, Pre-climax, and it happens. So if all of a sudden it takes half an hour, what can you talk about? These are the conversations we have every time we drink coffee or chat with friends. And we’re talking about something that happened back somewhere. Sometimes those stories lasted only twenty minutes or thirty minutes or whatever …
Chay: And you feel creatively that you have a lot more freedom of speech here?
Tharun: Yes, I think so, and I also think it has always been a challenge for me.
Chay: Lakshmi, do you think it’s the same for actors? we can, you know, sort of … experiment and do stuff on OTT that we can’t do on film?
Manchu Lakshmi: Absolutely! I think so, not that especially this script had any of those elements that we couldn’t have done in a regular theatrical movie, but it’s a feeling, I can be whatever, there’s no boss, no boundaries.
Tharun: That’s one thing I wanted to ask actors too, Chay … What would actors have, if you were unsure about getting to a 15 minute thing like YouTube or some other platform, how would you guys take a call? ? Now that you’re used to that big screen, what’s going on in your mind?
Chay: I’ve always wanted to try different things. There are so many things in my head that I want to express but I am always afraid of the screen because we are so used to this format and there are so many permutations and combinations, will it work or not, but just like how did you say is so much more creative freedom if you don’t have those rules and that’s what you’re doing now. So. I am definitely curious and I definitely want to try that too. Somehow we have to balance it.
Chay: How did that Telangana accent go in the beginning? (the team laughs before Chay answers his question) I saw you on the screen and the look, and the Telangana accent was too good, it blew my mind, how did that work?
Manchu Lakshmi: Oh! Thank you. I think the 100 percent credit goes to Latha for my appearance, because we took two or three test shots. She wanted me to look older, the sunglasses, the jewelry and where to put my bindi, I had turmeric here and every little thing was meticulously taken care of. And for the accent, I had Sanjay in my ear because it was a synchronized sound dude!
I was like, we’ll see in dubbing, but was told this is the dubbing itself!
Chay: So, Saanve, I love looking at you now at what I saw yesterday, what a transformation! Great, how did this trip go?
Saanve: Oh, it was beautiful, I think, it’s just the right time, the right place and the right person.
Chay: What match fixing did you do, Saanve?
Saanve: I was amazed when he called me back. (Tharun: She didn’t believe it). I believed it on the first day of the shoot that I was in this movie.
Tharun (pointing to Abhay and Saanve): She really hit him, because we were the sound guys, we want the sound of the slipper. So Abhay faced it.
Chay: Oh God!
Abhay: She hit me so hard with the slipper and it rang again. I didn’t understand what was happening for two minutes. Meanwhile, Sajay gestured that it was perfect.
Chay: So Abhay, I heard Tharun didn’t cast you initially? Did you audition alone then?
Abhay: After Pelli Choopulu, I went for Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi, but he said he went with freshmen. When he said again that he’s going with freshmen for Ramula, I asked him why I wasn’t testing myself. I asked him to audition first and if I don’t fit you can go for someone else. He gave me that Bullet bike theater scene for an audition and then he got convinced.
Chay: So Lakshmi, how did you prepare? Your character is quite complex. There is also a gray shade in it … a reference?
Manchu Lakshmi: Oh, of course, there are some bad people out there dude (laughs). I’ve never really approached Swaroopa Akka as a woman who does this, as someone who wants to get through in life, and then these people come up to her. So to her they are just men. And really channeling that, and it was so liberating to me because of the subtext, that’s not what I said. I said very few words. But I was brewing inside, it was just incredible. (Tharun: It came out like this)
Chay: Because the line is really very little, but actions, the small gestures that you encounter so well.
The movie just made me think about how he gets caught up in someone else’s agenda, through no fault of our own and how life runs from there in a circle … I think you did a really good job Tharun. And I’m so glad it’s on this platform and it’s going to get a lot of exposure, your content people from all over the world will be watching it and I’m really happy about that. I can’t wait for everyone to watch it. You guys are awesome.
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