Balakrishna: NTR biopic fulfilled my long-time desire as an actor

Balakrishna starrer NTR: Kathanayakudu is based on the life and times of late screen icon and political leader NT Rama Rao. The film will hit screens today.
Balakrishna was recently in Bengaluru to promote his upcoming film NTR: Kathanayakudu, which is based on the life and times of his father NT Rama Rao. In the trailer, played for media at the event, the actor looked just like his father.“My father was my god and mentor. I grew up admiring him. And for long, I had the desire to play characters which he did. But, with time, the taste of people also change. I was concerned whether people would watch such movies if they were to be made today. But, NTR: Kathanayakudu and NTR: Mahanayakudu fulfilled my desire to play all the characters played by my father,” he said.

Balakrishna said essaying the role of his father was the easiest job in his career. “I think it is for the first time in the history of cinema, a son is playing his father in a film,” he added. The actor also suggested that Puneeth Rajkumar, the chief guest at the event, should make a film on his father Dr. Rajkumar.

Besides acting in the biopic, he has also turned producer for the film. “I never thought I would be playing my father on the big screen. When this idea was pitched to me, I realized it was my duty as a son to make this film. I launched my own production house and co-produced this movie,” he said.
The NTR biopic was launched by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu last March at a grand event. Director Teja was supposed to helm the project initially. However, he opted out after a few days of production, citing “creative differences.” Later, ace-filmmaker Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, popularly known as Krish, was roped in as the film’s director. The project was then split into two parts.

Balakrishna noted that everything fell in place for the film as it received huge support from everyone. “We shot NTR: Kathanayakudu and NTR: Mahanayakudu in less than 100 days,” he noted.The actor said more than politics, the film is about the relationship between a husband and wife. “My mother was my father’s biggest support. She always stood by him in all of his choices. And Vidya Balan has beautifully played my mother’s role in the movie,” he said.

Vidya is playing NTR’s wife Basavatarakam. It is also her debut in the Telugu film industry. “This is my first Telugu feature film and it is a bonanza for me. I signed up for one but it’s like getting to know you are going to have twins. This is not one but two films,” she said.

Balakrishna also said that south India was providing the blueprint to the rest of the country as to how to make great films. “Producers and actors should dare to make films like KGF, Baahubali, and Gautamiputra Satakarni,” he said.

NTR: Kathanayakudu will release on January 9 and the release date has a historical significance to it. It was on this date in 1983 that NTR was sworn in as the 10th and the first non-Congress Chief Minister of the then undivided Andhra Pradesh.