Second to none
In focus It may be Rajni’s film but Jagapati Babu scores high with ‘Kathanayakudu’, writes Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY
Success time Rajnikanth and Jagapati Babu in ‘Kathanayakudu’
Jagapati Babu has never attempted to join the superstar club, he’s always been content with his films and also unafraid to be different. His films might have failed at the box office but he has never gone unappreciated; the audience lapped up h
is work be it in Samanyudu, Pellaina Kotthalo or Suswgatham and today he is all over the box office with three films getting ready for release.
What is the reason for the actor’s success? He explores different roles and at the same time keeps reinventing himself. He’s made lasting impressions with frequent guest appearances and still has no qualms doing it. “Big or small, it doesn’t matter, the role should excite me. Even while doing Antahpuram, people asked me as to why I’m doing a cameo but looking back I’m gratified that I pulled it off,” he tells MetroPlus.
For someone who just wanted to see himself on screen at least once, Jagapati Babu has left an indelible mark in nearly 80 films and bagged a few Nandis as well. It might be raining exciting films for him now but the actor projects an air of relaxed confidence.
The Rajni effect
Kathanayakudu has Jagapati Babu speaking less. It’s his eyes that do the talking and the role pushes him to deliver his best. He says he’d done Kathanayakudu without seeing the original and the scene wherein Rajni slaps him is the most favourite moment in the film. Jagapati recollects the warm compliments that the super star heaped on him. “I want to work with you again,” Rajni told him on the last day of the shooting. Jagapati says, “I’m usually known as a humble person but after my meeting with Rajni, I’m being constantly fired from within to better myself. He’s had a calming effect on me.”
Jagapati Babu’s popularity comes from his humility. Dasarath, his director, terms the actor as a lovable soul, a gentleman and coming from a family of producers he feels the actor is aware of the problems of the technicians. He adds, “We had to put up a set of a collapsed bridge on a river bank for Suswagatham and the road got thoroughly spoilt. Jagapati Babu spoke to the engineers, stayed up long hours in the night till the problem was rectified and reported on time for the shooting next day. He sees to it that everyone is comfortable and happy. This quality stretches the longevity of an actor’s career.”
The actor who is likened to Shoban Babu for his penchant for family and two-heroine subjects has formed a connection with the audiences over the years and women particular are fond of him.
Jagapati says he found Aamani’s work in Subhalagnam awesome and even asked the director to prolong her role. He cites Chilakottudu as one film he would love to forget, “I knew I was doing a stupid job, the role didn’t suit me at all.”
Jagapati is upbeat about Homam, a cop-criminal story directed by J.D. Chekravarty. It has Jagapati hardly smiling or talking and one might see him come up with lot of callisthenics. There is Raksha with Kalyani that deals with blackmagic and another one that is being directed by Jonnalagadda Srinivas Rao.
While Jagapati chooses to remain mum about details, his fans expect the movie to bear his signature.
Watch this space.
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