Sukumar has made only five films during his 10-year stint as director. Barring Jagadam, all were resounding successes. With such a track record, Sukumar — a former mathematics lecturer from Kakinada — impressed Mahesh Babu enough for the actor to agree to '1 Nenokkadine'.
“'1' is a very important film for me. It’s my dream project ,” says Sukumar. When he conceived the film three years ago, “I wasn’t sure that Mahesh Babu would do it, although I had written the story keeping Mahesh Babu in mind.”
After '100% Love', Sukumar met Mahesh Babu at a café to narrate the story. “I can visualise a good story, but I am not a good story teller. I may not have narrated well, but I knew that I had conveyed my idea. I was walking on the road, when I got a call from him to say he liked the story.”
To Sukumar, also goes the credit to have Mahesh Babu perform his first full-fledged dance. “When I asked Mahesh Babu that though he is a good dancer, why hadn’t he danced earlier? He answered, that those films actually didn’t need dances. But he agreed to dance for my film.”
The film was shot extensively in the UK and made Londoners sit up and take notice, Sukumar will have us believe. “In London, the entire traffic is routed through three bridges. We shot on one of the bridges. Now if even one closes, the entire city traffic is paralyzed. It was really amazing to see that traffic was stopped on both sides of the bridge for our shoot. Our action director, Peter Heins remarked, ‘I love this moment’.”
But having traveled and worked with Mahesh Babu for 18 months, Sukumar is glum, as he wanted to shoot more with Mahesh Babu. “He is such a perfectionist. When people say that he is a director’s actor, I thought that they were saying it casually. But, now I know better.”
He has directed only five films in 10 years. A miniscule output one might say. He confesses that, “I am a lazy person. But now I will work faster,” he says.
His next project is with NTR Jr and it will go on the floors after three months....