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Namrata, the in-house producer

DECCAN CHRONICLE | GAYATRI REDDY
Published Jul 23, 2015, 5:02 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 11:12 am IST
Namrata Shirodkar talks about what prompted her and her superstar husband Mahesh Babu to turn producers
Mahesh Babu with his wife Namrata Shirodkar
 Mahesh Babu with his wife Namrata Shirodkar

Mahesh Babu’s upcoming family entertainer Srimanthudu is a landmark in his career as the actor and his wife Namrata Shirodkar are co-producing it under their banner G. Mahesh Babu Entertainment Pvt Ltd.

Dressed casually in an ankle length, flowy white skirt, teamed with a blue, floral printed blouse, Namrata talks to us about what made them turn producer. “Mahesh always felt that he wanted to be  part of films that were close to his heart in some way, a little more than just an actor,” she says.

Budget matters
Namrata adds that when your lead actor is also the co-producer, the budget automatically lessens. “It’s  very common in Bollywood where all big actors have their own production houses as part of their films... whether it is SRK or Salman Khan.

 

This really helps the actual producer who is funding the film. So the film does not go into impossible numbers. “To be honest everybody would like to work with Mahesh, this was probably a way of trying to make better films, trying to make films in a more approachable manner without budgets going haywire When an actor comes on board as co-producer you can spend on the film the way you need to spend and the actor probably sits back and says at the end of it,  when the film is released, let me become a part of the profits. So automatically all the remuneration that the actor is probably expecting comes to him  in a later form. But not many people can afford to do that. It only happens with bigger stars, that is the basic concept,” she says.

Mahesh’s production house may have begun with a film starring the actor, but Namrata says, “It does not mean we are going to only produce our own films, he is going to lend his name to movies he really wants to be part of and he will continue to do films with outside banners too.”

Exciting times ahead
What’s Namrata’s role in all this? “I am looking into the marketing side of the film. It is a very commanding, demanding job, but is exciting as I have time to do it. My kids are older and this is a way to keep myself busy and add a little bit to the film.” Namrata is one of the few Tollywood star wives who are career-centric. Why is that? “I believe that it is important to keep yourself busy doing something that you like,” she says.

Namrata adds, “My work starts now, post the film being over really. Mythri Production have been the active producers, they are hands on and they know how it is done so I have involved myself in the marketing.”

Learning from Baahubali
Telugu film producers normally never pay attention to publicising a film like the way it is done in Bollywood. But the marketing blitz behind Baahubali is changing this outlook. “May be Baahubali started it for us to understand what marketing does for a movie. I personally feel that this is the right way to go about things as even a film with big stars needs to be promoted. No publicity is ever enough for a film.”

No to acting
Now that she has made a comeback into the movie world as a producer, can she be coaxed to make an acting comeback, like Amala Akkineni recently did?
“I don’t think so, I am very happy in this space, Amala’s kids are grown-up, mine are still small and once you commit to a film you have to be there, everything comes second, you have to give that kind of time and energy to the film.”

Is there a chance in the near future that the kids and Namrata will be visiting Mahesh in Mumbai when he will be shooting for a Hindi film? “There have been innumerable offers for him, but what has not worked out is that either there was an issue with the script or the director... when the right script comes along, he will do a film.”  And Namrata says, Mahesh Babu’s Hindi is “not bad”.

Another interesting revelation is that Namrata is a good singer. While talking about what a sport Shruti Haasan was to sing along with Devi Sri Prasad at the audio launch of Srimanthudu, Namarta revealed that as a fellow singer, she appreciates Shruti’s talent. So, does she sing? “Yes, I sing to my kids. The latest song that I sing for my daughter Sitara was Let it go from Frozen. We do a little dance too. She likes Rama, Rama too and for my son Gautam, I sing songs from Mahesh’s films.”

What about Mahesh? She laughs and answers, “I don’t sing for Mahesh... That opportunity never came.”

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