Manchu Manoj’s Shourya is releasing this Friday and it will be his first release since his wedding in May last. He has also put on eight kilos for the role to look completely different from his earlier movies.
“I usually play hyperactive characters with loads of action, but for this film, we needed a soft look. I tried several options but still my rough look wouldn’t go. It was then that I decided to put on weight by eating healthy food,” says Manoj.
Neatly dressed, sporting a different hair style along with wearing spectacles, he transformed himself to look like a techie. “In Shourya, I play a very subtle character. It shows the good and bad qualities in a person. It’s a romantic story with lots of entertainment,” he says.
Director Dasarath had actually approached the actor for the role even before his marriage. “After he narrated the script, I gave him a big hug and immediately gave him my nod saying I will start the shoot after my marriage,” says Manoj.
Dasarath and Manoj are also close friends. “We call him ‘guru’ as he is the eldest in our batch of friends — we respect him a lot,” says Manoj.
Quizzed about the changes in his life after his marriage to Pranathi, Manoj cracks a joke. “Before marriage, we used to roam around the city secretly, now we’re out in the open,” he says with a laugh. The two had known each other for five years before tying the knot.
Asked if Pranathi involves in his styling or looks, he says, “She doesn’t involve nor advising me on my work,” adding that she would soon be starting her own business.
“She is well-educated. She will announce her future plans soon,” he says.
The actor adds that he never discusses details of his films with family members, including father (Mohan Babu).
“Even my close friends do not know which film I am doing next. I prefer to discuss it with the director only,” he says. He also feels name or fame should come only by hard work.
“My father always offers to get a big director for me. But I am totally against that as I don’t like my father paying him from his own pocket. I definitely want to work with big directors, but I want to make a name for myself before that,” says Manoj, adding that’s why he has been working with new directors.
“I am always comfortable with new talent and new directors. When the right day comes, I will definitely work with big directors,” he says.
Digressing from the personal matters for a bit, he expresses his worries over the debate around the caste system which is a talking point in the region now.
“Wherever I go, I hear a lot about ‘caste’, which is like a drug. It is there in all fields — including film and politics. Please do not watch my film with caste in mind. People from different castes work together for a film as a team. We all work hard to come out with a good product. So I appeal to all, especially the youth, to keep away from this ‘caste’ system, which ruins society,” says Manoj.