Manchu Manoj plays LTTE chief Prabhakaran’s role in the upcoming film Okkadu Migiladu that releases this Friday. “It’s not a typical commercial film and has no romance or comedy. But when director Ajay came to me with the script, I felt it was a responsibility to do this film,” says Manchu Manoj, adding that the director did a lot of research on Prabhakaran before writing the script. “It’s an intense emotional drama,” says Manoj.
Manoj had to put on weight for the role. “Generally I don’t go for surgeries when I get injured. I try to heal naturally. However, when I put on weight for this role, all those injuries recurred and I had to take a two month break to heal myself,” recalls Manoj.
“Most of the actors in this film are new. We worked very hard, especially for the war episodes which we shot in sea water,” he says, adding that they shot mostly in Vizag, near Kakinada and Chennai.
An episode in the film shows nearly ten people escaping from a boat and traveling for 60 days on water. “This journey comes in the second half and will be the highlight of the film,” says Manoj, admitting that he doesn’t appear in the 40-minute sequence. “I do a film only if I like the story. I never think about my screen time. It was the same for this too,” says the actor.
Interestingly, because of a censor issue, his character name was changed to Peter. “The character isn’t like Prabhak-aran entirely. We were inspired only by some parts of his life like his rise to power,” explains Manoj. The story juggles between the ’90s and present times.
Post this film, the actor isn’t keen on signing new projects. “I don’t want to do films after this is completed. I want to serve the people and become the voice of my surroundings. But my family isn’ t accepting that and so I am continuing,” he explains.
Now, Manoj wants a break. “I will take a six month break and start my next film in April 2018,” he says. Revealing that he has signed a film with debut director Chandra, he adds, “My friends Ajay Sastry and Sravan came up with this project that will start next year.”...