He plays the lead role and produces the relationship drama directed by MS Raju
Last Updated: 01.49 PM, May 25, 2023
Naresh, in his 50th year of filmdom, is playing the lead and producing this week’s release - Malli Pelli, a relationship drama, written and directed by MS Raju. Cast alongside his wife Pavitra Lokesh, Vanitha Vijaykumar, Jayasudha, Sarath Babu and others, the multi-faceted actor is thrilled and nervous about shouldering a film’s prospects again. Ahead of May 26, he interacted with OTTplay.com today.
A long journey in films
I began my career as an actor with Pandanti Kapuram when I was 9 and turned a lead actor with Jandhyala’s Nalugu Sthambhalata. I’ve acted, produced and also ran a studio. In my 50th year in the industry and also the Vijaya Krishna movies banner, it’s great that we’re releasing Malli Pelli this Friday. Mom started the banner in 1972 with Superstar Krishna and made several trendsetting films like Meena, Kavitha. Malli Pelli is another step in that direction.
The reason behind producing and acting in Malli Pelli
I liked the story of Malli Pelli, narrated by MS Raju (garu). It’ll be entertaining and shocking at once. Marriage is a sacred association and it’s important to respect that; the film suggests the same. We’ve made the film in Telugu and Kannada. There’s tremendous buzz for it among youngsters and I’m sure the hype will translate into box office numbers from tomorrow.
The reel/real life connection with the film
Malli Pelli is related to our (Naresh and Pavitra Lokesh) life story; there are two things about it. We don’t plan to cheat our audiences. When we were shooting the film, many tried to come in our way and halt our progress. We wanted to answer them firmly and state Pavitra and I are together - hence we released the liplock video. It was a sensation across the country. There’s no gimmick here. This is only the tip of the iceberg; Malli Pelli will explode like an atom bomb, shock and entertain.
Why MS Raju?
I really liked MS Raju as a director when I watched Dirty Hari and we wanted to do something different when we teamed up. It coincided with the time where I faced a few personal issues. He took the charge at the once and narrated a story which he felt would resonate with all. Malli Pelli took off then and it also has the scene where I’d whistled in public domain. Yet, the film isn’t my biopic; you’ll know it better tomorrow. It’s a message to the society and I’m a part of it too.
Will there be a real-life reference to Superstar Krishna and (your mother) Vijaya Nirmala in the film?
When we are narrating the life story of a celebrity, it’s important to highlight the characters of their on-screen parents too. However, I don’t want to reveal too much about it. You’ll definitely be surprised in theatres. Every character will have its own importance. The film will create a strong emotional impact.
The challenges of acting and producing
I’m very excited as an actor. It’s very hard to score a hit. Despite giving many hits, I faced many highs and lows and have evolved as a proper character artiste. I’m returning as a hero yet again with Malli Pelli. It’s thrilling to complete 50 years in cinema. Film production comes with a lot of responsibility, especially when you’re reviving an iconic banner, need to preserve its legacy and entertain audiences. I trusted MS Raju with this film.
On a final note…
Malli Pelli is an experiment for me as a producer but I’m sure it’ll appeal to youth, families and masses. It’ll bring good name and fame for everyone involved with it. It explores an unexpected dimension in me as a performer.