HT Exclusive: Kajol to pull off action in her next film with Prabhu Deva, Naseeruddin Shah | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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HT Exclusive: Kajol to pull off action in her next film with Prabhu Deva, Naseeruddin Shah

ByNeeshita Nyayapati
May 25, 2024 06:16 AM IST

In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, director Charan Tej Uppalapati opens up about his Bollywood debut with Kajol, Prabhu Deva and Naseeruddin Shah.

Director Charan Tej Uppalapati is on cloud nine, having put together a dream team for his debut. And why not, given that he managed to rope in actors like Kajol, Prabhu Deva, Naseeruddin Shah and Samyuktha for his first film? After producing Telugu films like Spy and Malli Modalaindi, Charan is ready to wield the megaphone in Bollywood. (Also Read: Kajol shares hilarious clip of her epic falls over the years on World Laughter Day)

Kajol with director Charan Tej Uppalapati and cinematographer GK Vishnu.
Kajol with director Charan Tej Uppalapati and cinematographer GK Vishnu.

In an exclusive conversation with Hindustan Times, Charan tells us all about the film, its actors, when its teaser will be released and more.

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‘My film will explore parent-child relationships’

Charan has been penning down stories for years now in the hope that one of them will make it to the silver screen. And he finally has that opportunity with his debut. “We already wrapped up one schedule in Hyderabad and Mumbai, and are planning to release the teaser next week,” he tells us, adding, “I studied film schooling in the US and have been waiting for this moment for years now. It would be easier if I made this film in Telugu but I wanted to challenge myself.”

Charan on what his debut Bollywood film is all about.
Charan on what his debut Bollywood film is all about.

Charan’s debut film is an action-thriller-drama that will explore the dynamics between parents and children, he says. “It shows how parents feel left behind when kids move on. There are a lot of parents or grandparents who miss their children and have no one to take care of them. I have written multiple stories through the years, but this is the one I wanted to debut with,” he adds, sharing that the film will be dubbed in all South Indian languages.

‘Kajol loved doing action, she’s very encouraging’

Given that it’s Charan’s first time dealing with actors on set as a director, he says he’s blessed with the cast and crew he has. “Kajol ma’am is doing action for the first time, she enjoyed pulling off stunts and has been very encouraging. Prabhu sir is also a filmmaker, so he has been a guiding force whenever I’ve needed him. Samyuktha is such a good actor, she has a whole new look in the film. The bond between Kajol and Samyuktha’s characters is crucial to the film, and they made it look so natural,” says Charan.

Charan Tej Uppalapati with Prabhu Deva on the sets of his debut film.
Charan Tej Uppalapati with Prabhu Deva on the sets of his debut film.

This film will see Kajol and Prabhu reunite 27 years after the Tamil film Minsara Kanavu, which was released in Hindi as Sapnay and in Telugu as Merupu Kalalu. Ask Charan about it, and he’s gleeful as he replies, “Yes, everyone grew up watching that. It has been almost three decades since they acted together. My film isn’t a love story, but I’m sure the audience will love seeing them together on-screen again as much as I did. It’ll be a treat.”

Charan on Kajol and Prabhu Deva's reunion after 27 years.
Charan on Kajol and Prabhu Deva's reunion after 27 years.

‘I pursued Naseeruddin for a while’

Charan says he also had a moment of validation when Naseeruddin said yes to the project. “I have always been a big fan of Naseer sir. If he does a film, it’s always only because it’s good. I had him in mind for a particular role and pursued him for a while to get him on board. And when he finally agreed to read the script, he said yes immediately and that gave me confidence. He even said it’s time we told stories like this. I’m also glad to have actors like Aditya Seal and Jisshu Sengupta on board.”

Charan’s film also boasts a stellar crew. “GK Vishnu is my cinematographer for the project. This is his first film after Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan. He said yes because he loved the subject. Harshavardhan Rameshwar of Animal and Arjun Reddy fame is composing the film’s music. He has gone all out for it and I have a feeling the music will be better than his previous work. Pushpa 2’s Naveen Nooli is our editor. We also have writers Niranjan Iyengar and Jessica Khurana working with us. It’s just the best team all around,” he rounds off.

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